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The "Micro"

It’s my 30th wedding anniversary today 💕 , and in honor of my awesome hubby Don Haugh, I am going to let you in on a little secret to relationship building that he introduced me to…it’s called “the micro”…..


In my younger years, I naively thought grand gestures, like the ones you see in classic rom-coms, were really important. "Big" events are exciting and memorable....but sadly, they are fleeting and do little to sustain long term relationships. So as I look back and reminisce, I realized it’s been the countless “micro” events that have truly nurtured us through the many twists and turns of married life.


My husband invited me on our first “micro-date” about 15 years ago, at a time when we could seldom get a word in without an interruption from our three lively kids and an array of adorable, but needy, furry friends. And then one day, we realized that they were at an age where we could sneak away for short sprints….so we started taking speedy runs to Home Depot, and quick trips to the neighborhood grocery for a gallon of milk, TOGETHER. Just to catch up.


Initially objected….shouldn’t we divide and conquer? As a “productivity queen”and task master, I argued it was not the “best” use of our time... But my hubby insisted. Because he’s the FUN one. And here is what we learned over years of micro-dating.


  • The very best micros are completely uninterrupted (that’s code for put those darn phones AWAY!!).

  • Micros are intentional, but not fancy.

  • They’re “come as you are, now”. (Bad hair day? That's what baseball caps are made for!)

  • They’re about placing a priority on connecting, and can turn the mundane into something fun and special, if you are willing!

  • And best of all, micros are budget friendly……that is unless you are feeling a bit “wild and crazy” and meander over to Starbucks for a to-go latte before you head back to the frenetic pace of life at home.


Years later, our kids are now all in college, and while we have more time and money these days to go on “macro-dates”, we still regularly “micro”, because life is busy, and most of all, because Don has the unique ability to make a trip to Ace Hardware FUN!


Building relationships and engaging team members is really no different. The grand gestures that require a massive budget and an army of organizers may be fun and exciting, but they’re not what means the most to your team members. What’s irreplaceable is the five minutes you take at the beginning of your team meeting to catch up on highs and lows…..it’s the genuine compassion that you demonstrate when life gets hard for a colleague, it’s the quick check-ins that allow you to ask how ARE you, the walks you take together around the building to blow off steam, or cracking up together over a meme that perfectly captures a mutually experienced work gaffe.


At home, or at work…..it's the intentional micro-acts that truly matter the most in building meaningful, trusted relationships. In honor of our 30 years, please share....who will you micro with this week?


Written by Michele Haugh, Co-Founder of EarlyHR and EarlyEngage, 11-28-22


Photograph- "Then; 11-28-1992" and "Now; 11-12-22" on a macro


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