It is the source of common frustration: a bad cell phone or Wi-Fi connection.
When this happens, you can’t hear the other party clearly. You each waste precious time moving around randomly, and asking, “Can you hear me now?”
Conversations are fragmented. The message conveyed may not be the message received.
A bad connection can lead to missed appointments, wasted time, miscommunication, misunderstandings, and an overall impact on productivity. No wonder a bad connection is frustrating!
This is what happens when a leader has a bad connection.
When we as leaders do not clearly connect with our people, it creates frustration for everyone involved, and it impacts results.
The good news is, you can restore the connection by following the example of those who connect well.
Here are five ways the best leaders connect.
They prepare themselves.
Good connection starts from within. The best leaders take time to connect well internally, with themselves. They also seek outside coaching and mentorship to stay sharp.
It is easy to perceive that everyone else is the problem, and this inward-outward growth approach helps the leader gain full perspective. Most find it easy to see problems with others, but overlook areas wherein they need to improve. The most successful leaders recognize they must understand, prepare, and correct themselves, in order to establish the best connection with others.
They connect well with others.
This can be a challenge for many in leadership positions. Unless conscious effort is made on the part of the leader to connect, a position can be a barrier to connection. As we talk about in The Leader’s Ladder workshops, being appointed to a leadership position is a first rung, but it does not have the impact that comes with higher rungs.
Climbing requires effort on the part of the leader, and those efforts are all about making great connections with others.
The best leaders ask great questions, listen, and show they care about others. They strive to find common values or interests that connect them deeper. A team that has a common vision aligned by common values, where a leader is effectively orchestrating connection, is a winning team.
They build trust.
Trust, as a verb, means “to believe.”
When you believe in something or someone, you have confidence in them.
To build trust, leaders must be believable so those who follow will have confidence in their ability to keep their word, do their part, and follow through on expectations set.
The best leaders…CARE.
- Clarify who they are from within
- Are sincere in their reactions
- Remain open to feedback
- Ensure their actions match their words
They manage conflict.
If you have worked with people for even a short time, you know that nothing goes as smoothly as you would like when interacting with people. The best leaders embrace this, knowing that some tension can be healthy for a team. They also know it must be monitored and guided.
When a conflict arises, these leaders don’t hesitate to jump in and make sure morale and productivity are not adversely affected by it. They open up communication, and make sure that everyone involved in the conflict has a voice. And they guide the individuals in bringing solutions that fit the goals and restore the team to singleness of purpose.
They merge the team.
The best leaders know that a team of individuals who work well together will be more productive.
They find ways to constantly connect the team members to each other, the mission, the vision, and the results needed. They look for ways to cultivate relationships within and outside their team.
The right connections, when merged to work in sync with each other, have the potential to create phenomenal results.
As a leader, do YOU have a clear connection – with yourself, your team, and your mission, vision, and goals?
The choice is yours. You can have fragmented connections that produce less than stellar results, or you can have crystal clarity and connection that produces results that extend well beyond your expectations.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.