Personal Connections: How Leaders Sustain a Culture of “We”

We are in the midst of great social, economic, scientific and political change. Intelligent approaches count more than ever if we’re to build sustainable results in rapidly changing, complex markets. Successful leaders must utilize strong people skills to foster teamwork and unity. Leaders who are passionate about their people can sustain a culture of “we”.

I see unity blossom when employees know their leader cares about them and can relate to their situations. So connect with and engage your people. Talk with them transparently, and ask questions. Make every effort to understand what they care about, what concerns them and where they want to go.

Use your active listening skills to hear and fully comprehend what people have to say. Deep listening, defined by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia in Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family (Portfolio, 2015), involves sharing and understanding the feelings behind people’s words. Know what’s going on inside people’s heads, and show respect for who they are. Employees feel fulfilled when they know they matter and are being heard.

Listening often requires follow-up. Words are great, but action is even better. Show people you value them by addressing their difficulties and concerns, whenever possible. Provide resources to see difficulties through to resolution.

Celebrate with team members who overcome challenges or perform commendably. This personal touch shows you care. Chapman and Sisodia believe caring is absent in many leaders; old-school managers often consider it a weakness. But employees will reject unnecessary toughness, firmness and control. Caring puts you on the path to unity and prosperity.

A unified, engaged, motivated and inspired workforce is the greatest weapon any leader can have. There’s nothing a unified team cannot do.

What do you think? How do you make personal connections with your employees? What impact does it have? You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here, or on LinkedIn.

 

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