How to Inspire Employee Commitment, Even When You’re Convinced They’re Playing Solitaire All Day

Not compliance – commitment.

Huge difference.

As I learned from The Power of Strategic Commitment:

“Commitment is the innate willingness of people to follow and contribute; compliance is the forced adherence to plans created through manipulation, punishment and coercion.”

That’s the difference between doing the job a delivering the brand.

THE PROBLEM IS: Zero commitment means zero engagement, and zero engagement means zero profits.

Today we’re going to explore seven strategies to help you inspire commitment in the hearts of the people who matter most:1. Start at the top. The reason commitment is improperly installed in most organizations is because it’s treated as policy, not a lifestyle. Unfortunately, that’s not the way commitment works. It’s not something you do – it’s something you embody. And unless it’s a robust strand of the leader’s genetic makeup, people won’t be inspired to follow suit.

That’s what I’ve learned after ten years of wearing a nametag: Commitment is the offspring of values. You really think I’d still be wearing this stupid sticker every day if it weren’t directly glued to my personal constitution? Hell no. But that’s the whole point: When it’s your heart, you don’t need to prove to anyone that you can’t live without it. They simply take the cue from your life.

Therefore, if you want to inspire commitment from the people who matter most, begin by expressing your own. Find your commitment device. And wear it proudly for all to see. Otherwise you may as well be winking in the dark.

Remember: The problem isn’t a fear of commitment – but a failure to communicate that you’re fully committed. How are you cascading your commitment through every level of the organization?

2. Worthwhile trumps importance. Any work can be important. Think about the most meaningless job you ever had in your life – it was probably important to someone. Worthwhile work, on the other hand, covers more emotional territory. It doesn’t just hold importance – it’s has impact. And the fruit of your worthwhile labor becomes a gift to your people.

To achieve that kind of result in your organization, try this: Give people work that demands the best, highest version of themselves. Tap into the wellspring of their unique capability. I promise: They’ll have no choice but to thrust themselves into uncharted waters – remaining fully engaged the whole time. Otherwise, the work you ask them to do becomes nothing more than another line item on their task list.

And I’m not suggesting your company tries to spin people’s work experience into something it’s not. Instead, I challenge you to excavate the worthwhileness of what your people do. Because if you dig deep enough and come up with nothing but “important,” then it’s probably not work that matters in the first place. Do your people see their work as a daily grind to or daring gateway?

3. People are craving for transcendence. If you want your people to show up when they’re exhausted – not just expected – you have to appeal to their fundamental desire for work that has meaning. After all, people engage when they’ve been given permission to flex the muscle of why. And by actively cultivating the purpose driven nature of their work, you provide deeper context for all their effort.

The question you have to ask yourself every day: To what extent are your people anchored in purpose? Because if they’re not, you can expect about as much commitment a kamikaze pilot on his thirty-ninth mission. And I’m not saying purpose is a panacea. But life’s heaviest burden is having nothing to carry.

Look: People want to be in love. Nobody wants to spend a third of her life in an activity that has no meaning. Work should be a place of fulfillment – not sacrifice. Is working for you something to be endured or enjoyed?

4. Flush out the fear. Chronically fearful people don’t commit. And people withdraw allegiance when they feel afraid. According to Dr. Judith Bardwick, author of One Foot Out The Door, fearful people can’t perform at their best because fear destroys the wherewithal to do their best work.

That’s the danger in being known as an emotional time bomb: The people around you disengage, walk on eggshells and burn all their time looking over their shoulder – instead of executing what matters.

If you want your people to stop complying and start committing, begin by taking radical responsibility for your attitude. I’m not suggesting you suppress or ignore your emotions – but stepping away from some of the stress might make communicating with you a more relaxing experience.

Remember: Comfort precedes intimacy and intimacy strengthens commitment. Stop wearing your anger as an accessory. You’re scaring people. What can you control that your people are afraid of?

5. Payment isn’t the panacea. It’s easy to scapegoat lack of commitment on lack of compensation. But as I learned from aforementioned Power of Strategic Commitment, “Giving people more money does nothing but make them wealthier unhappy people.”

Think of it like a bottle of Febreeze: You spray it on smoky clothing when you get home from the bar. The only problem is, the next day all you have is a shirt that smells like Febreeze – and smoke. You didn’t change the fundamental nature of anything; you just put a layer of chemicals over it.

The same goes for inspiring commitment: It’s not for sale. If you really want people to engage wholeheartedly, enable authorship – not just readership. After all, people always commit to what they help create. And they’re always willing to invest in what they truly admire.

But they’ll never experience emotional fulfillment until you enable their passions to remain an integral part of their worklife. That’s the other distinction between compliance and commitment: One is taking a job – the other is undertaking a crusade. Are your people receiving a substantial return on their emotional investment?

6. Understand motivation in today’s workplace. As a leader, you can’t motive people to do anything – all you can do is find people who are already motivated and inspire them to motivate themselves. My suggestion is to delete people’s demotivators first. A few examples come to mind:

Delivering constant criticism, raising your voice, magnifying their mistakes, exhibiting lack of trust, prohibiting any shred of playfulness, making people feel powerless, refusing to recognize success and compensating less for working more.

Then, once you’ve cleared away the crap, here’s the next step: Pinpoint people’s passion and embed that passion into the pavement that leads the way. By finding out what fuels people – you know what to fill the tank with when they start puttering along.

Remember: All motivation is self-motivation. People don’t change just because you want them to – they change because they want to. And because the pain of staying the same outweighs the cost of modifying their behavior. Are your people comfortable exploring their own opportunities for development?

7. Anonymity is bankruptcy. Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder – it makes the mind start to wonder. That’s what happens when you leave people in the dark: They engage in worse case thinking.

Take my parents, for example. If they haven’t heard from me in a few days, they freak out. And a barrage of texts, emails and instant messages come pouring in, asking me if I’m okay. Which I am. But you’ve got to think about it from a parent’s perspective: The way they see it, no news is bad news. And as a son, that’s something I’ve had to work on. Fortunately, I’m learning to be more proactive in volunteering information.

My question is: Are you prolific in your communication?

If not, try this: Instead of hoping people will read your mind and then recommend the decision you’ve already decided on, stop restricting the flow of information. Just talk to people. You’ll turn awkward moments of silence into opportunities for honest conversation.

Also, quicken your response time. And remember that the medium is the message. Because it’s not just what you say, it’s not just how you say it – it’s how quickly you get back to people, and how they feel when they hear it.

That’s the holistic way to look at communication: Content, context, delivery and reception. All four must be attended to. Because in the absence of communication, people will make up their own. Is your anonymity alienating the people who matter most?

REMEMBER: When you inspire commitment to the brand inside the organization, you inspire belief in the brand outside the organization.

That’s when you stop making money and start making history.

How much engagement is your organization hemorrhaging due to weak commitment?

For the list called, “68 Things Employees Never Want to Hear You Say,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

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Six Simple Steps to Help Leaders Earn Encores from Their Internal Audiences

Every leader has an audience.

And, anyone who has an audience wants the same thing: To receive an encore.

It means people want more of you.
It means people offer honor to you.
It means people extend gratitude for you.

Now, along your spectrum of constituents, perhaps the most critical audience you need to blow away is the internal one.

I’m talking about your peeps. Your employees. Your staff. Your team.

These are the people who matter most.

And the organizations that win are the ones who make these people leap out of their seats, spill their popcorn all over the floor and roar until their voices are shot.

Is that how your people receive you?

If not, here’s a list of six secrets for earning an encore from your internal audience:1. Make passion palpable. People want to bring their passions to work. That’s the principal path to experiencing emotional fulfillment. But if you continually require them to compartmentalize every area of their life into convenient little boxes, they may never get the chance to bring their awesomeness to fruition.

What’s more, dismissing people’s passions disengages their hearts and creates a thick wall of resentment. Instead, encourage and challenge people to live out their best thoughts. Give people what they need to get things done for their own lives. And to remain sensitive to people’s personal worlds and legitimate needs.

With that kind of permission, they’re free to pursue personal wholeness no matter what comes their way. And those are the type of people who not only stick around – but they also stick up for the organization when others put it down. What passions are you asking people to put on hold?

2. Give people what they want. Admit it: Employees don’t get excited about maximizing profits or shareholder value. They’re anchored in purpose. Here’s a rapid-fire list of what your people really want:

People want a chance to be themselves openly. Are you making it easy for them to express their personal style?

People want more meaning – not more things to store in their garage. Are you trying to motivate them with material irrelevancies?

People want to be attached to something that’s more than just a commercial enterprise. Are you helping them connect their actions to a larger story?

People want to be missed when they don’t show. Are you giving them a glimpse of the organization would lose if they ceased to exist?

People want to be proud of what they do. Are you helping them become known for their unique contributions?

And lastly, people want to feel secure in expressing the type of workplace they want to be a part of. Are you reminding them what they’re trying to build and why?

Ultimately, organizations that actively cultivate the purpose driven nature of people’s work get encores every time. Are you asking people to take a job or join a crusade?

3. Become an essentialist. I dated a girl who once complained: “Sometimes I get messages and texts from you, but later see the same thing on your Facebook page. And that kind of makes me feel like I’m just another place to update your status.”

Ouch. No wonder we broke up.

Lesson learned: Go beyond making people feel important, valued and needed. Instead, use every opportunity to make them feel essential. Even the most minor touchpoints. As John Maxwell suggested in Leadership Gold, “Carve the time to create the memory.”

After all, the word “essential” derives from the Latin essentia, which means, “essence.” That’s what being an approachable leader is all about: Honoring, loving and acknowledge the essence of another person. And making sure they don’t walk away feeling devalued. Otherwise they start asking themselves, “Why do I even bother talking to him anyway?” How do people experience themselves in relation to you?

4. Fear is the great distracting force. And it impairs people’s ability to sustain loyalty. According to Dr. Judith Bardwick, author of One Foot Out The Door, “Fearful people can’t perform at their best because fear destroys the wherewithal to do their best work.”

If you want to lower the threat level of your environment, let love lead the way. Let embodied humanity own the day. Take Southwest, Airlines for example. Whereas most companies use employees as objects to leverage – they treat employees as people to love. No wonder they’ve been the most profitable airline since the early seventies.

Interestingly, did you know that their stock symbol was “LUV”?

Sounds like a non-threatening workplace to me. That’s how organizations win: When their leaders take radical responsibility for their attitude. And it all depends on what you see when you see things.

Remember: Fear makes people smaller; love makes people larger. If your employees could give your company a hug, would they run across a field with open arms?

5. Create a spirit of openness. Place need a place where they can really say what’s on their minds. Not just their thoughts – their feelings. That’s the input that matters most. And, when you listen to people, stay influenceable and amenable to potential improvement.

After all, being a leader is less about having the right ideas and more about being the right person. Otherwise you morph into Dilbert’s pointy haired boss, who would thoroughly listen to your input, thank you for your suggestions, and then do exactly what he planned all along. Not exactly approachable behavior.

And that’s the very downfall of countless organizations: Their so-called “culture of openness” is superficially stated, not consistently practiced. If you want to earn a encore from your internal audience, give voice to people’s feelings. Because the last thing your department needs is another staff meeting just so people can (not) say what’s on their minds. What type of communication climate do you create around you?

6. Be a flow enabler. Psychology researcher Mihály Csíkszentmihályi defines flow as “an optimum state of intrinsic motivation where you’re fully immersed, your whole being is involved and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

If you want your people to engage in that fashion, consider these suggestions. First, help them identify their territory. That’s the place, arena or activity where the sustenance comes from the act itself – not from the impression it makes on others.

Next, help them recall their high performance patterns. By revisiting past victories, enable them see their gifts and unique capabilities more clearly. And finally, keep them focused on fulfilling their natural potential. This constantly inspires them with a vision of what they can contribute – not just to the organization, but also to their own lives.

Ultimately, by enabling your people to enter into flow, you help them fall in love with themselves, their process and the work that comes out of it. And that’s what allows them to feel enthusiastic about their work experience. What state of being do you inspire?

REMEMBER: Your audience is waiting to be overwhelmed by your performance.

Be human. Be approachable. Be engaging.

And the crowd won’t just go wild – they’ll ask for an encore.

Are your people raising they lighters or texting their kids?

For the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

If You Don’t Build an Audience Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

You can only talk to yourself for so long.

Eventually, you have to build an audience.

Otherwise, you’re just winking in the dark.

THE COOL PART IS: It’s never been easier to do so.

The technology is available. The access is available. And the energy is available. All you need is a gameplan to leverage your assets to reach the people who matter most.

Whether you sing songs, perform dances, give speeches, publish blogs, pass laws, write books, lead teams or preach sermons on the corner of Grand & Cherokee, here are two lists of strategies to help you build an audience. Thanks to American Express Open Forum for inviting me to contribute:What Smart Companies Know About Customer Engagement

Six Engagement Essentials

REMEMBER: Audiences aren’t accidents.

Whether you’re running for office in your hometown, publishing your thoughts online or performing your art in public, this process requires patience, imagination, creativity, commitment and consistency.

But once you do it, once you find your audience – or, once your audience finds you – I promise: You will never get up out of bed the same way again.

Your tribe is waiting.

Does you brand speak to the brain or the chest?

For the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

6 Ways to Give People a Front Row Seat to Their Own Brilliance

Most people don’t realize how brilliant they are.

This stems from:

A lack of self-belief.
A lack of external affirmation.
A lack of human mirrors in their life.

Or, maybe they’re just too close to themselves to see it.

“Standing on a whale fishing for minnows,” as the Buddhists say.

THE POINT IS: If you want people to fall in love with you – you have to help them fall in love with themselves first.

Thanks for that one, Dixie Dynamite.

One way to do so is by giving them a front row seat to their own brilliance.

Whether you’re a coach, manager, parent, executive – or simply someone who wants to make others feel essential – consider these strategies for ushering your people to the best seat in the house:1. Be their permission slip. Not everybody is comfortable being smart. In fact, many people require permission to bring their brilliance to the table. Without it, their capability may never come across.

The good news is, there’s no formula. There’s no seven-step system. Often times, giving people a front row seat to their own brilliance is a matter of looking them in the eye and saying:

“I believe in you. I believe in your abilities. And I know that you carry something amazing with you that’s yours and yours alone, so, I invite you to bring it stage center and set the world on fire.”

That’s what approachable leaders do: They make it okay for people. Okay to be smart, okay to be awesome and okay to be the most rocking version of themselves, every day. How can you give people permission to share what they’re afraid of revealing?

2. Put something into people. As an author, I’ve learned that a great book doesn’t inform you – it infects you. Interestingly, in the leadership realm, the same principle applies: You have to breathe life into people’s understanding of themselves. Otherwise they may never realize their own potential.

As Benjamin Hoff explained in The Tao of Pooh, “No matter how useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value.” That’s why infection is so critical: You’re putting something into people.

From possibility to vision to enthusiasm to energy, that’s what an approachable leaders remember: It’s not just how people experience you – it’s how they experience themselves in relation to you. How will you send people back with a lighter step?

3. Dig for documentation. Any time one of my colleagues says something even remotely interesting, intelligent or creative, I always offer the same response: “That’s terrific – have you written about that yet?”

Usually their answer is no, which is fine. That’s not the point. The goal of this response is to honor people’s words with an immediate foundation of affirmation, in the hopes that external validation from someone they trust will inspire them to explore their thoughts in greater detail.

What’s more, when you let people know that their words have weight often enough, eventually enough evidence will accumulate to convince them of their brilliance. When people bring you their ideas, are you fundamentally affirmative?

4. Puncture their delusions of inadequacy. Next time someone tries to convince you how much they suck at something, simply ask them, “According to whom?” Odds are, they won’t have a valid source. Probably themselves. And as we all know, nobody is a harsher critic than he person looking back at us in the mirror.

Another bullshit-calling question I find helpful is, “What evidence do you have to support that belief?” It’s a bit annoying, but it does drive home your point.

Or, if either of those suggestions bomb, try this: Help people replay mental reruns of past victories. Mount the evidence heap high enough where they’ll have no choice but to think, “You know what? I’m actually pretty awesome after all.”

Ultimately, by showing faith in others, they believe in themselves, feel more highly of themselves and identify the stories they’re telling to themselves. How acute is your nose for personal falsehood?

5. Roll playback on unintentional music. One of the coolest books I’ve ever read is Unintentional Music, by Lane Arye. His philosophy is that the things we normally consider to be garbage can enrich us. And that when we choose to see disturbing or unwanted materials as potentially meaningful to our work, the final recordings of our life’s music is that much more beautiful.

Next time you’re with someone who does or says something accidentally awesome, refuse to overlook the value of their unintentional notes. Use Phrases That Payses like, “Say that again!” “Wait, what was that?” and “Did you hear what you just said?”

By forcing people to pause, rethink and repeat what just slipped out, they might discover gold. Hell, that’s how most inventions, rock songs and art pieces were created: By accident.

Learn to attend to people’s words with a sense of deep democracy. That there’s always something to treasure. They’ll return the favor by treasuring you. Are you allowing, embracing and using people’s verbal accidents?

6. Memorialize the impact. It’s one thing to tell someone they’re brilliant; it’s another thing to quote that person on your blog, published it for the entire world to see and then email them with the link as an official thank-you for the inspiration.

That’s what I do. Every single day. And it takes less than five minutes. The cool part is: The Internet is forever. Which means that person’s quote isn’t going away. Which means they don’t just have a front row seat to their own brilliance – they have season tickets.

The best part is: You don’t need a blog to do this. You need to listen, you need to remember, you need to publish on a public platform and you need to personally let the person know you’ve done so. People don’t forget. Whose name did you put up in lights last week?

HERE’S THE BIGGER PICTURE: Recognition isn’t just an interactional gift – it’s also an emotional release. And when you give people a front row seat to their own brilliance, a few things happen.

You create a world of delight.
Which increases their level of engagement.
Which reminds people of their fundamental efficacy.

You create a significant emotional event.
Which establishes a memory that sticks in their mind forever.
Which drives people to display the work they’re capable of.

You create a safe haven for people to fall in love with themselves.
Which helps them fall in love with you too.
Which helps people pull out their inner vitality.

Ultimately, giving people a front row seat to their own brilliance requires radical transfer of emphasis.

Because it’s not who you know. It’s not who knows you.

It’s whose life is better because they know you.

Does you brand speak to the brain or the chest?

For the list called, “20 Types of Value You Must Deliver,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

Little Known Ways to Capture Heartshare

As you recall from my recent post about what smart brands know, “heartshare” is defined as follows:

The level of emotional responsiveness your work commands.

And when you capture it, engagement ensues, followership grows and loyalty skyrockets.

Today we’re going to explore another collection of ways to make it work for your message, your brand and your organization:1. Bring the funny. Humor isn’t just the universal language – it’s also the great catchall. Think about it:

Funny arrests attention, anchors emotion and guarantees engagement.
Funny indicates listening, enables relaxing and facilitate approval.
Funny builds trust, earns credibility and fosters influence.

And when you bring the funny – not jokes, but the personal, inherent and inescapable funniness of your humanity – an entire symphony of reverberations echoes through people hearts.

Now, most comedians will tell you that it’s all in the delivery. Which is true. I’d also suggest that it’s all in the approach. Because in my experience, if you want to capture greater heartshare, you have to approach humor holistically, not mechanically.

Contrary to what all those superficial, marginally helpful books on communication, leadership, persuasion and storytelling say, you can’t “use humor” like you use hair gel.

Funny isn’t something you add – it’s something you embody.

And the cool part is: Everybody is funny. Everybody has endless humor in his life. And everybody can excavate the constant and inherent hilariousness of his daily experiences.

Which means: If you aren’t funny, you aren’t listening to your life. If you want to capture people’s hearts, there’s no need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material. The fact that you’re a human being is funny enough.

Remember: The quickest path to someone’s heart is through her funny bone. How quickly do people start laughing when they’re around you?

2. Know the emotion you’re selling. That’s what makes people’s hearts engage: When they have a handle to latch onto. But without that specific emotion, they’ll never gain a deeper understanding of which pervasive, expensive and relevant problem your work solves.

Last month, I spent a few hours during my annual company retreat reflecting on this very issue. I thought long and hard about the emotions connected to my brand as a writer, speaker, mentor and entrepreneur. Here’s what I came up with:

I delete average. I advocate against normality. I take people’s hiding places away from them. I unload the guilt people have been carrying around for years. I kick people’s addiction to permission. I petition people to inject their personality into all they do.

That’s just a small selection. My final list came out to about a hundred different emotions. Pretty cool exercise. Might want to give it a shot.

The point is: If you want to capture heartshare, you have to peel away the superficiality. After all, your mission is more than a statement. How will you bring your cause to life?

3. Respect people’s right to be. Smart leaders know that they can’t stop people from being themselves. Instead, they capture heartshare by applauding the gifts of everyone. If you want to personify that level of approachability in your own work, I challenge you to honestly ask yourself a few inconvenient questions.

Am I confident in enough in who I am to:

Not care if other people aren’t like me?
Not fuss if other people disagree with me?
Not whine if certain people don’t like me?
Not explode if not everybody likes what I like?
Not mind if other people choose differently than me?
Not complain if people don’t do things the way I would do them?

That’s confidence. And insecurity isn’t just counterproductive – it also stains every component of the communication process. And being around people who aren’t okay with themselves isn’t just a pain in the ass – it’s a pain in the chest.

My suggestion is to stand the edge of yourself and salute others without the desire to change, fix or improve them – and without the fear that they are going to change you either. Practice that, and you’ll never fail to give people the dignity of self-definition.

Ignore that, and people’s hearts will have no problem beating for someone else. Are you demanding that the people who love you change their essential nature so you feel more comfortable?

4. Touch the center of why. The petitioning of someone’s why is the ultimate affirmation of the human spirit. Do this, and their hearts won’t be able to say no. Do this, and they’ll never forget you. If you want to use this move to capture greater heartshare, three challenges are required.

First, to touch the center of your own why. And my suggestion is to make a list of a hundred answers to the question, “Why do you do what you do?”

Second, to offer your why as a gift to others. And my suggestion is to physically read every single item on your list to at least five people.

Third, to sit back and listen as other people share their own lists. And my suggestion is that it’s not just about listening – it’s about having the courage to listen and not run away.

The goal of these exercises is to give people the freedom to sing their truth loudly, to push people to be themselves confidently, and to permit people to fall in love with themselves unapologetically.

Remember: A person’s why is the handle of their heart. And if you wrap your fingers around it gently and respectfully, you can take them anywhere. Are you educating people’s heads with how, or capturing people’s hearts with why?

REMEMBER: The emotional responsiveness your work commands is the chief indicator of its relevance, longevity and profitability.

If you want the people who matter most to engage, follow and stay loyal to what you do, stop focusing on marketshare and forget about mindshare.

Capture heartshare.

Does you brand speak to the brain or the chest?

For the list called, “20 Types of Value You Must Deliver,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

What Smart Brands Know About Capturing Heartshare

First, you wanted to grow marketshare.
Then, you wanted to expand mindshare.
Now, you need to capture something bigger.

After all, humans are emotional creatures.

Not integers. Not categories. Not demographics. People.

And if you want to reach the ones who matter most, you need to capture heartshare.

Now, while I’m not claiming squatter’s rights on this particular term, I am going to officially pen the definition of it:

Heartshare is the level of emotional responsiveness your work commands.

And when you capture it: Engagement ensues, followership grows and loyalty skyrockets.

Here’s how to make it work for your message, your brand and your organization:1. Achieve perfect pitch with your own heart first. People don’t need another book about authenticity – they need leaders whose lives are walking bestsellers.

The question is: Whose reading list is your life on? If the answer is, “Just my mum,” than perhaps it’s time to audit the consistency of your life.

Because if you plan to capture greater heartshare, it’s going to be one hell of a slog if you’re not in alignment. That’s what it means to have perfect pitch: When the message you preach is the dominant reality of your life. When the proclamations of your lips are consistent with the demonstrations of your legs. And when there’s no difference between your onstage performance and backstage reality.

Are you smoking what you’re selling?

Commit to closing those chasms, and you’ll build a foundation of consistency that will support your heartshare efforts forever.

Remember: If you want to capture the hearts of the masses, you have to invite them into yours first. But you can’t hit the right notes with your own; you’ll never capture the music of theirs. Is the example of how you live your life a document worth reading?

2. Align with your audience’s fabric. I’ve never had a real job. Started my publishing company the day I graduated college and never looked back. As such, when I give presentations I always make it a point to tell my audiences that I’m not one of them, nor will I pretend to be one of them.

False relatability, in my opinion, is the ultimate crime of public speaking. And when presenters commit it, the collective heart of the audience puts its ear buds in and completely tunes out the message. A helpful formula to avoid this barrier is:

“While I have no idea what it must be like to (x); what I do know is what it feels like to (y).”

If you’re addressing insurance salespeople: “I have no idea what it takes to sell insurance – but I do know what it’s like to sit across the table from someone who doesn’t want to be the first one to trust you.”

If you’re addressing unemployed professionals: “I can’t imagine what it’s like to be unemployed in a down economy – but what I do know is how it feels to have your career at a standstill.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who your audience is or how many people comprise it. When you share your message from their backyard, when you touch them where they live, you become the mirror into which they can see their own heart reflected. What universal human experience will unite you to the people who matter most?

3. Lay bare your belief. If Martin Luther King’s speech were entitled, “I Have a Plan,” nobody would have showed up. Fortunately, he didn’t have a plan – he had a dream. And he spent those famous seventeen minutes painting a stunning picture of what it looked like.

As a result, he captured the heart of an entire generation. All because he laid bare his belief. And if you want to follow his example, try this: Instead of telling them what needs to change – show them what you believe.

Because as much as people hate change, it’s still (awfully) hard to resist a man on a mission. Especially when that mission reflects their worldview.

The cool part is: When you radiate belief outward and give full scope to your colorful imagination, you’ll challenge people to consider their own dream. What’s more, you inspire them unleash the love to make that dream come true.

As long as you believe what you believe because you actually believe – not because someone told you to believe and you mindlessly followed – heartshare will be yours. Are you selling to people who want what you sell or believe what you believe?

4. Breathe out the love people need. I just finished studying a fifty-year old nursing textbook about social interaction and patient care. Fascinating read. Picked up a few key ideas on heartshare.

First, a good nurse treats the whole person and not just the disease entity. Ask yourself: Are you wholehearted in your support of your people?

Second, in small hospitals, it’s easy to preserve friendliness and informality; whereas larger medical institutions make patients feel like a piece of furniture. Ask yourself: What do you see when you see people?

Third: When you first satisfy a request for a concrete item of physical assistance (bedpans, water bottles) the expression of deeper emotional need usually emerges. Ask yourself: Are you big enough to care about the small?

Look: You don’t need to be a medical professional to provide people with the oxygen their heart needs. But you do need to confront the human condition. And you do need to thread that reality through every experience.

Otherwise your interactions with the people who matter most will be as sterile and bland as the surgery suite. Is your organization’s service environment forgettable or stealable?

REMEMBER: The emotional responsiveness your work commands is the chief indicator of its relevance, longevity and profitability.

If you want the people who matter most to engage, follow and stay loyal to what you do, stop focusing on marketshare and forget about mindshare.

Capture heartshare.

Because when it’s your heart, you don’t need to prove to anyone that you can’t live without it.

Does you brand speak to the brain or the chest?

For the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

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