Leading a team of people requires a significant amount of energy. To motivate, engage and get the business results you’re after, it requires you to show up.
Showing up is at the core of maintaining strong and meaningful connections. It’s what turns the people you employ into your people.
It’s what inspires them. It’s what builds loyalty. It’s what makes you a truly impactful leader.
It means creating a safe space for people to be their true selves. It means validating their feelings and experiences, really listening to them, easing their load and ensuring they know they can count on you.
It takes effort, intentionality and consistency.
And it requires a certain level of emotional intelligence, empathy, thoughtfulness, generosity, confidence and vulnerability.
Here are five ways in which you can show up for the people you lead.
1. Show your support
Send that note of a job well done. Mention their name to your boss, and your boss’ boss. Comment on their LinkedIn article. Donate to their fundraising efforts. Nominate them for that award. Celebrate their wins like they’re your wins.
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2. Remember the little things
Set up calendar notifications for their birthdays and work anniversaries. Note down the names of people they speak about the most (partners, friends, family). Ask how that event, chore or activity went.
3. Be invested in them
Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Create development opportunities. Help them build their networking circle. Share things with them you think they might appreciate (articles, news, even memes).
4. Be accessible and present
Set up regular one-on-one meetings and wherever possible, don’t move them. If you need to move or cancel, reschedule in the same conversation. Literally show up. Don’t flake on them. Be on time. When you’re there, be there, not stuck in your head.
5. Really get to know them
Learn their communication preferences. Make note of their passions. What are their personal and professional goals? Pay attention to physical and behavioural cues that may indicate something is going on in their world.
Showing up (especially with all that is going on right now) can be hard, but it’s also rewarding. Showing up makes you a better and more present leader. So, build some, if not all, of these actions into your leadership approach and watch the return flow back to you tenfold.