Got 5 min, 300 seconds or 1/24th of an hour? Everyone has 5 minutes; even you. This skill will be the best time invested in your team and leadership, which will not cost you a dime. People want to feel connected to others, so why not the leader-team member relationship?
Below are a few tips to start building the bonds with your direct reports.
Leadership is about people and similar to sales; people follow leaders they trust and like. This can only happen when you take the time to build these bonds with your staff. Five to fifteen minutes once a week is all that is required to talk about them and their lives outside of the office.
[pullquote]Just 5 minutes a week![/pullquote]
It’s About Them
As my friend and fellow speaker, Bruce Wilkinson, says, “When you make it about them, they’ll remember it was you.” Make the conversation about them, not you or work related. This is your opportunity to get to know things about your staff that you wouldn’t normally discuss during a department meeting. As the leader, who serves and guides the team, you should know how many kids they have, pets, how they spend their time outside of work. Get to know them as people.
Commit to doing this at least once a week. If your team is spread out, typically on the road or you rarely have face time with them, pick up the phone and call them. Consistency will lead to trust and loyalty. Those who report to you will not think this is the ‘change of the month’ after a month.
It’s Not An Overnight Solution
Like I always say, loosing weight doesn’t happen over night. It takes time. Don’t expect instant loyalty and trust to magically appear after one conversation. It will take time. After four or six months, ask your team if they’ve noticed any difference in the conversations you’ve been having. Get their feedback because you are genuinely interested in them personally and value their opinions.
Stop what you’re doing, get out of from behind your desk and go have one of these conversations right now. If you need to be reminded, schedule it in your calendar. To lock in this new and beneficial leadership skill, revisit 5 Apps to Achieve Your Goals and Create New Habits to get some smart phone assistance.