The 5 keys to team harmony- Key #5 Embracing needs and leading with careOct 17, 2022
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care” (Teddy Roosevelt)
Leading with care and empathy is by far the most important soft skill that a leader can have to navigate this ever changing world. By choosing care over judgment as a default, good results will almost always prevail.
Sometimes this leads into difficult situations such as allowing an employee to graduate or training someone to be your competition. However this is the vulnerability to lead with that attracts a culture of growth minded individuals that evolves into a tribe which is greater than the sum of its parts. I have used this methodology in my team development and seen employees who have left come back or spread the positive word of the culture to others who apply for an open position.
Sure, there will be occasions where someone takes advantage. The leader is leveraged and a rogue employee operates with nefarious intentions for short term gains. This behavior surfaces itself fairly quickly, washing out the bad apple. When gone, the other employees understand exactly why this individual has moved on (a value that cannot be measured), and can even help you find a replacement, someone who fits better.
The rewards outweigh the risks by far, for nothing else than to maintain the mindset of the leader as the quality employees emulate the leaders approach. Think about it- which culture are you more attracted to: One where you are trusted and listened to or one where you are directed, coerced and compared to others?
So how does this work and what are some steps you can take right now to put this into place in your team?
- Listen more, speak less (we have one mouth and two ears, use them proportionately).
- Ask questions from the position of care such as: Whats in your way today?
- Show some vulnerability- be transparent about your needs and why you need it- this will build trust and engage others to do the same.
Still confused or struggling? Err on the side of trust as much as possible and know that you don't have to go it alone. The best leaders out there ask for help when they need it.