I’m sure that we have all got those “yeah, whatever” vibes from an individual or a group of people in the past.
We sense that, although the message matters to us, the listener(s) are not anywhere near as engaged. To a certain extent, this is entirely natural as we all have different perspectives, but if it happens on a regular basis, we might have grounds to suspect that the issue doesn’t lie with our message – the issue lies with us. This is a problem.
Especially when you are a leader, and they are your employees.
One core reason for this disconnect is that you do not give your people a reason to be emotionally connected. Some might say that there is no place for emotion in business, but if you only lead by logic, you will be unlikely to capture the hearts of those around you. That magical extra 1% of performance is only summoned when the heart gets involved.
“That sounds tough, but I am going to move mountains to make it happen.”
Superhuman efforts require superhuman motivation.
The challenge for any leader is to work out how to engage their people. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, but my particular area of expertise lies with the written word, so I will suggest an approach from this area….
Write down your thoughts on a topic and share them with people. Be honest, be vulnerable and be open to feedback. Communication only happens when there is a subject to fuel discussion, so when a leader writes down their thoughts on a regular basis (or has someone to do it for them), they are setting the scene for a dialogue to begin. This isn’t for some faceless external audience; this is for the people that you spend the majority of your life with. They will be genuinely interested, believe me.
These seeds of wisdom can nourish the culture of a company. When a leader is brave enough to share their thoughts, people cannot help but care that little bit more about them.
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