Post # 951

Being a Leader Is Actually All About RELATIONSHIPS.

It has been my observation, over the years, that many leaders rank low on empathy. They understand it intellectually, they just don’t pay enough attention, ask the right questions or comprehend that it is not just about what your colleagues think, but about how they FEEL. As you think about how you exhibit genuine empathy here are five questions for you to contemplate.

1  Do you show a genuine interest in what each of your professionals wants to achieve with their careers? Think about each member of your team. Are some individuals, with a lot of potential, performing at levels far below where they should? Providing personal COACHING and paying close attention to what your professionals need in developing their careers is a critical part of any leader’s role.

2  Do you show an INTEREST in the things that mean the most to your people in their personal lives? All of the people in your group have personal lives that are very important to them. The qualities it takes to develop and nurture any successful relationship, are the exact same as required to develop and nurture a successful team. We may need to reflect upon whom we spend more time with during the average working week, our spouses or our teammates.

3  Are you there for your colleagues in their times of personal or professional crisis? Every so often all of us confront crises and make important transitions in our lives. Right now, as you read this, it is very likely that some member of your team is facing some significant issue or transition. If you are even aware of it, what kind of SUPPORT are you offering?

4  Do you informally “CHECK-IN” with each of your colleagues? There are those situations when work commitments get over-powering, when our internal systems seem to make it harder to get anything done, or when a technology glitch makes us wish for simpler times. Do you notice when team members are frustrated or distracted and take time to check in with them?

5  Do you OFFER TO HELP when some member of your team clearly needs it? And by help, I don’t mean sparing a few minutes to be a sympathetic listener. I mean as busy as you are, are you willing to take on some of your colleague’s headaches to help him or her through a rough period?


HERE’S THE THING If you truly seek to lead people, I believe it all starts with determining whether you are prepared to spend time building and nurturing a relationship, above and beyond other urgencies. One of the things I observe is that those who lead don’t always pay attention to the tremendously important role that relationships play in inspiring the success and satisfaction of those on their team. And might this have something to do with WHY you lose good people?

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