No matter our role we each have ample opportunity to communicate with people. We get to talk about facts, figures, feelings, faith and more, but there is a big difference between talking and connecting.
Here is a typical scenario Jim and Judy (names changed to protect the non connecting) work in a fast paced software company in a major metropolitan area of the United States. They work on the same project, but they don’t work together on the same project.
Jim emails Judy about an issue. Four hours later Judy reads the email, but doesn’t answer since she wants to finish up her work first. Jim feeling that Judy is ignoring his request holds back some critical information preventing Judy from completing her work.
Their cubicles are 4 feet away from each other!
Unfortunately this is a leading problem in many businesses today.
What would happen if Jim stopped by Judy’s cubie, asked her about her weekend, offered some support on a piece of the project she is working on and then shared what he needed and sent a follow up email she likely would have responded quickly and effectively.
The first scenario jeopardizes the project, the second creates a growing synergy that fosters effective collaboration.
In his best selling book ‘Everyone Communicates Few Connect’, leadership expert John C. Maxwell outlines both connecting principals and practices for successful connection. Here are the key points I took away from his book.
- Members of your team will be more willing to take action when you first move them with emotion. (Energy-In-Motion)
- When you give first, people will give in return. The Leader always goes first.
- The key to influencing the team is to connect with each member of the team as an individual. Stop the group approach. As a leader when you connect effectively with each individual, you gain the attention of crowd.
- When you reach out to people, they will reach back toward you.
Whether you have just taken over a leadership position or are a well established leader, you must connect with each individual to create synergy for people and projects to succeed!