Are you aware of your presence? Do you understand the effect you have on those around you? Being aware of the effect your presence has on people is an important, but often overlooked, part of being a leader.
In his article, 6 Ways to Energize your Team, Michael Hyatt describes an encounter he had with an author he admired. From the moment this person stomped into the room with his sense of entitlement and entourage in tow, the tone was set. Things quickly went downhill from that point. Hyatt’s team presented their accomplishments, expecting recognition for their efforts and outcomes. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The author was distant and detached, could only offer complaints as opposed to compliments. Following the example of their leader, his young and impressionable assistants also found fault with everything the team had presented.
This particular leader had clearly lost focus on his presence. His demeanour and behaviour left Hyatt and his team feeling deflated and discouraged. In fact a number of them felt like they wanted to quit their jobs.
As leaders we need to remember that our people come to work for us by choice. We as leaders buy our people’s heads but we must earn their hearts. Part of earning that heart means bringing out the best in them. This requires us to be aware of our presence as leaders and understand the effect our behaviours and attitude have on those around us.
So how do you earn the heart of those you lead? Hyatt suggests six ways in which you can truly earn the heart of your people:
- Assume everyone is doing their best and make it clear that you believe in them.
- Listen, engage in conversations with your team, and ask questions.
- Acknowledgement of your teams’ achievements and sacrifices will further motivate them to succeed.
- Gratitude – a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way!
- Keep your team focused on the big picture and remind them of the important role they play in the success of the organisation.
- Take time to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.
Poor leadership won’t buy dedication, even when people are getting paid – it must be earned. When we have earned their hearts we will get everything they have to give.