I have been blessed over the years to meet some of the most amazing people! The kind of people who after spending 5 minutes in their presence, you walk away feeling uplifted and encouraged.
Do you know anyone like that? What is it about that person that makes you feel so good after time spent with them? I would guess it’s because they exhibit caring, compassion and warmth to you. You feel they are genuinely interested in you. They always have a positive word and a warm smile. You enjoy time with them because they have a unique way about them that just makes you feel good. Simply put, they have the gift of encouragement… whether it is in their words or their actions.
Leadership Experts say, “Leadership is a relationship, and people are much more likely to enlist in initiatives led by those with whom they feel a personal attachment.” This is so profound if you stop and think about it. People will follow a good leader anywhere if they feel they have a personal attachment with that person. If they simply feel like an employee, they are less likely to go above and beyond to accomplish great things for the company. There are a few that still will, but that’s not the norm. Most need more.
What kind of leader are you?
Are you an encourager? Do people generally seek you out and want to spend time with you? Do you have a warmth about you that draws others? The truth is, some leaders do have this quality about them. I applaud those leaders. But some leaders, are just not wired this way. For extrovert leaders, being an encourager is easy. They thrive off of the time with others. The more they pour into others, the more energized they feel.
But for introvert leaders, spending too much time with others is exhausting. While they can give out warmth and pour into others, it drains them. Some leaders are more task oriented. Spending time building a relationship around a cup of coffee or a shared moment of camaraderie is not as “productive” to them as scratching the latest 5 things from their “to do” list.
If your relationship is all built around them being an employee or client, you’ll more than likely never get their best. Everyone wants to feel like they are needed, cared for and appreciated. If an employee is simply a means to an end to accomplish your own goals, you will probably not keep that person long-term. Words are great for encouraging others… however, actions are almost always louder than words.
Having said that, you CAN change.
Being an encourager simply means you put aside your natural tendencies and give what the person you are leading needs versus what you need to thrive. In that moment, it’s not about you it’s about them. It doesn’t have to take long. Even a scheduled moment on your “to do” list to spend time with a staff member or client over a cup of coffee goes a long way to meeting both of your needs. Their need to build a relationship with you as a person and a leader works in combination with your need to build a relationship with a person and an employee that has the potential to become your top producer.
A word of advice? Whatever you do, stay away from any and all “shop talk”. Don’t give in to the temptation to talk shop during that time. If you do, they will walk away possibly feeling a little more connected, but deep inside recognizing that it really was about you and not them at all. Don’t get so wrapped in the goal that you lose focus and forget to take your team with you. No one wants to feel used because of what they can do, that can come across as phony. Everyone wants to feel valued because of who they are.
Are you encourager? No? Start today. Learn to become one. Step outside of yourself and start giving to your team. You will be amazed at how it will change the very DNA of your company and your relationships.
If we can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to ask. We are here for you. Many times talking with someone to help identify your leadership style and challenges goes a long way to taking your company to the next level.
You can contact any one of us directly on the about us page, my email below or simply fill in the form to the right and request your Complimentary Coaching Session. We’re here to help!