Since my efforts to erase this Valentine’s Day have essentially fallen on deaf ears; I am trying a different approach and encouraging more business people to share some LOVE.

I am not referring to romantic love; or to the practice of distributing cards, sweets, jewelry, extravagant dinners, typically associated with this ‘little h’ holiday. I am referring to the feeling of warm and personal attachment or affectionate concern for the well-being of other humans.

Isn’t this precisely the feeling we should have for the people we choose to serve, the people who interact with our customers, and otherwise make our business grow? When we look at it; our businesses would likely not exist if we didn’t have any customers, or suppliers. We certainly owe a lot to all those who help us do what it is that we love to do.

Here are four simple ways we can share a little LOVE in and around your business.

One of the best ways to show appreciation to another human is to listen to them. We have 2 ears and one mouth, some say that we should follow the anatomical suggestion and listen twice as much as we talk. Stephen Covey suggested we develop the excellent habit he called, ‘Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood’. [click here if you need a new copy]

As we do live in a digital age; be sure to include the use of social media, review sites, email, surveys, and other technologies that can help us more accurately listen to a much wider audience.

In order to truly listen, and understand someone else; we must first suspend our own agendas, judgments, criticisms; and open our mind to different possibilities, different situations, and vastly different experiences.

With a closed mind, we can assume right and wrong with absolute certainty. But an open mind makes room for interpretation, and can assume that people are doing the best they know how.

Each of us has a unique blend of strengths and experiences that are very valuable. And when we celebrate the contributions of another, we build stronger teams and stronger individuals – in our businesses, sports, social, and home environments.

Everyone likes to receive sincere compliments (especially when given appropriately). From a financial standpoint, compliments are so amazing because they boost morale, productivity and profitability, but don’t cost a single thing.

Humans are not just ‘thinking machines’. We have incredible powers of creativity, dedication, and resourcefulness that can benefit all types of business relationships. But our ability to respond to situations is often limited by a lack of information or adherence to standard protocol.

Empowering people isn’t just a switch you can flip; it needs to be supported, encouraged, given guidelines, trained, and to ultimately become the prevailing culture of your organization.

Start today, when the momentum is strong; but make it a point to Listen with an Open mind, Value what people can do, and Empower them to respond on a daily basis.

We don’t need a holiday to share some LOVE!