Managing people isn’t the same as leading them. Delegating tasks, monitoring outputs, and giving direction might be required in both instances, but leaders often go further. They may coach their employees to reach greater levels of success, help them steer their career in the desired direction, or support them directly during challenging times.
While all of those concepts seem different, they are based on the same idea. Truly successful leaders connect with those around them. They get to know their employees as individuals and adjust their management approach based on each worker’s needs. They understand what is happening in their team’s lives, including details about their experience inside and out of the workplace.
Unless you can connect with those who work with or for you, you might not be the leader you hoped to become. Luckily, forging these connections isn’t as challenging as it may seem on the surface. If you are ready to begin, here are some tips to help you manage the process.
Have a Curious Nature
If you allow your curiosity to come to the surface, you may find opportunities to connect with your team. Curious individuals aren’t afraid to ask questions, as they want to know more about the topic being discussed.
When you speak with an employee, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they are experiencing a problem, give them a chance to elaborate or describe it in greater detail. If they mention a moment from their personal life in passing – like a party they hosted over the weekend – ask questions to find out more about the event or occasion.
While you don’t want to pry into inappropriate territory, learning to embrace curiosity to keep conversations going can help you forge stronger connections.
Be Willing to Share
Connecting with your team involves more than learning about them; you also have to share information about yourself. If you consistently avoid discussions that give your employees a chance to find out more about you, they may struggle to view you as a whole person. Similarly, if you consistently hide your workplace struggles, they may assume you don’t know what it’s like to face challenges similar to their own.
While you don’t need to divulge a ton of personal details, giving your staff insights into your likes, dislikes, hobbies and family make you more relatable. Additionally, by letting them know when you are facing challenges, they can respond with compassion, leading to a deeper connection. In some cases, they may even offer to help, something else that can lead to stronger bonds.
Essentially, by removing some of the perceived distance between you and your team, you can have more meaningful working relationships. And, with a little time, this can make you a more successful leader.
If you’d like to know more, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our leadership expertise can benefit you.