Are you NICE are MEAN leader?
I know that seems like a direct question to open with, but it's reality. Your staff is quick to categorize you based on your attitude towards them, how you treat them and even how you speak to and about them. People are not willing to invest in something that they are not benefiting from. Your best way to grow the team, whether you are a new leader or a leader that has been around for a while, is to be nice. In other words, build rapport with those who you were entrusted to lead and should be an honored to be leading.
Building rapport on your team is vital to sustaining success such as staff retention, performance and happiness among your team members. It is the glue between having a team that trusts you to lead them and the team that thinks you are incompetent to lead them. No matter your qualifications, certificates, degrees or years of experience under your belt if you do not have the trust of your team then you do not have a team. Whether you are leading a faith-based organization, sport team or small business building rapport is the friend you need to create a winning team that is fulled with high performers.
Rapport is not only for the leaders who are leading the team, but it's also for those who are on the team. A great leader knows how to build rapport with the team and also among the team. Leading by example is the best way to lead.
You can start building rapport on your team today.
The benefit in building rapport are:
1. Respect: Your team will see you as a leader who is not in it for selfish gains but also for the reward of seeing others reach their full potential. Your admirable character will cause them to trust your judgement.
2. Team engagement: Your team will be more engaged at work. Surprisingly the percentage of workplace happiness is very low. A place where people feel like they are apart of building something beyond just coming to work daily for a paycheck increases their desire to infuse them self in their work doing whatever they can to help the company grow.
3. Self-motivate: This goes hand in hand with team engagement. A person who feels engaged will be self-motivated. They will not need you to pump and prime them as leaders to lead with integrity, love and kindness.
4. Staff retention: Your staff and team is wiling to stay in a company or organization for years if they feel they are apart of something bigger. Individuals want to feel valuable and useful, by building rapport you are expressing that you value those needs and will meet those needs.
It is great to know the value in building rapport. But knowing the value will not benefit you if you do not know how to apply it. You have to be intentional in creating a culture where your team feels connected to you and the organization
How to build rapport:
1. Creating a culture of listeners: Everyone wants to feel as if their idea is important. It's important to create a culture of listeners, whether it's to your ideas or someone on the team. Asking people to repeat what they heard to ensure that they understand what was stated is a great tool on how to create listeners.
2. Celebrating small wins: Long term goals are great but without small term goals in place as well the team can feel as if they are never reaching the goal. Celebrating small wins is a great way to increase rapport. Also, celebrating small wins such as coming in a on time, getting the project done before the time or even showing up with a great attitude is a good way to start off. If you are on a budget, start of with $5 dunkin cards or even a card for appreciation.
3. Treat every with fair: This is important if you want to create a team of high performers. Everyone wants to be treated fair, whether they are from a different ethnic background, department or diverse in their thinking. Make everyone feel like they are important and no one is treated with a higher degree of respect than the other.
4. Be honest: You are able to go far with your team if you are honest. A team loves a honest leader. Do not hide things from your team, whether the project is coming along well or behind, whether the team has the money or not make it the culture of the team that you are open and honest with them. A closed leader will be seen as dishonest and will lose the respect and trust of the team.
Now, once you have taken time to build this rapport. When it is time to make changes or correct the team on something that is not being completed in excellence it will easier to do so. It's hard to tell someone to do something who have no respect for you or trust in you.
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