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Are you Wearing Your Heart on your Sleeve?

Caring is a domain we often reserve or at the very least think of as an exclusive for close family and friends. Check out the Hallmark section of any store at Valentine’s Day and you’ll find row upon row of sappy and smart, cute and catchy sonnets and sayings.

And yet caring has a profound impact in the workplace. Consider the following:

Leadership by Heart: A number of years ago the Center for Creative Leadership conducted an extensive three year study of the critical variables for leadership success. Interestingly enough the only statistically significant factor differentiating the very best leaders from the mediocre ones was caring.

Management Connection: A study of about 20,000 employees working in a wide range of jobs in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, and Italy recently found that people who felt disconnected from their managers were more likely to get sick, miss work, or even suffer a heart attack.

Workplace Friends: Data released by Gallup in 2007 show that people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely as others to be positively engaged with their jobs.

I could drone on and on with a bunch of really interesting scientific heart research. Like electrical changes in feelings transmitted by the human heart can be felt and measured at least five feet away and that the heart has a complex network of 40,000 nerve cells and a complex set of neurotransmitters, but I think you get the point.

Matters of the heart matter to human beings. At the end of the day, or beginning of every day not just Valentine’s Day, we work for, with and around people that need to know that, “Frankly my dear, you give a damn”. Now for those of you that have the 10 foot radius personal space rule, I’m not suggesting you need to have a hug fest.

What I am saying is you need to find your way of demonstrating to those around you that you care; whether that’s asking about their weekend, provided help with a tight deadline or simply being a really good listener. You’ll find the act of caring is mutually beneficial and as an added bonus feel better yourself.

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