There are two powerful contributors to getting people to follow you. One works in the short term while the other works for the long term. The sad thing is that as pressures mount such as the economy going bad the most common contributor relied on is the short term solution.
Both Fear and Trust work as powerful motivators for getting people to follow you. You can easily guess which is the short term solution and which is the long -term solution but it is not so often easy to see when you are in the midst of it.
Here are some ways I have seen leaders build fear (often unintentionally but even if it is not intentional it still is fear):
1. Flipping status times with employees. Each time you cancel, move or skip a meeting with an employee you send the direct message that your time is more valuable and that they are there to serve you.
2. Dipping in and out of projects at random. When people can’t plan, they often feel like they lose control. So if you are constantly in and out of their office at times that are convenient for you.
3. Not candidly talking about problems or issues as they pop up. Sharing tough news is always hard. I find many leaders bottle it up or try to shake it off. Others blow up in the moment, often publicly, and then try to take it back.
So what builds trust?
1. Consistent Meetings- The more your team knows they can get time with you on a consistent basis the more they can strategically line up their conversations for those time frames. This gives both of you focused time.
2. Consistent Feedback- These regular meetings are a great place for you to share candidly the successes you saw them have this last week and the areas that are needed to be focused on. Getting them in to the “regular” habit of receiving both good and tough news and then demonstrating change based on that will eliminate the Yo-Yo effect of yearly reviews.
3. Consistent Strategic Thinking Training– During your meetings with them, go beyond the “to do” list to actually sharing a key thinking component. As you look at projects together share with them, not only concerns or issues, but the WHY behind those concerns or issues. In this way you will be actually training them on how to think more strategically.
Being able to communicate strategically is the key to the future for leaders as we get more and more global. Our Managing Your Message Program is all about stretching your thinking and communication to be transformational. Follow this click to find out how you can join us for an upcoming program.