Exceedingly Good Leadership
One of the most common questions I get asked is:
“How do I get my staff to care as much as I do? Why don’t they get it?”
It’s frustrating and can be detrimental to your business (and your sanity).
But there are some simple methods you can start using today, to get team buy-in and engagement, leading to a more successful business.
One course I regularly ran for Experian’s senior teams was the 6 Pillars of Leadership. Today I’m focusing on the 4th pillar: Communication.
You see, communication is not as simple as stringing words together.
The good news is, as the leader of your business, you have various FREE tools –at your disposal right now – to help your team simply ‘get’ what you’re trying to do and to understand how they can help achieve this.
# 1 – Feedback
You need to create the right environment for your staff, which includes a culture and a systemised process for open and honest feedback.
#2 – Listening, Not Telling
When someone isn’t fully listening to us, we feel unloved and undervalued; this is all about being aware. Answer me honestly, have you ever done any of the following with your staff members:
- Deciding what you’re going to be talking about…
- Interrupting their flow of speak…
- Drifting off into your world when they’re talking…
- Interrupting discussion to send a quick email, or make a quick call…
- Not asking your staff any questions during, or following a conversation…
If your style is more telling rather than listening, then when your team walk away from conversations with you, they’ll be feeling you’ve given them all of your burdens but taken none of theirs off their shoulders.
#3 – Questioning
What makes for great dialogue? Great questions! The best leaders don’t engage in monologues; they stimulate conversations. Being a great questioner not only shows you’re listening; your staff will no longer see conversation as a ‘game to win’ but as an opportunity to challenge and learn.
#4 – Rapport Building
Whilst leadership is not a popularity contest, it is essential that you’re able to relate to your team in a way that creates a level of understanding and trust. By doing this (like I’m sure you’re already doing with your customers), you’re more likely to get their unconscious mind to accept and begin to process your suggestions.
If you crack these, you will connect with your staff and move them to action.
I want to end with one of Rudyard Kipling’s poems Six honest serving men, because it sums up the importance of inquisitiveness and the ability to see the world with fresh eyes. My challenge to you this week, is to have a childlike curiosity with your team members and let me know what impact this has.
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small-
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends ’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes-
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!