A few weeks ago at the CXps 2019 conference in Durham, North Carolina, James Kane (always a crowd pleaser) spoke about the secrets to building relationships that will last. In his program, he previewed a simple framework for understanding loyalty that combines the latest research in neurology, anthropology and behavioral psychology with 100,000 years of human evolution.
Attendees received a limited-edition preview copy of the yet-to-be-released book On the Origin of Loyalty: Why Humans Naturally Select Relationships,and it’s the first of my “summer reading.”
In a complex world, Kane’s simplistic approach really resonated with me. His secrets to greater loyalty and stronger relationships result from the premise that the fundamental laws of nature reward connection. He points out that when two or more particles team up, they are stronger, more capable and more viable together. He says, “Loyalty is simply the human iteration of a fundamental advantage adapted by nature. It is a strategy, a wildly successful one that is ingrained into how we each operate, think and live. When two or more elements merge and form lasting, cooperative bonds, they compete more effectively than those who don’t.”
He points out the underlying drivers of all organisms are surviving, optimizing and flourishing. As humans strive to survive, optimize and flourish, we look for people who make our lives safer, easier and better. The clients we interview are all looking for the same things.
Kane suggests that in approaching life and business, we should ask these questions every day of the people that matter most—your clients and colleagues:
Do I make your life safer? Fundamentally, do I trust you? People evaluate trust by assessing alignment in the four building blocks of trust:
- Character – Do we share similar values and guiding principles?
- Competency – Do you have the skills, knowledge and experience to keep me protected?
- Consistency – Are you going to perform to my standards on every single matter?
- Capacity – Can you support my current and future needs?
Do I make your life easier? Do you know and understand me and my business well enough to offer optimal advice and a helping hand?
- Do you know what is important to me?
- Do you understand my desires, concerns, frustrations, ambitions, etc.?
- Can you anticipate my future needs?
- Will you keep me aware of what is going and involve me in the process and decision making?
Do I make your life better? Will you offer me a sense of purpose and belonging?
- Will you provide clarity, transparency and certainty?
- Are you engaging and inclusive?
- Are you committed and dedicated to my purpose?
- Do I enjoy spending time with you?