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Leaders Love People

Whether it's friends, a spouse, or volunteers...

People like to hear "I love you."

o Not because it's part of a routine.
My wife and I often tell each other "I love you," just before we end a phone conversation. I like this and I hate it.

I've realized there are sometimes I say it out of habit; it's just become part of our routine to end a phone call. I hate this because I don't want some thoughtless phrase tossed out there for something that's so meaningful. And yet, I like this, too. I want to take every opportunity I have to let her know she's loved.

With a volunteer team or staff members, we should routinely let them know they are valued, but not out of habit.

o It must be genuine.
I still think most people have a built-in crap detector. People can call a bluff. And when it comes to hearing that you matter to someone, it's a painful thing to think it's just a disingenuous gesture. This can actually communicate the opposite message.

o Not just when you're looking for something.
If you only express appreciation or care when you're in need, it feels manipulative. Like the teenager that suddenly becomes the most pleasant, agreeable kid with the spotlessly clean room when they're hoping for permission to go out Saturday night... It's more than some system of relational deposits and withdrawals. Communicating care is about the other person, not your needs.

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