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Love and Openness to Others

“All you need is love”. That’s what the Beatles said. Boy oh boy do we need that now.

Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a number of types of love – intimate love of spouse, strong love of family, teammates expressing real affection, love of your work/craft, game show hosts saying “I love you”, etc.

February is the month of love … and chocolates. Valentine’s Day is obviously the centerpiece of that celebration. But, I also think that love should extend to being open to (and even embracing) each other – especially if they are of different cultures or ethnicities.

This month celebrates Black History. The Chinese New Year falls on February 1st. I’m sure there are other examples. Where I live in the metro DC area (we call it the DMV – DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  NO, not Motor Vehicles), we have incredible diversity – people from all over the United States and all over the world. More than 160 languages are spoken in Fairfax County schools.

Diversity in my life:  I am proud to have rich diversity. My wife is from Puerto Rico. My daughter-in-law from the Philippines. Son-in-law from the Dominican Republic. Dentist from Peru. Barber from Vietnam.  Cherished business partner from Singapore. My best ever coachee is African American. Primary Care Doctor is Indian. Webmaster is Korean. Several mentees are Chinese. AND … I had the 20 year career in the Coast Guard with all (ok … only some) of the military thinking and behavior that comes from that. Remember, we also need to consider “thinking diversity”.

Outcomes:  Where am I going with this?

 #1 – I feel that I want to and can connect with people much easier and better (example – ordering food in Spanish). With those connections, I can help those who seem to have a need and desire. My November blog on gratefulness gave some ideas. More on this in a future blog, but I have found my “Why?”. It’s simply “To Lift People Up.”

#2 – Aside from inspiring me to tune into the global-ness of the world, these people have helped me be more open and tolerant – understanding that our actions come from different upbringings. 

#3 – I’ve committed to take action. Am probably 75% fluent in Spanish (without the gringo accent) and am learning the basic greetings in Chinese and Vietnamese.  And … I feel better about myself for having this attitude.

#4 – I learn about different places I want to travel to and see.

#5 – Business-wise, I can be more effective in the team building, training, and cross-cultural communications elements that are critical to Organizational Excellence.

It starts with a choice: Like many things, the first step is to choose to do it (diet, exercise, changing jobs, etc.).  When PBI works with organizations creating core values, they decide what those value “themes” will be.  BUT … I love those organizations that put CARING near the top of the list.

ACTION ITEM: Where (truly, honestly) is love and openness in your life? … in your organization?

It doesn’t have to be mushy.  Must, though, be heartfelt and genuine. 

How does one measure that? My Horizontal Maslow asks you to define the time and attention you are giving to 14 major areas to determine your life balance. Look at the bar graph and see where love/openness stacks up compared to the other competing life areas. Organizations and teams can do that as well by reviewing how they live their core values. Happy to discuss how to measure this and move forward.

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