Leadership is essentially an interpersonal skill; and this thought can only take prominence when we start to look at people not as resource but as source. Yes, at the core of functioning of a team is the connection between the ‘person at the helm’ and ‘people in the team’. This connection is too important to be left to time and happenstance. It has to be gradually built over a period of time, through small but significant gestures.
These gestures help you establish yourself as a stable core at the base of the team and also allow your team members to rely on you without apprehensions. Here are a few of them:
- Toggle between your sub-roles timely: Even within the role of ‘leadership’, every leader has multiple sub-roles; and it is important for a leader to know when to listen as a mentor, guide as an adviser, navigate as a coach, and motivate as a captain. By using social intelligence to gauge and customize, you can build a lasting connection.
- Allow people to disagree: Respecting someone’s right to disagree is one gesture that goes a long way in creating deeper connection. When the other person knows that your attitude towards that person is not just ‘a function of his agreement with your thoughts’ only then can there be a possibility of genuine connection.
- Increase predictability in your temperament: The worst thing for a leader is to acquire a tag of ‘being moody’. If people have to guess your state of mind before walking up to you then there will only be a transactional association and not a trusted connection. As a leader, it is crucial to develop emotional intelligence for increasing one’s predictability.
- Help team members manage their lives on all fronts: It is important to see people as holistic beings rather than just profiles, KRAs or Job Descriptions. And when does a person give best to work? Well! It is when that person has a fulfilling and enriching life even beyond work. As a leader, you should give the required time and mental freedom to make it possible.
By following such gestures, you can build the meaningful connections required to build a team that continuously outdoes its previous best.
Dr. Sandeep Atre (Founder-Director, Socialigence)