Exciting eh? Yes, one tip that could transform your leadership and any other relationships actually.
Wanna know what it is?
Connect and then Direct.
Simple. So what does it mean?
Connect with people first. Could be an employee, a peer, a partner, a friend, a waiter or a group of people. To connect literally means “bring together or into contact so that a link is established, to join with something/someone else”. So in this context it means to establish a link between yourself and the other individual. And I’ve learned to do that first before asking/telling/informing them of anything. So often mangers grudgingly say to me “but it takes so much time to ask them how their weekend was, what’s going on with the family etc. to connect. I just want to tell them what they need to do.”
Connection doesn’t have to be about asking someone about their private life (especially in the workplace). It can be:
- looking someone in the eyes,
- stopping or at least slowing down when interacting with them,
- explaining the bigger picture or context about the thing you want to talk to them about,
- listening to them first,
- noticing what they are doing and commenting or even just noticing and appreciating,
- thinking about one positive trait they have while you’re approaching them,
- acknowledging them for something positive
Then Direct them. Once you’ve connected with them, and it can be brief, then you can direct them or tell them what you wanted to tell them. In a work situation it can be telling them about a new project you want them to lead, or some feedback they’ve asked you for or a task that needs completing.
Most people, including maybe you and certainly me, would hate to be directed all the time (in other words, told what to do). Add on a coldness or abruptness to that direction and I’d be irritated so imagine if we did this to others.
What could you try tomorrow in order to connect first before directing?