Connection Is Key

by Alessandra Cavalluzzi

Each day presents us with an opportunity to be better and do better. Today’s blog post is about focusing on making our people better. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to coach our employees to higher levels of success. In order to do so, we must be in tune with how and what our people are feeling and thinking. One of the best ways to find out what’s on their minds is in our one-on-one meetings with direct reports. How do you utilize your one-on-one time with your team? If your first answer is “I don’t have individual meetings”, then that’s a problem right there. You must carve out the time to meet with each of your reports outside of the team setting. It’s essential in being able to coach them effectively. If you do have individual meetings, but they’re primarily updates on a laundry-list of items, you’re missing out on a great chance to connect with your people.

Build some time into the meeting agenda to check-in on a human level. We’re not talking a big chunk of time here. A few minutes is all you need. I say “human level” because we tend to forget that our employees are people with lives and families outside of the workplace. They have responsibilities and interests that are over and above those at work. They are parents, siblings, children, caregivers, spouses, the list goes on- and they are coping with the obligations that come with these roles. Take the time to ask how they are doing. Then-and here's the tough part-LISTEN. Does he sound or appear stressed? Is she frustrated about her workload or role? You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Everyone wants to feel that they are contributing to the success of their team and the company. Connecting with your people helps them feel valued and appreciated in every sense of the word.