care factor

A LEADER’S CARE FACTOR 

One of the key ingredients to any healthy organisation is the “Care Factor” of the leadership, which ultimately impacts on the whole group. 

The Care Factor is the glue that causes people to stick together and head in the right direction. To be in a family, work in a business, or belong to an organisation where people are genuine in their concern for others makes work and life much more enjoyable. 

One of my concerns for society in general is that our overall care factor is being pressured downward. People sometimes say flippantly when under stress, “care factor = zero”, or “tell someone who cares”. This is expressing in a humorous way that they really couldn’t be bothered. 

Every day we hear or read of increasing domestic violence. We are hearing more about the damage caused by drug and alcohol abuse. We are confronted regularly with acts of terrorism somewhere in the world where mostly innocent people are paying the ultimate price. Things like this can have a polarising effect as people react to what they are seeing and hearing.

Our young people are going through a range of emotions as they engage in social media and flick through the newsfeed of their Facebook. If this becomes their reality, it can have a hardening effect and can reduce the Care Factor of the next generation that we are responsible for leading. 

When a leader really cares it adds something extra to the people, workplace or organisation they are responsible for. The care factor of any group can be measured and it can be easily improved by making a few changes. Below are five key elements that impact on our Care Factor: 

1. Contact:
Stay in contact with people under our care:
A phone call, visit, or small gift for someone in need can have a lifelong affect. Does the contact that takes place in our organisation demonstrate a high level of care? Our contact needs to be thoughtful, regular, consistent, genuine and positive. In business settings our contact must meet professional expectations, but will benefit greatly if it carries the personal touch. 

2. Co-operation:
Sometimes people on our team can be difficult to deal with. A leader who genuinely cares has the best chance of reaching them and turning them around to be significant contributors. Often those who have been our strongest resisters can become our strongest supporters if we gain their trust. 

3. Communication:
 The health of any group can be measured by its communication. The words that we choose are like the building blocks of a great family, business or organisation. Words can build up and they can pull down. The correct use of words can inspire greater performance and achievement. If our communication is forever limiting people, we may be stopping them from being the best they can be. 

4. Conflict management:
 The reality of any relationship is that there will be conflict, but if we are genuine in our care we will do all we can to work through conflicts that arise. In fact, when we successfully get to the other side of conflict it will result in a stronger relationship. Care and honesty is part of a solid foundation for any relationship. 

5. Commitment:
Successful relationships that last the distance are not an accident. I recently met up with a good friend and we celebrated 40 years of friendship. In 1980 I went through a family tragedy that shook my world. There were just a few people who made the extra effort to push into my world and offer support. Little did I know that my friend would face a similar family tragedy just a couple of years later. I then knew what I had to do to help him through his grief. We have committed to catch up regularly and enjoy a valuable and rewarding friendship. 

This demonstrates the rewards of genuine care and commitment to relationship. It is definitely worth considering your own “Care Factor”. This could make all the difference to your life, your family, your working environment and your leadership. 

- PASTOR BRIAN HEATH