Today’s business landscape is tricky. Anyone who has been in business for 10 years or more, has been programmed to keep an arm’s distance, have cordial leadership, and provide direction to the team.
We need to update ourselves because it’s not working anymore. Today’s workplace demands transparent, emotionally intelligent leadership. We have to get real, make it personal, and be transparent with our team. And frankly, I don’t think we know how to do this very well.
We know that engagement leads to more discretionary activity by our team. We are doing what we can to create engagement. And we are trying the latest tricks, fads and team building exercises. Maybe we are redoing our cubicles or revamping our team activities.
All of these can be good things.
None of these things replace a deeply connected personal relationship with you, the leader. It is your connection with your team that creates importance and urgency. Knowing that you walk a fine line between keeping certain company information private and being transparent to connect with your team, what can you do? It’s a deceptively simple answer.
Be present, here and now, nowhere else. Your team wants your full attention when you are with them. So put down the cell phone, the iPad, the PowerPoint slides, and get real with your team.
One boss I had picked up the phone to text every time I wanted to talk with her. Or to check if she had been texted. It left me feeling like chopped liver. And I found myself becoming more disengaged to the outcomes that she wanted, unless they served me.
And I’ve watched a few of my clients – incredibly grounded, warm hearted, relationship driven leaders – who do just the opposite. They connect with their teams. They turn off their cell phones. They schedule their calendars full of one-on-one appointments with their team. They are genuinely interested in what makes each individual on the team tick.
And they reap the rewards.
Their teams are loyal, using tons of discretionary effort, feel fully invested with both time and training, and going the extra mile to create the results.
That’s a success story for me.
What is one thing you can do today to create a meaningful and deeper relationship with someone on your team?
OK, do it!
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