As humans, we are wired to connect!
It has been suggested that one of the critical challenges leaders face today is how to authentically connect with followers. If a leader is unable to create a true sense of belonging and trust among those they lead, their influence is limited, and the collective action needed to achieve results suffers.
Did you know that the average person does not feel connected despite the myriad of ways technology allows us to do so in the world today? How connected do you feel, at home, in your community, or at work as a leader?
Human connection is about building deep bonds and meaningful relationships with others. When humans connect, they feel seen, heard, and valued. Positive energy is exchanged, and trust begins to build between people. When you connect with another human you gain a sense of belonging.
Humans are social creatures and are hard-wired to connect. When you engage in social interactions and build connections you experience a boost in your mood and the quality of your life improves. Connecting with other humans allows you to express a variety of emotions that stimulate “feel good” chemicals responsible for your happiness.
With more people working remotely, people can lose their sense of connection to others, to the organization, and to their purpose. It is imperative that leaders learn to connect with their followers.
So, how do you begin to build connections with your followers?
Put people first.
I know, it’s not as simple as it sounds. With dozens of emails, phone calls, and daily tasks, it can be difficult to give people your undivided attention. However, when you focus on the person in front of you, make eye contact, and truly listen, you will build the confidence and loyalty of your followers.
Develop your ability to engage.
Make a conscious effort to reach out and engage others in conversation. Leaders need followers to be successful, but we can easily lose sight of this fact and solely focus on our own tasks. When you focus on the quality of your connections, you will actually get more productivity and commitment from your followers. It pays to connect.
Listen, really listen.
When you listen to people, they feel important, and you begin to truly understand who they are and what they need. Take the time and learn to listen. It will help you to be a more effective leader.
As a leader, build those authentic connections with your followers. Make them feel like they belong. Make them feel a part of something more significant and more meaningful than themselves.