As a leader, motivating your team is key. Celebrating wins without generating complacency, achieving goals without risking burnout, etc. With the inevitable ups and downs of delivering daily tasks, and keeping to the long term plan, helping them to develop resilience and ‘bounce back’ from adversity, building their confidence to learn from setbacks and challenging them to always deliver their best work, can be exhausting and challenging. With a range of individuals in your team, you may also have to face managerial challenges such as delivering bad news to some without damaging the morale of all or promoting one well-deserving staffer without sending her peers looking for another job.

Such issues can be very difficult to navigate. However, if you have built a strong emotional connection with your team, they will trust you to steer them right, be prepared to listen to you and be ready to follow you.

Better engagement, better business

Effective leaders understand that people do better work for people they like than for people they don’t like. These successful business leaders recognise that when you engage your team personally, they are more likely to be engaged professionally. When you show you care about them, they are more likely to care about you and your business and work harder for you.

Such engagement is not a quick add-on, it needs genuine commitment and perseverance from leaders, to continually work at building emotional connections with their teams.

You are responsible for setting the tone for the day and as leader, your actions and attitude can affect the whole team. When have you walked passed colleagues, caught up in your own work priorities, focused on your next coffee or your overloaded email inbox?  When have you forgotten to say hello or good morning, stopped to briefly check in with people, asked about their family?   It’s a perfect opportunity to get a sense of how the team as a whole are doing and any individual pressures.  An opportunity to show appreciation, recognise personal achievements. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, it will help develop those emotional connections.

Communication is key.

While you cannot always be available to talk, make sure there are clear opportunities for any team member to raise issues or concerns with you, whether that’s regular one-to-one catch-ups or informal team lunches, or an opportunity to put suggestions forward without fear of ridicule, or being dismissed.  Such two-way communication can build stronger team connections, give you project insight and help you understand how you can better support your team and their work.

Developing an emotional connection with your team helps build solid relationships, trust and better outcomes. Which is a result for the team, for you and the business as whole.

 

Sue Winton is a ‘Developmental’ Leadership coach. An approach characterised by enabling deep self-reflection and discussions, centred around previously unexplored thoughts feelings and experiences. ‘Sue is a highly inspirational leadership coach who has the ability to drive positive personal transformation’ ST, UK & I Strategic & Innovation Managing Director, Experian.