You understand now that the key to success in life and business is to make emotional connections with those around you. But you may not be a natural at it, and that’s fine. So how do you do it?
The first step toward making better connections is to give people attention. It may sound small, but think about it. How often are you having a conversation with someone when they’re interrupted by a text or email? We’re all guilty of this. But it’s rude, and more than just a temporary lapse in attention. It’s indicative of a larger problem these days: We don’t pay as much attention to people in front of us as we do to those on our phones.
Try this approach: Next time someone comes to speak with you at work, give them your complete attention. Don’t let texts or emails that can always wait five minutes distract you. With more of our interactions moving to digital platforms, the actual time spent with others face to face has continued to decline. That makes it all the more valuable, and all the more important, for you to prioritize it when the time comes.
This relates nicely to another tactic you might employ: Be more available in general.
For most of us who lead organizations or businesses, time is critical. There isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needs doing, yet we make it happen somehow. But remember this: So do the people working with and for you. They all play different roles in the organization; it takes everyone working together for the trains to run on time. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, be available to those around you. It’s not going to be easy for you to build a relationship with the team you claim to value if you don’t value spending time around them.
Of course, there are boundaries, and people have to respect you as a leader. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from interacting with everyone in your organization, and often.
Finally, lead by example. It’s one thing to tell everyone in your office to make emotional connections, to be present in all interactions and to focus on other humans instead of on our devices. But it’s another thing entirely for you, as the leader, to set that example.
Throughout this process, keep in mind that things won’t just change overnight. It’s going to take a sustained effort, by all involved, to make the change needed to propel your business or organization to the next level. But together, it’s possible. And by building an emotional connection, all of the other challenges you face will be made that much easier as a result of the bond you create.