Updated: Aug 14, 2020
The inability to connect with people is a fatal leadership flaw. Effective leaders realize that healthy communication requires the “art of connection.”
Great speaking, writing, and eloquence has its place, however what employees want more from their leader is a “connection.” Abandon some of those tactics, and begin talking to people. Open up. Here’s a start:
“Good Morning “Jane,” or “Will.” Get to know your employees’ names. Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”
Say “Thank you,” publicly and privately
Include them in decisions, “Tell what you think about this”
Give clear directions, “Here’s what you can expect from me”
Invite their feedback, “If I am not meting your need, or being inconsistent, please let me know”
If you want to connect with people, you’ll have to be willing to share something about yourself
Connecting with people on a personal level, makes them feel that you care. Make people comfortable in your presence. Let your leadership guard down, and be friendly. Professionalism doesn’t fly out the window if you are nice. Workload, and level of busyness are not good reasons to omit this vital leadership behavior. Be intentional about connecting with people. And be sincere!
If you feel that spontaneity in talking is not your strong suit, begin working now to develop this skill. Many resources are available. Practice, with family, friends, the pet. etc. You get it. Learn to connect with people, by talking, listening, exploring.