Changing What's Normal logoGuest blog from Ian Berry, creator of the Enhancing Their Gifts system

When I first consider working with a new client I am keen to find out how much employees of the organisation feel valued, fulfilled, and loved.  Why these three you might reasonably ask?

In my work with leaders in 40 countries since 1991 the above three are the standout pathways to unleashing the unique talents/gifts that are lying dormant in most people.

The results of this unleashing

Higher levels of productivity and engagement from employees, higher sales, lower costs and lower employee turnover, and more time for you to pursue what really matters to you.

People are referred to as assets, resources, and even capital. We are none of these things. We are flesh and blood beings with needs, wants, fears, and aspirations.

When we are respected and treated as the one-of-a-kind that each of us is, we respond with remarkable performance.

Take the Valued, Fulfilled, Loved Performance Possibility Pulse Check and see how well you are travelling.  As soon as you press send you will be able to download myChanging What’s Normal book and receive a complimentary analysis online with me.

I am going to work backwards in three articles about Valued, Fulfilled, and Loved according to what I see as the degree of difficulty with loved being the most difficult.

Article one – Helping your employees to feel loved

Most people live in fear.

Most people are frightened of being hurt.

Most people fear they won’t be liked if they take a certain action.

Most people fear losing.

Most people fear the possible consequences of naming the elephant in the room – the obvious truth that is being ignored or going unaddressed.

I drew a laugh recently when someone in a meeting asked me for my thoughts.  Without referring to anyone in particular I said “I can’t speak at the moment because the elephant in the room has got her foot on my throat.”

After the laughter died down and a long silence the person we probably all least expected had the courage to finally name the elephant.  Everyone felt better straight away.

I notice over and over that when fear is named it vanishes or at very least we feel able to confront it.

If you want to help people enhance their talents and to perform more consistently at higher levels then help them, support them, encourage them to face their fears.

The opposite of fear is love.

The Ancient Greeks had four words for love.  You no doubt know two – eros (romantic love) and agape (love in a spiritual sense).  The third is storge, meaning natural affection like parents feel for their children.

The fourth, philia, is the one I find the most insightful.  Philia is often translated as affectionate regard or friendship. We need more philia in our organisations.

I find it simple (not always easy) to have affectionate regard for people because I know everyone of us is a one-of-a-kind human being.  Only the hardest of heart can’t not love a one-off.

When there is affectionate regard or friendship in our workplaces better performance follows. Usually in my experience very, very quickly.

In Q & A sessions that follow a lot of my presentations I often break the ice by asking people what they are passionate about.  The most common answer is family.  I then go on and ask the following four questions:

  1. What makes great families great?
  2. What do great parents do?
  3. What do great life-partners do?
  4. What do you notice about siblings who really get along?

Whatever the answers I then ask: What would happen in your organisation tomorrow if you began to apply the principles behind your answers?

I challenge you to answer these questions and then apply the principles behind your answers in your workplace.  Improved performance will follow your actions I promise.

“Love drives out fear” say many of the ancient texts in all sorts of ways.

“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

From the film Strictly Ballroom.

“Far from its sentimental or New Agey interpretation, Love is an archetypical force, recognized and identified in all cultures and societies, throughout time and space. Love is about connectedness, unity, integration, forgiveness, empathy, peace, compassion, understanding, dialogue. Love is making its way into our contemporary culture through a series of labels: emotional intelligence, positive psychology, sustainability, cultural diversity, gender equality, social inclusion, conflict resolution, open source, crowd-sourcing, the grand unified theory.”

From the TEDx Navigli Manifesto

Be the difference you want to see in the world.


PS Maybe Modern Greece needs a lot more eros, agape, storge and philia. And a lot less financial advice.

First posted on Ian Berry’s blog:

Ian Berry’s Key Discoveries about people and talent enhancement – part1

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