How Can You Connect With Your Team More Effectively?

I always think of this time of year as a new beginning. I think it comes from the many years I was a student and I always thought of this time as a new start where I was going to get new information, new awareness and become more personally effective.

In my last post I talked about connections and about how connections are so powerful for creating results in business and especially in the implementation of strategic plans.

I would like to talk today about the relationship between making connections, using time and energy to perfect that ability, and your overall personal effectiveness.

For many years I conducted seminars with medium to large groups of people. During that time I discovered that personal effectiveness and personal growth happen much more quickly when people are interacting with one another. I think that has been the seed for me in choosing to devote this part of my career to team development and to what I call collaborative leadership.

My passion has to do with collaboration and the great value that exists in communication, connection and relationship. My perspective is that if we learn to connect and to communicate in teams, greater results and success will come forward. I also think that making the connections that are necessary for effective and essential collaboration creates the climate for high performance, both individually and as a team.

Our collaborative leadership approach uses team development and partnerships to increase performance and accountability. Part of the process is called Team Leadership coaching for personal effectiveness. The theory is that each team can be a team of leaders.

The premise for this perspective is that Leadership is a set of behaviors rather than a role and therefore can be developed both in the team and with individual team leadership coaching.

Recently I coached a top leader who began to become more personally effective in several areas when she spent more time evaluating how she was leading her team. In addition, learning to relate to her peers and to manage up began to create a stronger brand. A personal brand becomes essential as people move up in organizations, and it becomes increasingly important for people to know who you are and how you view things.

So coaching begins to create methodology for relating and for communicating clearly and effectively. You may have noticed however that communication is not the total answer. The thing that creates the ability to collaborate and to think creatively for innovation is the ability to connect with others. Holding back opinions or neglecting to communicate a perspective can create an unspoken disconnect that can be difficult to overcome.

I remember another man that I coached as part of a collaborative leadership team who was in charge of IT in a technical organization. He thought that he did not need to share perspective in a meeting if he was repeating what had already been said. As we worked together he realized that one of his difficulties in connecting was that people did not know what he thought. That is a powerful reason for sharing perspective, so people will know where you stand. Then they have a way to approach and to connect with you.

Here are some steps for creating greater connection with your peers and with the members of your team:

  1. In meetings always give your perspective even if it has been said before. If it is exactly like someone else’s, then agree and say why.
  2. As a leader of a team be sure and give your perspective. This can be done after asking for other’s perspectives. However, if you have a bias and/or a decision that needs to be made, it is important for you to give your position as the leader and to invite discussion.
  3. As a leader, make sure to ask for opinions and ideas delaying analysis until all have expressed.
  4. Encourage honesty if there is disagreement. Often engagement does not happen if disagreement shows up after the meeting and is not shared with everyone

I hope some of these suggestions can be implemented so that you can see how well they work. Please leave a comment if you have questions or would like to discuss further.  I’d enjoy hearing from you!

PSS: Stay on the lookout for my forthcoming book, publishing soon; Jump from the I-Pod to the We-Pod: Breaking through the Barriers to Essential Collaboration for Business Success.