Caring: You can’t really fake it

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By Gavin Moffat

When it comes to caring, it’s a little difficult to fake it. Sure, you can try, but if you don’t care about your team, employees or the people around you, it doesn’t take long to show up.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term Care and Growth its a leadership model that was developed by Schuitema Associates and “its approach lies in its capacity to deal with the issue of excellence at every level, from that of personal excellence to that of organisational excellence”.
I recently attended a talk where the Care and Growth model was discussed and I was struck by a number of realisations, most of them to do with how we can get more from those around us by giving more. Sounds counterintuitive, but giving results in a greater getting. When that giving is relatively selfless (because its almost impossible to be totally selfless) then the results are generally amplified.
How do we currently give? Often with an end result in mind. I’ll give you something now with the expectation that you will do something for me or that you will give me something in return now or some time in the future. This is pretty normal and our cultural influencers; radio, magazines, TV and the interwebs do little to discourage this give and expect approach.
More often than not we do a lot more taking than giving. Now the Care and Growth model works on giving first (care) and then receiving as a side effect. Part of this model allows for accountability which means that this is not a wishy washy approach to dealing with those around you. It means giving responsibility, along with all the skills and tools needed to do the job, setting outcomes and targets that are in line with the organsiational needs and then measuring.

Most importantly, the part that is often absent is the accountability aspect. When something is not done the way it should be, someone needs to be held accountable. Subordinate or otherwise. That accountability needs to have supportive teeth that allow for growth and learning. Without accountability there is no growth and change. With no growth and change there is no future for any business.
We need to give to get and the best way of doing that is with as little ego as possible involved in the process. If you are solely focused on what you can get out of people they will be solely focused on what they can get out of you. This results in a winning relationship for neither of you.
You cannot generate loyalty with falsity. You can only generate loyalty and excellence in someone’s output when they are genuinely focused on the vision and do not think twice about going the extra mile, in fact, why wouldn’t they.

Take it from me, you can’t fake caring, I’ve tried and failed.

About the Author
Gavin is an accidental specialist in the field of communication and public relations and has been “practicing” for the past 20-“odd” years. He focuses on strategic marketing and communication, business consulting and strategic implementation and conference speaking. He has been fondly referred to as a business pot-hole spotter and enjoys his “Coffee Conversations” that allow CEOs and MDs to get honest and forthright feedback, conversation and strategic counsel.
Gavin is a FutureWorld Guru, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, a lapsed microlight pilot, trimix technical diver and Emergency First Response Instructor. He dabbles in music through the project needless art, recently releasing his second commercial piece, embryo e.p. #2.
Follow Gavin on twitter@gavinmoffat and find him on LinkedIn at http://za.linkedin.com/in/gavinmoffat

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