Monday I began a series on leadership and ways to connect with those we lead. Tuesday I continued it with Part 2 and I’m continuing with those thoughts today with three more ways we can do that.
7) Process relationship before task. In every meeting that I personally lead I make this a priority. Before we get down to business we have some discussion about our lives and how things are going. Many times people don’t hear a word you say because you have no idea what other things are going on in their lives. Sometimes people come into our meetings burdened down about things like reports they’ve received from their doctor, a wayward child, a layoff they experienced that week. At other times they may be excited to give a praise report about something. Meetings go much better when they’ve had a chance to share those things first, with others who care. And I shouldn’t have to say this but for some who may need it, I’ll just say – YOU NEED TO CARE! Once they share these things, you need to care. If you don’t care, do the world a favor please, and resign. Let somebody take your place who actually cares about people.
8) Value their ideas. As a leader my role is not just to share “my project” and then send everyone running to accomplish it. That’s no fun! (Well it might be fun for me, but it’s no fun for anyone else on the team and gives them little motivation to stay!) Some of you reading this are just now having the light go on about why some people have resigned from your team. The goal is to have the team develop the project with me as the facilitator and then send us running as a team to achieve it. People don’t get excited about working hard toward something they never had a part in developing. Shared ownership is so important.
9) Have fun!!! Our team gets together not just to do business but to eat...and eat, and eat, and eat. ::smile:: We’ve been found doing everything together from the Electric Slide to watching movies or just hanging out with a cup of coffee and talking about stuff on our minds. If something isn’t fun at least part of the time, who wants to be a part of it?
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on connecting as a leader.