I’m fortunate to work in the field of personal development because I can get away with spreading love, joy, and positive messages without raising too many eyebrows. Even if others don’t EXPECT me to be a bit “over the top” … they certainly aren’t surprised when they get to experience a little unexpected “love” or appreciation.
By sharing the love, I simply mean spreading positive energy – whether that means signing an email with “Love, Robin” or “I love how you’re wearing your hair,” or “I love when we get to meet for lunch!”
Is it appropriate to sign an email, “Much love”? Definitely, if you are writing to friends. But what about when you are writing to a business associate, client, or coworker? What is too much? Can you share the joy and let people know just how much you care about them – even if your relationship is relatively new? And, if you’re dealing with someone you DON’T like as much, can sharing some love help to soften their edges?
I think the answer lies in your own comfort zone. Ask yourself how YOU would feel if someone signed an email to you the same way YOU want to sign YOUR emails. In dealing with the EXPERTS who are going to appear in the movie I’m producing, “The Keeper of the Keys,” I often sign my emails with “Much love” or “Sending Love Your Way.”
My friend Julie Neil used to sign all her e-mails (from work) “Hugs, Julie”. Guess what? Whenever I saw her, I got a hug. I knew when she signed her e-mails “Hugs” – she meant it! I ran into her recently at Trader Joe’s and – you guessed it – I got a great hug. Love you, Julie. And I loved all those sweet hugs – even when we were negotiating dollars and advertising schedules. Julie was a master at spreading and sharing the LOVE!
I admit I am MUCH MORE reserved with new, conservative relationships. But it usually doesn’t take long before I’m sharing and caring. Once I feel comfortable, and I believe you will appreciate it, I’ll send some love your way. As Jackie DeShannon sang, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
Even if you have to be a bit more formal or reserved, you can still share love and joy as you go about your day. Offer compliments instead of criticisms. Offer a helping hand instead of complaining. Smile. Give hugs or hearty handshakes. And be sure to tell people just how much you appreciate them. You never know how long they will be here.
NOTE: I lost a friend yesterday – Randy Fleitz. His death from a heart attack was unexpected; he ran on the treadmill regularly and stayed in shape. We golfed together a few times – in charity tournaments and for business. He was hilarious. I can picture him on the links and can remember most of his funny comments.
Randy was my client, first at the Golden Nugget, then later at the Mirage. By the time we’d done a promotional ad campaign, we were friends. A round of golf cemented that. After I retired from selling advertising, I would see him occasionally around town.
Randy was younger than I. He had a family. I always knew him to be a VERY hard-working professional. And he was KIND – a fairly RARE quality among high-pressured casino executives. I remember about 15 years ago (or was it more like 18?), my step-brother James was visiting from Ohio. We sat at CPK/Mirage having lunch. Randy happened to come by. After introducing him to James, we spoke for a bit and then he went about his business.
James ate his lunch while he watched Agassi play tennis. He was mesmerized by the wide assortment of sporting events that filled the monitors in the sports book a few feet away. James said, “There is NOTHING like this in Cleveland!” (a line I often shared with my clients; we needed to remember how our fabulous strip is seen in the eyes of our visitors!) But that paled in comparison to how impressed he was when we discovered our lunch had been comped. James thought his big sister was really a big cheese, since I was friends with a boss at the Mirage. Randy, I’ll never forget that kindness.
I hope you have a tee time with your dad this week, and I hope you play well. You will be dearly missed by many here. Much love to you Randy, much love.
FORBES Insights‘ latest report shows that executives prefer face-to-face meetings. Wow – As “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” I could not have put that better myself. The reasons why they preferred IN PERSON, face-to-face meetings? There is no comparison:
- To build STRONGER, more MEANINGFUL business relationships (85%)
- Ability to read body language and facial expressions (77%)
- More social interaction, ability to bond with co-workers/clients (75%)
- Allow for more complex strategic thinking (49%)
- Better environment for tough, timely decision-making (44%)
Complaints about technology-enabled meetings were that they often resulted in disruption and delays. The ONLY reasons anyone said they preferred technology-assisted meetings were bottom-line, such as saving time, money, or location flexibility.The choice is yours: STRONGER, MORE PRODUCTIVE business meetings or technical difficulties?
As a Business Relationship Expert, I discovered a long time ago that those relationships that were built over a business lunch, an outstanding networking event, or even a round of golf lasted forever. We bonded. Apparently, I’m not the only successful executive who knows that, although I may be the only one who wrote a book about building business relationships over lunch (“The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2″).
A compromise can be reached, too, by holding smaller meetings with an assist from technology. But to build long-lasting, solid business relationships, seize some face time!
BTW, the Ritz-Carlton weighed in on the report to reach out to business travelers by offering “Meetings Within Reach,” a value-added opportunity for organizers of on-site seminars, executive retreats, and other corporate events. Their message is “It’s not extravagant IF it produces results.” I’d like to give special thanks to Bruce Himelstein, Ritz-Carlton’s senior vice president of sales & marketing. He acknowledged that technology can never replace the “traditional methods of dealing with people in person…” I rest my case … there is NO Substitute for QUALITY “Face time.”
Notice: I am currently seeking annual contracts with companies who would like to send me out to speak to their clients on the importance of quality face time and how to build productive business relationships. E-mail me to explore the possibilities.
I had a few friends over for dinner last night, including my friends Barry and Louise Berlin. Louise asked if it is okay to use your bread as a “pusher” – as in using it to push the salad onto your fork.
She was surprised when I ran to my bookshelf to retrieve my copy of “Etiquette for Dummies.” I explained that I went to a source because while I was quite certain I knew the answer, I really wanted to be sure … and when it comes to this particular question, I remembered that there are actually several different answers! That’s the thing about etiquette – different behaviors apply to different situations. MOST of these variations are simply based on the differences between formal and casual settings; bread as a pusher is no exception!
I was able to share with Louise and another friend, Edy, that in a CASUAL setting, it’s okay to use your bread as a PUSHER! BUT – in a more formal setting, it is not. No wonder I couldn’t remember!
It’s funny to me that many people are often too intimidated to dine with me. I try to put them at ease by explaining that I was only able to write my book, “The Art of the Business Lunch” because I had already made every mistake there is to make; why not learn from my experiences? Why must we make every mistake ourselves? But I do know a lot when it comes to etiquette … I even speak on it!
So, where does the FUN come in? We started reading all about bread at the dinner table – how to pass it (to the right), how to take a slice (using the napkin to hold the loaf while you tear off a slice), and how you must put butter on your dish and then butter your bread; never take butter directly from the community plate and put it on your bread.
I think it’s fascinating to read about etiquette and discover all the little nuances that add grace to a client lunch or business dinner. If you’ve ever wondered about exactly what to do, pick up a copy of an etiquette book. You’ll really find it enjoyable and some of the tips are sure to surprise you!