You got a promotion! Who will you call to thank? You can probably recall the name of the teacher who inspired you in the 5th grade, but can you remember the name of the person who helped you achieve your professional success? For me, one particular person comes to mind.
While there are many ways leaders can inspire employees, the end result is the same: inspired employees desire to work harder, go the extra mile, and eventually taste success!
Employees want to be inspired and motivated by their leaders. But inspiration can only take place when a genuine emotional connection is made. These types of relationships can have profound implications.
Maybe you are thinking to yourself, “I’ve heard this all of this before”, but have you experienced it on a personal level?
In our fast-paced world, it’s so easy to believe connecting with people takes too much time – especially with all of the demands that fall into leadership roles.
Leaders can easily slip into what I refer to as “me traps”.
- They rely too much on their position of authority.
- They think they can “do it all”.
- They surround themselves with “order takers”. They worry about who could take their job.
- They spend very little time outside of their office. When they do, it is usually only with people who share their same level of authority.
As a leader, can you relate? Did a particular individual come to mind reading these?
Even if this reminds you of yourself, you have time to change.
Here are 4 ways to get your name on the list.
1. Be Approachable. Leave your office door open. Employees will be more willing to walk into your office if they don’t think they will be disturbing you. When you are working outside of the office, make an effort to reach out to employees, especially those with whom you have the least amount of contact. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Engage them. Prove that you are a “real person” just like them.
2. Ask More Questions. Get to Know Them. Once you’ve opened your door and employees are popping in, take time away from the task at hand to get to know them. Encourage them to share concerns and opinions to help you find interests and ideals you might have in common. This will also help you understand their passions, their goals, and their dreams. Then you can connect them to the vision of the team and the organization.
3. Share Your Victories. Celebrate your accomplishments! Camaraderie is built in sharing successes. Always make sure to give credit where credit is deserved.
4. Share Your Defeats. We all experience failures along the way, but we must never give up on our dreams. Regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable you might be, this is your opportunity to transition the communication to a two-way conversation. Your employees will feel deeper loyalty if they feel they are trusted with something important. ‘My leader made a mistake? My leader failed at _____?’ Be willing to share something you are struggling with, or an issue that you could use some assistance with. Your employees just might present a solution you hadn’t considered.
As you foster this new trust and connection between you and your employees, you will find they will get on board with new initiatives faster, work longer and harder, and overall be excited to work for you and your company. They will remain loyal to you because you showed them there was more to your relationship than the job.
You could even get your name on the list for a call when they realize their dreams of professional success.
Who wouldn’t want that?
VP Training & Development
Ellis Partners in Management Solutions