To be a good leader, you must connect
Good leaders are good connectors. They have a strong sense of self that they use to connect to their true visions. They can see these visions so clearly that they draw others in as they talk about them and begin working on them.
When you own your own perspective, and the way you act and speak reflects the way you think and feel, that’s connection to yourself.
When people experience the same invisible thing together – a vision, a dream, a feeling – that’s connection amongst people.
Have you been struggling to get yourself connected to your true vision, or struggling to connect to your team so that you can all perform at your highest levels?
If you have, then turn down the barriers to connection and try to reconnect again.
Many of these barriers are subtle: a flashing TV screen in a bar, distracting music that doesn’t match the atmosphere, cell phones and computers beeping with new messages, slight environmental distractions that hijack attention, and perhaps most commonly, people keeping their guard up and refusing to be honest and present.
The tangible barriers are easier to overcome. When you need to connect, eliminate them. Use soft lighting; turn off TV’s, phones, and computers, and play music that matches the mood you want to foster.
Encouraging people to be honest and present is a bit trickier. Eliminating tangible barriers helps people be present, but often is not enough. If you sense that someone on your team isn’t present, sincerely ask, “What’s on your mind?” and really listen.
If you sense that someone on your team isn’t expressing themselves, ask them for their opinion.
Better yet, encourage your team to be present and honest by being present and honest yourself. Make sure you’re truly committed to your team and your attention is focused on the matter at hand. Make sure that you’re leaving your comfort zone and expressing yourself.
Honesty and presence are hard to achieve in modernity so take it slowly if that helps. But realize that if you aren’t honest and if you aren’t present, you wont be happy and you wont reach your true ability as a leader.