In a world of ultra-connectedness, as the world of business is pivoting, adapting, learning agility in the face of change, like never before…. the need for leadership with a human touch is even more important. So, what does it mean to be more human? In a world that is increasingly connected via devices, platforms, apps, and technology – relationships have become more transactional and lost the characteristics that make us human.
Covid19 and lockdown have undoubtedly shifted the way of working on its axis. Who knew at the beginning of 2020 that flexible and remote working could work on this scale. With that, people are realising the benefits; less travel time, more family, greater balance, but yet the statistics on the negative impact on mental health and social isolation are rapidly increasing. Despite the connectedness that all the technology brings, don’t let the leaders in your business lose their human touch.
Business is human, yet so much focus day to day is on the task. Business is made up of people doing business with people, building relationships, and networks. What makes us humans is our ability to think, feel, speak, communicate, and behave with a level of conscious thought. We often see colleagues in that ‘work’ box and interactions are limited as such. For those with whom the relationship goes beyond the job, you’ll know that individuals are so much more.
Be human – so what does that mean for Leaders?
Show vulnerabilities – we are all flawed. We all have a story that has shaped us to become who we are and to consciously show vulnerabilities creates a more authentic experience for others; a unique style of leadership, often resonating with others and making the leader more approachable.
People like to know more about others, that’s why reality TV has become such a popular pastime. When someone is ‘too’ perfect, human nature is to try and test that theory because it’s not to be believed. Being open and letting others seeing the ‘real’ version will build real connectedness. It gives others permission that it’s OK to not have to be perfect.
Be more self-aware – understanding the impact you have on others. Let’s be clear, leadership isn’t a popularity contest. It’s impossible to be liked all of the time. Leaders will have to deliver difficult messages sometimes.
Self-awareness is about understanding strengths, weaknesses, triggers, emotional responses, what drives our behaviours. The greater the level of self-awareness, the greater our ability to learn strategies and adapt our behaviour. The impact of a leader can be positive, even if the outcome is not a positive one. Often what makes the crucial difference is empathy.
Be Interested in Others – focus on the people around you, look beyond the ‘task’ and really see the other person. This is not about forcing information from people that they don’t want to share or asking when you are not interested in the response, this is about finding authentic ways and taking moments to build on a relationship and show an interest in others.
Particularly in a national lockdown, don’t ever doubt the impact of checking in with someone to see if they are OK.
Engaging others in the work environment is about engaging team members’ heads and hearts in the work they do, knowing what motivates others, their story – what events got them to this point in their lives, strengths, developments.
Human beings are naturally social beings and it seems we are all running at such a pace, spending so much time in a virtual world and forgetting to build a real connection with others.
What leaders can do to build connectedness and a sense of belonging;
1. Build on levels of self-awareness
2. Prioritise time to focus on building and developing relationships
3. Be curious by asking more questions and really listening to the response
4. Show vulnerability, for example, asking for help when needed – it’s OK not to know all the answers
Engaging others in the workplace with head, heart, and hands taps into unfulfilled potential. When an individual likes the environment in which they work and chooses to give their best, that will positively impact business performance.
What is a lack of connectedness costing your organisation?
Sian Perham is a sought after Leadership specialist for Leaders in Business. She has helped hundreds of leaders realise their leadership potential;
“The individual leadership coaching was done is a very engaging and honest way, ensuring that she really understood the person before tailoring the coaching to that individual’s needs. This is something that seems to be a rarity amongst leadership coaches and ensured that the coaching was very effective.”
“Sian used ‘real life examples’ to explain concepts and made it easy to relate what she was saying to your own situation. She helped me look inwards at myself and assess how I deal with people, and has certainly given me the confidence, and skills to take me forwards.”
“The Mindset module was fantastic and Sian provided lots of tools and techniques that I can use to motivate and engage my team. Highly recommended.”
Coach / Facilitator / Trainer / Speaker
Sian shows you how self awareness is the starting point for great leadership, how building leadership habits establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, position yourself as an inspiring leader and deliver great business results.