Love Island might not seem like the place to boost your business acumen or career prospects, but it turns out the reality series has some valuable lessons to impart, beyond poolside dating. Yes, really…
Some Love Islanders might have difficulty differentiating between continents, countries, counties and cities, and their understanding of Brexit is questionable. However, when it comes to making good impressions quickly, building relationships under time pressure, and forming lasting allegiances, these bikini and board short-clad 20-somethings are ahead of the game.
The value of trust in business cannot be underestimated. Whether it’s between clients, customers or colleagues, it’s important to be able to depend on the other party to make progress.
As a manager or colleague, you need to be able to trust others to act on your behalf. In customer service or sales, you need to build credibility to assure people that you are genuinely acting in their best interests.
Unfortunately, our ability to develop trust in business is often dictated by a deadline. You need to be able to act fast to create a good relationship, which “inevitably” leads us back to Love Island.
For those who have resisted the show’s appeal or have no access to any form of media whatsoever: the premise is a group of competitors living under constant video surveillance in a villa in Mallorca must “couple up” and survive eliminations to be the remaining pair, all while wearing very little and maintaining perfect tans.
The islanders need to tread a fine line between making friends and serving their own interests, as well as being aware of how they come across to the public. So, here are a Love Island few observations that also have a place in the business world, no bikinis or board shorts required.
Authenticity is key. Contestants who have obvious agendas, or pretend to be something they’re not, are usually caught out and don’t survive the elimination rounds. Authenticity most certainly also applies in business and more traditional careers, where it’s crucial to operate transparently and deliver on promises if you are to retain relationships with suppliers, clients, customers and colleagues.
Being kind might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how often people don’t put it into practice. Kindness doesn’t mean always putting everyone else before yourself, but it should mean considering how your actions will affect others, whether you’re in a poolside dating war, running a business or developing your career.
Humour and the ability to not take yourself too seriously is a winning strategy for building relationships, with the added bonus of helping you more easily shake off inevitable hurdles, failures and periods of doubt.
Advice is big on Love Island, whether it’s from the guy getting all the girls to the doctor with no game, or from the ladies who know a player when they see one and give their mate a heads up. It may not always be welcome or requested, but in business as in love, accepting the advice of someone more experienced or more skilled in a particular area can save you time, help you avoid pitfalls and build your own knowledge. So, make like our wise Love Islanders, and cultivate some strategic partnerships to help give your business or career a boost.
Treading carefully is something usually learned from experience, so use the islanders’ mishaps to help you avoid making the same mistakes. Be willing to give people a go, but also be prepared for the times you come across those who are less than honourable.