I recently had the opportunity to speak to a number of executive groups in London and Belfast. Given that most of my consulting and speaking is in North America, I was interested in learning what cultural differences there might be regarding how they engage people at work.
Instead, what stood out was strikingly similar. Namely, that when people feel they are respected, trusted and cared about as individuals, they are more connected to their coworkers, their managers and their work. As a result, they give discretionary effort. And they perform better.
My experience is this is equally true of desert guides in Jordan, hotel staff in Peru, mountain porters in Pakistan, and personal drivers in Zimbabwe. This may be as close as it comes to a universal truth in business:
Connect with the heart, and the head will follow.