Finding the Missing Link of Leadership
You’re great at doing but are you great at connecting? I’m still blown away by Henry Mintzberg’s one word of advice, “Connect.”
Business stresses and people tensions result in unhappy, disengaged staff unless leaders model and encourage connecting. Meaningful relationships break the grip of distrust, disengagement, and fear.
Connecting with others is the secret to success
in business and happiness in life.
Continue being great at getting the job done and add connecting to your leadership skills.
Great success requires great connecting. If you can succeed without out others you aren’t going very far.
You can’t lead people you don’t know and understand.
- Believe connecting is good for business, others, and you. You can’t fake it. Techniques without authenticity create fakers who aren’t trusted and often end tragically.
- Go to others; don’t wait for them to come to you. Leaders move first.
- Be fully present. Give the gift of yourself.
- Engage in small talk. Avoid being so focused on tasks that you ignore people.
- Give yourself first. Model the type of conversations you’re encouraging in the office.
- Acknowledge emotional states but avoid subtle put downs. “You seem happy today, what happened.” For example. You might privately say, “You’ve seemed down lately are you okay?”
- Listen with your eyes. If eye contact is uncomfortable focus on the forehead.
- Listen with your body. Relax your stance to avoid a, “I have to get going message.” Sit if you can.
- Show appreciation to everyone regardless of status.
Suggestions from Facebook contributors:
- Communicate the good and the bad.
- Put people first.
- Be yourself.
- Share without concern for the gain.
- Show compassion.
- Have empathy.
See the list of suggestions from Facebook contributors: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.
How can leaders connect with colleagues, superiors, or subordinates?
Hello Dan, I agree that, “Business stresses and people tensions result in unhappy, disengaged staff unless leaders model and encourage connecting. Meaningful relationships break the grip of distrust, disengagement, and fear,” however doing it is the hard part.
Do we presume that everyone who is a leader or manager is capable or even willing to build meaningful relationships?
If we want our leaders to do such things as actually be effective at leading we need to hire leaders who are predisposed to behave that way.
Great contribution. Hire people who can both do and connect. Thank you
Great post, Dan. You have described the perfect leader. It is something for all of us to aspire to. A tall order.
I know of a man who passed away this last year. He was an executive in the Kroger Company. I didn’t work for him, but I know a lot of people who did. He spoke to every person in every department on a regular basis.
I was his child’s teacher years ago. To everyone he was present. How are you? What is going on in your life? What can I do to help you? He was approachable in every way.
His name was Don Becker. When he died they had to hold his memorial service in the convention center to accommodate all the people he touched in a positive way.
Your post made me remember Don Becker today.
I always enjoy your contribution. This story really speaks! Thanks
Interesting that we call it ‘small talk’ when that may just be the linchpin of connecting. The small talk provides the potential foundation for you to get to know and if applied, understand, those with whom you spend about one third of your life.
I’m terrible at small talk. I think because I don’t like sharing my life. I enjoy listening but sharing is harder. Thanks for highlighting the small talk point. Small talk is a big thing.
I’m also a bit of an introvert, but thanks to “small” leadership roles I’ve had in the past, I learned how to be more sociable. Made a big difference in my network!
agreed, stop what you are doing, give them your attention.
I used to have a boss who used to check voice mail when I went to talk to him. Total jerk. I used to just leave. Wonder why he was uninformed.
Relationship before partnership has always served me well.
Liked the post and the concise message of ‘connectivity to succeed’. Own competency is one part and it is absolutely required but one needs to take the help of others for sustaining success and achieving higher goals.
The best way to get connected with superiors, colleagues and subordinates is to remain in their close touch through communication and action. You need to be honest, clear and polite while seeking support of the seniors; with colleagues you can be very supportive and ready to help and be part of a team; while with subordinates you need to be much caring and respect them for their individual and collective efforts with the required encouragement and guidance.
I appreciate the simple practical tips of Henry Mintzberg and your sharing iT with LF Community.
Hi Dan, we keep hiring and/or promoting the best talkers and then bemoan these world class talkers talk rather than listen; we need to stop doing that.
Points 1 to 5 are highly valid for Social Media as well. Regarding Point 7, don’t you think looking at someone’s forehead could be even more uncomfortable for one or other party. Maybe if eye-contact is uncomfortable, then this is something you should be working on to resolve and overcome?