Human beings need connection.
The workplace suffers from a lack of it, due to the demands and pace of the work at hand. Virtual and semi-virtual teams are hit harder than those who occupy the same physical space.
Suggestions such as more team building and socials fall flat. They not only require time from busy schedules, they are often impractical, sporadic connections; and, thus, are not enough to build bonds and trust.
Without bonds and trust – the results of human connection – your team will experience lowered engagement, minimized trust, and a lack of commitment (and you know the kinds of things that come from that!).
How can you rectify this?
The five-minute morning huddle, whether in-person or virtual, is a good start. However, grouping to communicate and keep each other informed does not satisfy the deeper hunger to connect.
The good news is that there are three micro-connections you and your team can immediately adopt that will strengthen powerful human connection, and which require no more time on anyone’s part.
These micro-connects, when not incorporated into your behaviors, are actually the first things to suffer in a fast-paced work environment. Check yourself on how well you are doing with them now – and seek to increase them in all your interactions.
Here they are:
Increase your eye contact.
When you are in a conversation with others, do you find your eyes wander? Be intentional about your eye contact with the other person. Becoming comfortable with eye contact is a first important step to connecting on a deeper level. It says, “I recognize you. I’m present and paying attention to you.”
Monitor your tone of voice.
Do your tone of voice and pace of your words reflect stress or hurry? If so, you are implicitly communicating that you don’t have time for the person on the other end of the conversation. Take quiet stock of this the next time you speak with people, especially when on the phone.
Begin each conversation with a personal connection before diving into business.
Take 30 seconds to a minute and ask the other team member how they are, how the week is going, or another personal “connection” that shows you care about them as a human being. Re-establish connection before diving into the agenda at hand. This is a big one for most busy executives – and a big “miss” if they don’t incorporate it.
These three micro-connections will support a more positive, caring team culture that says, “You belong. You are important.”
They bring meaningful validation, which is something we all seek.
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.