I am in discovery mode. I feel blessed for the opportunity to grow on a daily basis.
Recently, I have been working hard on connecting to my team differently, not only to my team, but also in my life—to be more present, to listen more.
Many of us, myself included, like to be busy, “What’s next!” is my favorite line! But the focus right now is ‘how do I slow down and connect’; actually feel what is happening with my connections.
When I pass someone on the sidewalk, or when I come in the door, I am not just saying hello; I am slowing down, making eye contact and with all my attention, saying “good morning!” Sometimes, it is just the simple things we miss.
Recently a member of the team came to me, very concerned that a fellow team member was not in the game, was on her cell phone during work hours and wasn’t focused on what was happening on the floor.
Ordinarily I would have put my Manager hat on and rode to the rescue with a serious agenda to let the disengaged team member have it!! Instead, this time, I thought to myself, “This individual is going through a hard time right now. How can I show up and support her, let her know that the team needs her?”
So that’s what I did. I sat with her, let her know that I cared, that I was concerned about her. I can remember being there, not too long ago: boyfriend issues, not knowing my self-worth, confused about the future. These are real issues. How could I add value to this person and guide her to success?
At the end of our conversation she hugged me, we both cried and let each other know we cared about one another and were grateful to have a strong relationship. What I liked most about this experience was that she understood, that she wasn’t showing up for her team. Letting her have it wouldn’t have gotten her attention and focus on changing as much as connecting with her did.
Simon Sinek talks about never firing your employees. When I first watched a video of him saying “What if our employees were like family and we could never fire them!”
I realize now what he means. What if we showed up with genuine concern, real care for what they’re feeling and thinking? How different our perspective would be.
This change, for me, has been a gift. I now wake up and think “whom can I serve? To whom can I add value?” What I love most about this new perspective is that it is letting me enjoy this journey; I am starting to have fun, starting to find joy in the process of being a leader who connects with her team.