Why It’s Important To Make A Connection
Like most things that involve success, being an effective leader takes time. It takes consistency, hard work, and lots of patience to be the best leader. Even when you think you’ve reached your leadership peak, there’s always room for improvement. Good leaders challenge themselves to be great by constantly growing and evolving.
As leaders evolve, they often find themselves in a position where they’ve inadvertently created a gap between themselves and their team. They feel out of touch and are unsure how to re-engage. Here are 6 simple ways to connect with your team to help keep a connection intact.
Long gone are the days of being an untouchable leader. Make yourself accessible by having an open door policy or take the time to walk around the office. Be welcoming if a team member approaches you. Teams respond better to leaders who are engaged and accessible.
While walking around the office or through your company’s hallways, say hello. Make eye contact and smile. This simple gesture shows your team that you care.
How are you?
Ask your team how they’re doing. This is an open and vague question on purpose so your team members can respond any way they’d like. Many times asking team members this question will uncover challenges you weren’t aware of. This type of feedback is precious and helps you make more well-informed decisions as a leader.
Anything I can help with?
This is a great question to ask if a team member is struggling or if they’re complaining. It gives them an opportunity to ask for your help when they might not have otherwise. It also encourages conversations that focus on a solution rather than the issue. Help your team work through challenges if the time is right.
Take time to actively listen. Often times a team member will approach you with an issue that doesn’t require your feedback. It might be an opportunity to vent. By taking the time to listen, you can clearly understand the root cause and only provide input if appropriate.
Say Thank You
When’s the last time you thanked your team? Companies are pushing their employees to do more and more. Team members appreciate when you tell them they’ve done a great job, but taking the time to thank them helps strengthen a team’s bond. If you haven’t thanked your team in a while, take the time to do that today.
The benefit of connecting with your team as a leader means that they’ll be more engaged. You’ll have an easier time being upfront and open with them in your ongoing communication and they’ll want to invest in you just like you’ve invested in them.
What type of leadership development practices do you do to connect with your team?
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