It’s guest post Monday. This post is written by Razwana Wahid who is the founder of Your Work Is Your Life, a service dedicated to making your writing work better – to sell, to convert, to connect. You can connect and follower here on Twitter. If you would like to be featured on this blog click here.
Today, you must answer the following question.
Which one of these people do you prefer?
Person A – He always looks happy, and not only remembers your name, but also the conversation you had last.
Person B – is an efficiency machine and when he walks into the office, he says hello to only a select few. Usually not you.
Which did you select?
Now imagine if person B was the leader of your team, or the CEO of your business. Is his behaviour a good thing, or will it kill any motivation you have to work?
When you’re leading a team of human beings, what you accomplish as an individual is not important – it’s how you make them feel.
Do you know what makes them tick? Do you know their values? What motivates them? Do you know the pressures they face in their personal life? Do you genuinely care?
This may all seem a little touchy-feely, but ask any one member of your team and they will attest that they would rather you remember the last conversation you had, what they told you they like to do on the weekend, or notice when they are feeling low.
Commending them on the accuracy of their reports comes in last.
I’m not saying being the ‘nice guy’ is the fast lane to great leadership – there is no reward for a dysfunctional team.
But it will take you from being the manager of the team who merely exists as a figurehead, to the one everyone looks up to and someone with total rockstar status.
Here are some tips:
When you’re in a meeting. When you’re talking to an individual or a group. When you’re passing someone in the corridor. Actually be there, and nowhere else.
What does this mean? It means being focused on that moment only – not just in your mind, but in your physical appearance.
– Turn your phone to silent mode.
– If it flashes with messages, turn it over. Or better still, remove it from sight.
– Make eye contact with others
You may think you can multitask by responding to emails and listening to the person in the room. Here’s some news – you can’t. Not without appearing rude and arrogant.
And that’s the key. What do others see when they look at you?
You may think you’re being efficient by ‘having a conversation’ whilst simultaneously answering messages. But when others look at you, they see someone who doesn’t think they’re important enough to be focused on.
So be there.
Change your perspective
You are a leader. It does not only mean you lead by example. That’s a given.
But you have more responsibility on your almighty shoulders.
It is your responsibility to see things from the perspective of your colleagues.
How is what you are doing or saying making them feel?
How do they feel when you speak? When you walk to and from meetings? When you are leading a discussion?
When you walk into the office, acknowledge people. No matter what job they do for the business. People like being noticed.
When you speak, smile and make eye contact with each person. People like feeling important.
When your team does a great job, use an example of how each one of them contributed. People like feeling valued.
Do you see the pattern?
When you talk to your team, make it your job to find out what motivates them.
That doesn’t mean asking them ‘hey, what motivates you?’ Who wants to answer THAT question?
Instead, ask them questions like:
– During x project, you did y and z really well. What contributed to that?
– I see you and [insert colleague’s name] have a great working relationship – what’s the reason for that?
– You get tasks A and B done really quickly. Why do you think that is?
And observe them over time. See what works and what doesn’t.
Ask them what they love about their job. What they would want more of. And then work out a way, with them, to give them what they want.
Your team will think you rock, they will give more of themselves to the business, and all will be well in the world.
Question: What behaviours do you think make a great leader?