By Susan Wells
Get to know your employees.
“People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – an old axiom, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt.
Showing your employees that you care about their well being is more than providing great benefits and insurance coverage. The corporation provides benefits, while individuals develop trustful and caring relationships.
People want to be inspired, and to really tap into the passion and enthusiasm that drives your employees, you will need to get to know them. Focus on uncovering their passions and goals. Even if these goals are unrelated to work, this knowledge will provide insight into the activities and skills that captivate your employees’ free time and energy.
Be active in your engagement. Don’t manage from behind a desk, but instead get out there and mingle with people when possible. If you think this could disrupt people’s work patterns, you can hold “office hours” in which your employees can chat with you about new ideas or problems.
Take the backseat.
When communicating ideas, the most important thing for a leader to do is listen. Speak last when possible. Provide a brief summary of what everyone has discussed, highlighting the key points. This will show everyone that you have listened, that you understand and appreciate their words and thoughts.
When it is your turn to speak, you will be able to compare and contrast your thoughts with what has already been said. This is a tactic that will allow others to be opinionated, and it will make them feel more involved in the decision making process. This is also known as letting other people think the decision was their idea.
Recognize when an idea is better than you own.
When I was in college, I worked as a customer service representative at a family-owned furniture store. It was a multi-million dollar business that was growing fast, and we often encountered problems that we weren’t sure how to solve. My boss gave me a lot of responsibility and a lot of credit. Sometimes, when I would get overheated with a problem, I would go to him for advice.
“I trust you to make the right decision,” he would say. “I’m only successful because I hire people smarter than me.”
Of course, he was a great businessman; but he recognized that he needed a team full of people who were better than him in certain areas. He recognized that his people were assets.
Preserving your ego can make you seem untrustworthy. Strong leaders don’t fear being proven wrong and they aren’t intimidated by the success of others. An ego that hoards credit will destroy trust, but generosity of spirit will strengthen it.
Susan Wells is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile, property and health insurance, providing consumers with access to a trustworthy insurance quote guide and unbiased advice on purchasing. Susan welcomes comments.
The Product Management Perspective: Not new to Lead on Purpose is the adage that people are assets. Product managers who remember that one thing and act accordingly, have great results with their team and their products.