Power of Connection
Jun 08, 2015
by Amber Todd. BVN Strategic Partner & Life Coach
Business Vision Network, LLC
The position of leadership can often be lonely, yet the most effective leaders share the ability to connect with individuals at every level of the organization. Connecting with those you lead may require an investment of time, energy and emotion but the return is exponential. Getting to know your team on a personal level, with appropriate boundaries, builds bridges of trust and fuels synergy amongst the team. Vulnerability and transparency on behalf of the leader sets a tone in the organization that it is a safe place to take risks and grow. Being approachable promotes a healthy organizational culture of communication.
Once relationships and trust are established, individuals in the organization are able to express questions and concerns without fear. The experience and insight of each employee has the opportunity to provide invaluable feedback regarding the effectiveness of the organization. As leaders, we may have a limited perspective, which is why it is important to see through the eyes of those we lead. Feedback becomes most effective when it is holistic in nature. It is important to listen to individuals at every level of the organization, from the custodian to the executive. The act of listening to understand must precede the need to be understood in order to be most effective as a leader.
One of the primary motivators for people is the sense of feeling valued. People feel valued when leaders take the time to connect and listen. As leaders, it is our responsibility to acknowledge and affirm those we lead as this inspires them to reach their greatest potential. We may often observe the successes of others but unfortunately we do not always speak to those successes. Whether publicly or privately, every person desires to hear the boss or leader recognize hard work. This recognition not only motivates the employee to continue to put their best foot forward, but it also positively shapes the culture of the organization.
Take a moment to reflect on the power of connection in your own leadership role. How well do you know those you lead? Are you familiar with the personal motivators and goals of each of your employees? How often do you take time to ask the right questions and listen? Do your employees view you as approachable? In what ways do you acknowledge and celebrate the successes of individuals in your organization? The power of connection in leadership is simple: connect, listen and affirm.