I’ll never forget the first day I started at the company where I met my
wife. I was heading into the training room and there stood a man at the
door, with a handshake and a smile, greeting everyone as we walked in.
He was the training manager.
His demeanor was pleasant, his tone was uplifting, and, in all honesty, I
felt as if I was a child heading to see Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.
There was something about his energy. He held a brief conversation with
each of us, asking us questions about what we wanted, why we were here,
and then informing us why the company chose us.
All of a sudden, I had a huge smile on my face. Instantly, I felt
welcomed and I knew that he had that special something. 13 years later,
I’ll always remember his name, and I’ll always remember how much of an
impact it made on me.
Know Your People
Understanding who we work with is paramount to anyone’s leadership
success. What makes them tick? What makes them get up in the morning?
How is their family? What is important to them? These are questions that
can be beneficial to any manager in knowing who you lead.
Notice we started with asking questions. So many people think they know
someone just because there is dialogue. Unfortunately, most of that
dialogue is a one-way street. Stop giving information about yourself and
start getting information from others.
Take Interest In Their Needs
Once you find out what their needs are, take an interest in the needs.
Showing interest means setting aside time to have a personal
conversation with them.
Bring them to your desk and see how they are doing. Find out what’s
happening in their lives. How does it affect their production at work?
Let them know that when they visit your desk, it’s not a negative thing.
Listen To Their Wants And Desires
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use your ears, not just to
listen, but to actively listen. If someone you lead tells you their
goals and desires in the company, don’t forget it.
Showing them that you know, and remember, what they want will go a long
ways in being able to lead them. Speak into that desire. They will be
grateful you did.
Be Their Preeminent Point Of Contact
Surpass their wildest expectations. When someone you lead can come to
you and know that you will go to bat for them, it is priceless. Be
reliable. Be the person you would want leading you.
All too often, we see management drop the ball and totally forget
concerns or ideas that were brought to them by the people they lead.
Show empathy and try to see the world through their eyes. It will create
defining moments in your leadership.
Create Influence Through Emotional Connection
You can only create influence when you have a connection. Having a
connection only comes when you have a reciprocal relationship. You know
that you have a reciprocal relationship when you can ask a person you
lead to do something for you, and there is no challenge.
Even the dirty stuff. But it’s only because you have done for them. This is called “The Benjamin Franklin Effect”.
Treat Them As Individuals
We all want to be treated as individuals. So many times, in the
workplace, people are grouped together and are spoken to as if they were
all only one person. Your team is made up of individuals and they all
have different goals and desires.
Everyone wants to be rewarded. Don’t just reward the team, as a whole.
Reward individuals privately and publicly, give individuals different
responsibilities that go above and beyond their job description.
Encourage your team to come up with new ideas and insights. Let them be problem solvers.
Don’t have a scarcity mindset about leading people. Empower them and
teach them what you know. A lot of managers feel that if they teach the
people they lead what they know, they could be out of a job. Turn it
around. Have an abundance mentality.
More than likely, if you taught every one you lead what you know, your
production will soar and you will have upper management wanting to give
you a promotion.
Creating an environment of influence is not based on titles. It is based
on relationship. The training manager I spoke of earlier showed, within
30 minutes, that he had a different agenda. His agenda was to make us
feel like we belonged, like the company needed us, and that we had
something unique that added value.
It is not enough to be a manager. That is a role. Roles don’t create leaders…