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To innovate, inspire and orchestrate successful business outcomes, the intellect and the heart must work together. They are no less interdependent than heart and lungs. Organisations that value matters of the heart equally with, if not above, inanimate systems and other resources, will achieve more individual and organisational success.
So how much heart does your business have?
H.E.A.R.T. refers to the values of Honesty, Empathy, Acceptance, Respect and Trust.
Here they are in brief:
Remember the old saying “Honesty is the best policy?” It applies to business too! A culture of honesty promotes open communication, constructive feedback and empowers team members to be more creative.
It’s nearly impossible for a business to build trust if honesty isn’t the guiding principle in how that organisation handles every aspect of its work process. This means selling only what you can deliver effectively and always delivering on promises. It means being willing to share successes and admit to mistakes. If you are willing to acknowledge what you still don’t know, chances are you are more receptive to feedback and improvement!
The crux of the matter is that being honest won’t just keep you in business. It will keep you, your staff and clients happy with your business. And that’s the true definition of success.
Empathy is not only essential for individual wellbeing, it is one of the most crucial tools in a business toolbox. For an RTO to understand its students, trainers and industry partners, it needs to practise empathy. The ability to relate to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of your public will translate into better student journeys, boost employee morale and increase productivity.
Rene Schuster, former CEO of Telefonica Germany, puts it this way: “Empathy is not a soft nurturing value but a hard commercial tool that every business needs as part of their DNA. Our aim is to make every interaction our customers have with us an individual one.”
Check out the Businessolver Empathy Index, a first-of-its-kind assessment tool for companies to evaluate employee perceptions of empathy and provide actionable insights to drive workplace culture change.
At the personal level acceptance means being warm and friendly and letting others in. It requires an attitude that is non-judgemental and able to reconcile when events or situations do not go to plan.
Acceptance can be practiced in all areas of business: staff can exercise it towards one another's beliefs, ideas and appearances, towards organisational change, to new technology, to ownership of problems when customers complain - just to name a few.
Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or resigning to less than stellar results. It means striving for success while being more open, honest and flexible. Such a culture is fertile space for loyalty, innovation and effective decision making.
Did you know that employees rank respect as the most important leadership behaviour? But, the vast majority of people say their expectation is not met! It could be as simple as saying hello to one person in the morning yet walking right by another.
It is quite common for people to feel like they are not recognized for the great work they are doing. When people feel respected, they’re in a position of security and safety where they’re able to try new things and become their best selves at work.
Some leaders would argue that the most essential element of a business isn’t revenue or investors or employees or even customers. The most essential element of business is trust: trust between you and your customers, trust with your team and industry partners and trust in a set of principles that form the foundation of your organisation.
Have you thought about leveraging technology to build trust? Technology can help drive transparency and reduce doubt. For example, simply using automation for tasks like student correspondence, reports and certificates will remove human error and ensure responsive communication with students.
“People won't remember what you said. They won't remember what you did. They will remember how you made them feel.”
If your training organisation is after results, then you’d better start paying attention to encouraging more heart! Yes, people are concerned about money - making money and saving money. But moreover, they need to be appreciated as individuals. So if you are not doing so already, boost the life of your business with more H.E.A.R.T.