Not surprisingly, when Gallup polled Americans and asked them to think about the best teacher they ever had, the most common word they used to describe them was “caring.” What students need at their core is caring. As a wise teacher once said, “at the end of the day, they won’t remember all we taught them, but they will remember how we made them feel.”
Additionally, Gallup’s workplace engagement research shows that having a supervisor or someone at work who cares about you is a critical employee need. In fact, being inspiring, caring and visionary are the most important factors relating to workers’ overall evaluation of the performance of their company’s president, leader or CEO. The top three indicators of perceived leadership performance are inspiring, cares about people, and visionary.
Gallup also found that employees use intimate words like compassion, empathy, kindness, listening, understanding, and concern to describe the type of “caring” they expect from their everyday organizational leaders. Gallup’s research proves that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is a truism that applies to every leader/follower context.
How Church Staff Can Demonstrate They Care For Each Other
Caring is an interpersonal process involving an emotional commitment to, and a willingness to act on behalf of, a person with whom one has a significant relationship. It means to put others above yourself and to keep an eye out for ways you can help and ways to make the lives of others a bit easier and a bit more pleasant.
Caring is a Christ-like attribute and therefore is an assumed attribute of Christian leaders. But, after 40 years of serving on a church staff I can testify to how at times it is easier to care for our congregations than those we work with in the trenches each day. If you want to know how to be a more caring church staff member to your peers, try these approaches to get started.
Be sensitive to the feelings of others. If you want to have a more caring perspective, then you have to spend more time thinking about how other people are feeling. Be on the lookout to see how the people in the office are reacting to a given situation, or just how they’re feeling when they walk in the door. People who are caring are attuned to the moods of others and can tell when someone is feeling down or upset, and take measures to do something about it.
Pay attention. People who are caring enter their daily lives with an attentive perspective. They pay attention to what people do when they are talking to them, and they are sensitive to their needs and feelings. Paying attention to people’s facial expressions, gestures, dress, and even their offhand comments, can help paint a complete picture of how that person is really thinking and feeling, and can lead you to be more caring.
Listen to people. People who are caring take the time to listen to others. They don’t spend the entire conversations talking about themselves because they are genuinely interested in what other people have to say. When someone is talking to you, make eye contact, put away your phone or other distractions, and don’t interrupt the person. In short, be fully present.
Ask people about their lives. Another way to be caring is to put more effort into learning about how other people you work with are doing. The next time you talk to someone at work, ask him or her how he or she is feeling, about what he or she has going on that weekend, how their kids are doing, or about how his or her day is going. Making the effort to ask the little questions can add up to showing that you really do care.
Check in with people. Another way to be caring is to let people know that you’re thinking about them. To do this, check in by dropping by their office without an agenda, sending a card or text message that you are praying for a prayer request of theirs, or calling to see how an appointment or meeting went.
Remember the details about people’s lives. Another way to show that you really care is to pay attention to the details that people tell you. This could mean remembering the name of your co-worker’s dog, their birthday or anniversary, or where they grew up or went to school. Make a point of remembering as much as you can about a person’s life, and to comment about it when it matters.
Be considerate of others. Being considerate is another major aspect of being caring. If you want to be considerate, then you have to respect the people you work with, and avoid making a nuisance of yourself. This includes simple things like not answering your cell phone when in conversation, showing compassion by allowing time off for personal issues, and demonstrating grace when a deadline is missed.
Do favors for people. Caring people spend time doing favors for people and helping them out when they need it. This doesn’t mean you have to become someone’s errand boy, but it does mean that you should make an effort to help co-workers, such as picking something up for them while you are out, or helping them with a work related project.
Appreciate the people in your life. If you want to be a more caring person, then you have to appreciate the people you work with as much as you can. Saying you are thankful and grateful for someone, and affirming them for not only what they do but for who they are is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you care.
Solicit Advice. You can’t know everything, even when you’re the boss, and reaching out with questions to those you work with is a sign of strength, not weakness. Department heads might seek confirmation from employees before rolling out a new policy or procedure. Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues to proofread a document for you, to ask how they would handle certain situations, to conduct research, or get their input on an idea you have.
Apologize when you need to. Caring people care about how their actions affect the people they work with. Therefore, they are quick to apologize when they’ve done something wrong. They don’t deny their mistakes, and they are comfortable admitting they’re not perfect.
Being caring allows you to be a better leader and peer by have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for what the people around you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing.
Posted on February 11, 2020