This Valentines’ week, Arthur and I received a surprise in the mail from our friends Jeanette and Larry. It was a sweet and simple Valentine card. I was so touched by their gesture – and reminded that Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to romance. It’s a time to express our feelings and share our hearts with the people we care about.
We don’t see Jeanette and Larry nearly enough. But that act from the heart – the card – reminded me of the happy times we have spent together. And it reminded me that our relationship is alive.
Enjoy this “re-blog” of my account of another friend’s “acts from the heart.”
by Andrea Chilcote
I just returned from lunch with a dynamic woman who I admire greatly. She owns and manages a thriving business, juggling multiple priorities in work and life. Her secret? The relationships she builds and nurtures.
I‘m fascinated by how she makes time to do the things she does to build trusting, sometimes life-long bonds with customers, vendors and employees, (not to mention while caring for an active family and supporting philanthropic interests). She does the small yet high-impact things I think about yet often don’t follow through on. She forges personal connections by genuinely acknowledging the trials and triumphs of her colleagues’ multi-faceted lives.
Whether it’s a piece of welcome information or advice contained in an otherwise mundane email, or a greeting card celebrating a small accomplishment or sharing compassion, my friend takes inspired action. It’s inspired because she has true empathy and concern for those her business touches. It’s not a technique … it comes from the heart. If you’ve ever had the urge or feeling to offer comfort or congratulate, but either shied away or gotten too busy, take a lesson from Jane. She feels the need, then acts. Impeccably.
Here’s the real secret. This woman knows, instinctively and with absolute congruence, how to balance her desire to nurture and care for those around her with getting her own needs met. She is absolutely transparent — who you see is who you get. She passionately and candidly shares her stretch goals and desire for growth. Her approach is the very definition of win-win, and, once again, it’s not a technique. It’s who she is.
And guess what? Like begets like, and others strive to help her. Jane has an army of people committed to her business’ mission that aren’t on her payroll. And there are smaller benefits too. When the inevitable minor problems of business life occur, the “funds” in the relationship bank serve as a comforting cushion, and no one overreacts.
So many people ask for help, yet have no cushion from which to draw in the relationship bank. Others give without considering their own needs, rendering those needs unmet and success elusive. One without the other is unproductive.
It’s no longer a secret. Act from the heart. Share of yourself openly while declaring what you too want and need. You might be surprised at what follows.
And, if you would like to know more about Jane Spicer, check out her business website: www.daphnesheadcovers.com.