There is a Sioux Indian saying that the longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart. Must be true because historically according to the book of useless information, in the last 3 500 years there have only been 230 years of peace – time set aside for reloading?

Some refer to this as the 3 H recipe for meaningful relationships – the Head, the Heart and the Hands. The degrading practice of seeing people as machines and valuing them only for their hands (doing) will cultivate compliance driven behaviour. Employees will detach themselves from what they do, worse still is that they will do as little as possible although just enough to prevent their dismissal.

Meaning, commitment and happiness are foreign words to the disengaged. Gratitude (and you know how important this is) will not be foremost in their minds.

When you touch the heart people will feel it and apply discretionary effort to their work. And then great things can happen such as buy-in and commitment which will trigger the free flow of ideas and accountability – priceless qualities. Should your culture allow for autonomy, meaning and purpose you won’t hold them back from being their best.

Sustainable behaviour is not attained through hiking salaries. It is earned through genuine efforts to connect with people’s hearts. Relationships cannot be bought – they need to be developed over time, one by one, within an environment in which people feel valued and appreciated.

Go out and apply the 3 H formula with others and smile as they come alive and the ‘magic’ unfolds before your eyes. Listen to what is being said in the corridors – who would ever have believed it … that’s practically impossible … well I never … isn’t this so amazing!

I am the author of Leading Self and Others (how to make a difference where you are with what you’ve got) and Teaming with ideas (life lessons on teams – from business, sport and parkrun). You can contact me here.