People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Our intrinsic human needs call for connection and significance. When those needs are not met, you cannot call people to action, until you have given them emotion. This doesn’t mean you have to take every employee to dinner and learn their life history. Connection and trust are built in small moments over time. Individually any one of them is insignificant. Put together they have the power to change the entire culture of a team or organization.
Adapt to others, focus on them – Live a life that creates space for other people. When you begin to focus on other people you will gain clarity to meet them where they are. This is a valuable asset as a leader. Utilize what people excel at, rather than working to repair their deficits and shortcomings.
Become interested, instead of interesting- Ask more questions. Listen more than you speak. Traditional leadership roles where leaders speak and everyone follows, are antiquated and kill curiosity. Leaders still play a role in influence, the question is what sort of influence will you have? Become someone who asks instead of tells. Creating a culture of partnership rather than hierarchy will foster connection, innovation, and growth.
Believe in them because they have value- All people have their strengths and weaknesses, including the best leaders. Seeing value, to add value to other people is something you can’t hide. It will soon become the culture of your team and ideally, lead to people empowering others through seeing the value in each other.
See what they can’t see in themselves- Think back to a time someone believed in you. Perhaps the four most powerful words we can give to a person in our organization or team are, “I believe in you.” Not only does it give people connection, but you will also find they will begin to do more than is asked of them. A word of caution, do not say these words if you don’t mean them. We are hard-wired to sniff out liars.
Become the Initiator- Don’t wait for people to come to you, so often simple misunderstandings become huge energy blocks that can harbor resentment and frustration. Being a leader means not being afraid to have a hard conversation. You can set clear boundaries in any situation while maintaining empathy.
Megan (Keach) Aderouane.
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