Relationships are the building blocks of trust and respect in any leadership role. Without a great relationship with your team, you won’t get far.
Doug Firebaugh said “Leadership is about magnetic communication. Leaders have a way of communicating that draws people toward the vision and the horizon.” Anthony J. D’Angelo said “Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.” Paul Ryan said ” Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.”
But, how do you build relationships? What does it take to go from a stranger to someone who is known?
It’s not as hard as you think. It will take intentionality but you can do this.
4 Ways To Build Relationships
1. Ask questions:
People love to be known. Sadly, many people feel like they are not.
One easy way to build relationships is to ask questions to the people you lead. Get to know who they are, what they feel, and why.
The more they answer, the more you get to know them. The more you ask, the more they feel like they are known.
2. Practice kindness:
Do you like to be around people who are mean or cranky? Of course not.
Neither do the people you lead.
Learn to be kind to your people. You don’t need to scream, yell, or demean anyone on your team. This will not build relationships but tear them down.
3. Connect frequently:
Many relationships die because there’s not a regular connection point. One party feels left out and uncared for.
The same happens in business relationships.
If you ignore the people you lead, if you don’t have frequent interactions with them, they will feel as if they don’t matter. The relationship will be strained.
Find ways to connect frequently with your people. It could be a lunchtime gathering once a month. You could have regular one-on-one meetings where business and personal matters are discussed.
There are ways to connect. Find them. And connect.
4. Be personal:
Emotional distance will not help with creating relationships. If you’re cold, stand-offish, or rude, you won’t be able to connect well with others.
Instead, you need to be personal. What does this look like?
Being personal means:
- You remember their name
- You begin to ask about family and fun events
- You share about yourself
- You acknowledge accomplishments
- You share about the person
Being personal will connect you to your team. Be personal.
These steps will help you become a more relational leader. Find ways to connect and build relationships.
It will help you lead well, help your team to feel valued, and increase the productivity of the team.