Last week, I got a call from
an executive in a client organization. He had just had a conversation
with an important customer who said his team wasn't showing up like they
used to and didn't have that can-do spirit anymore. As we were talking,
he said he felt like the relationship with the customer had gotten into
a rut and was wondering what his team could do to charge things up
again. I said to him that the situation reminded me of one of those
articles that ask "Can this marriage be saved?" We
had a good laugh about that but then realized that maybe we were on to
Think about it. A lot of the problems leaders deal with in their work come down to the other party not feeling loved and appreciated. Same thing with marriages. Customer feeling like you don't care as much as you used to? They're not feeling loved and appreciated. Employees leaving for grass is greener over there opportunities? They're not feeling loved and appreciated. If you're really honest with yourself, you probably worry yourself sometimes whether or not you're loved and appreciated.
All of this got me thinking about a book I heard about years ago by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages. It's a how to guide on keeping your marriage strong or getting it out of the ditch if it's gone off track. I took a look at Chapman's five love languages this morning and concluded that they've got some application to saving customers, teams and leaders as well as marriages.