Busy leaders may wonder how we ever got along before Apple.
We have a device in our pocket that replaces the alarm clock, the sticky note, the stopwatch, the CD player, the daily planner… and oh yes, the telephone. It has never been simpler to save time and create accountability.
There is one thing that no app can replace. And it is the cornerstone of your company’s performance.
This last week, I read a post from Gary Vaynerchuck about sales that said something thought-provoking…
A stunning amount of people are not going to be successful in sales, because they’re not willing to work hard enough.
They love automation. They love all these tools, bots, auto-replies and apps and services, and startups and CRMs that they think are going to solve the problem.
Automation is not the answer, sales is about people. You have to build relationships first. You have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and empathize with their position. No app is going to teach you that.
And I thought to myself – a team is any organization’s first, and most important, customers. Their buy-in represents more than one sale, or every one customer relationship. An invested employee starts a fruitful connection with dozens, and maybe even thousands, of clients. Their connection is reflected in every conversation!
Employee engagement is the morale maker, the retention variable, the birthplace of creative solutions, the “secret ingredient” to better results… and in the end, it is the factor that separates flourishing companies from floundering ones.
Something that powerful deserves your full attention!
Thursday I offered a training on 5 Keys to Motivating and Engaging Everyone On Your Team. (I could think of no better way to spend my birthday! Lol.)
All of these keys to engagement revolve around the persons that make up your team. Each of them is a unique individual whose skills, expertise, and personality move your vision. They are as crucial as they are one-of-a-kind.
Key #2 in particular talks about creating a personal experience for each member of your team – not just general team hype. Many leaders say they care about their teams. They offer motivation techniques that measure every member by the same standard.
They are trying to “shortcut” that connection.
Few make the investment of effort to show their teams that they care… but that investment is where engagement begins.
Whenever I share about this, 3 questions always follow…
How can I connect with someone on a personal level?
For some it seems that connecting with others comes as naturally as breathing. But as unique as our teams are, so are we… not everyone is a born communicator.
And that’s okay! If everyone had the same natural strengths, we as a society would accomplish nothing.
But, that does not change the fact that leaders must connect with their people. And the best way to do that is to look for common ground.
How do I find common ground with my employees?
Here’s the wonderful thing about common ground: if you know your own “why,” you are already halfway to finding it.
Everyone loves something. And many of the things that you love, relate to the things that your team members love. Those connections are your common ground.
Yes, I know it is easier said than done. But there are some things you can do to make it simple.
- Be available. Where we spend our time, money, and other resources practically communicates what we value. Prioritizing your team is the first step toward telling them you care.
- Listen. And not just to hear, but to know… not to respond, but to understand. Whether you are the warmest people-person or the most reserved numbers leader, take a genuine interest in them and what they have to say.
- Ask questions. Asking questions not only helps you better know the people moving your mission, but it also shows them that you were listening! It doubly reinforces your investment in them.
What stops leaders from connecting with their people?
Some leaders do not know just how crucial it is to create a personal experience for each member of their team. But some do have this in their awareness and still defer – why?
- Assumption. It can be all too easy to take it for granted that everyone thinks like we do. Or even worse – that someone is different from us, and we already know how they think. We make decisions for them before they even have a chance to be known.
- Arrogance. When we think we are better than others, any opportunity to bond becomes the need to defend. We listen for openings to assert ourselves rather than for connecting insights.
- Indifference. When I first got a “leadership title,” I was so focused on my own input that I did not give my team members enough room in my intention. I did not care what they wanted, what made them tick, unless they could do something for me. I was missing the forest for the trees.
- Control. Many leaders care very much how they are seen by their people. They hide themselves so they can take command of the narrative that their teams believe about them. And to a point, what team members see is important – but what matters is that they see more of you, not less. Team members lean in when they see your genuine interest.
To close, I will ask you to consider the following question…
What is your organization?
So much of positional leadership is focused on the company. We implement plans and make requests of our teams for the good of the company, because the company accomplishes the strategic vision. Right?
But what is the company? It is the sum of its parts… its people.
Your people are your organization… and if you want your organization to excel, your people need you.
Do you connect with them? Do you know them? Do you understand them? And are they responding to that intentional investment?
Today I have shared with you just one of the keys of engagement I talked about on Thursday. If you are looking for a way to draw in your most valuable asset, you will find all 5 keys at this link >> https://www.becomeyourbestversion.com/5keys-april22
That’s all for now.
Until next time,