My favorite part of the Leading With Compassion webinar I recently attended was when Joey Hubbard was evangelizing the “L.Q.” or “Love Quotient.” We’ve all been exposed to “E.Q.” (emotional intelligence) and how it can serve us both in the workplace and personally, but L.Q. is a new term and concept that really resonated with me! Learning that the highest performing teams were also high on their L.Q. makes perfect sense. When people feel loved, they are naturally more connected. I think in business we shy away from the word “love” because it feels too personal. Everyone has different interpretations of what it means. Simply put, it’s showing you care by having genuine concern for the things that others care about.

One of the Microsteps I use to better connect with my colleagues is to avoid asking “How are you?” When I get on a call with an individual that I’m collaborating with, I make it a point to ask about something specific that has been brought up during conversations with them in the past. I try to avoid the general “how are you” and go a little bit deeper. An example would be if I know it was someone’s birthday, they recently went on vacation, etc. It’s typically something very specific to the person I’m talking to but if I need to go general, a good one is, “What’s something you’ve done to take care of yourself today?” It’s a nice way to set the tone for the conversation and it shows that I care.

Another Microstep I use is to act on inspired thoughts. If someone pops up in my mind (maybe a previous or current co-worker) I will shoot them a quick Slack or text message: “Hey! You popped up in my mind and I wanted to reach out and say hello and let you know I was thinking about you!” It takes less than 30 seconds to do that and it means a lot to the person receiving it. Typically the response I get is “WOW!! I was JUST thinking about you!!” This reminds me how powerful our thoughts are and how we are all connected.  

Connecting with others is one of my strengths, so evolving the generic “how are you” question was really an evolution of wanting to go a little deeper with people I’m working with. A lot of the time I’m not “good.” Things are crazy busy and the types of transformations our business is going through are really tough, so I want to cut through the b.s. and be genuine with people. I’m not going to go through the motions of asking how people are just to get what I need from them for that task. If I really care, I will know who they are and what matters to them.  

Historically there’s been a stigma around “oversharing” at work, so it’s exciting to see that Verizon and the rest of the world seem to be much more open to adopting the type of culture where we are encouraged to build meaningful connections. There’s a lot of evidence that supports why it’s so important to build these relationships at work and how much more productivity is gained. It doesn’t change the fact that it still takes guts to open up and put yourself out there, but what’s there to lose?

As it relates to work, compassion means understanding what’s important to others, knowing what they need to get their job done, and doing what I can to support them. If I’m looking for an approval from someone for a contract that needs to go out, I may start off the email with “This is NOT urgent.” You’d be surprised how much people appreciate this in a world where most requests come through as urgent or time sensitive. This really helps people with prioritizing their work.  

By practicing my personal and professional motto, #TAG (transparency, accountability, gratitude), I’ve also been able to build my most collaborative working relationships. These three values are what help me build trust quickly, which is the foundation of all good relationships. I’ve taken my favorite advice for reducing stress from the great words of Abraham Hicks, “You can’t get it wrong because you never get it done.” My motto for years has been #GSD (get sh*t done) and it’s served me well, but I’ve come to realize that most of the stress I’ve embraced has been because I was worried about messing up or not finishing something, which is why I love the quote: Learning and growing is a process.


  • Maria Chavez

    Manager, Affiliate and Contract Operations

    Verizon Business Group

    Maria has served Verizon for 22 years and has a diverse background with a heavy focus on the Internet things, Channel partnerships, and intercompany contracting. When she's not working she enjoys practicing different types of yoga and traveling to tropical destinations with her fiancee and 14 year old son.