“Inspire, empower, listen & appreciate. Practicing any one of these can improve employee engagement; mastering all four can change the game.” - @jeffweiner
Last month, LinkedIn’s CEO shared a key piece of insight to all leaders looking to advance not only themselves, but also their organization.
Accomplishing these four verbs everyday may sound like a chore, but by identifying a few simple ways to incorporate a few things you’re likely already doing in a meaningful way, you can truly make a difference.
Letting others know their contributions are valued, inspires them to keep thinking, sharing and growing.
- Tell your story.
Everyone has overcome obstacles, tackled a project and failed, or created success where there was only fear. Sharing your story invites others to learn from your experiences and find their own resilience to push through even on the toughest days.
- Get to know others.
Knowing who you work with, beyond their resume, is a great way to inspire. What motivates them? What is their leadership style? How do they work best? Understanding styles, preferences, and goals unlocks key insights into those around you.
- Set an example.
Arriving on time to meetings, remaining calm in difficult conversations, or keeping accountable to deadlines, demonstrates expected behaviors for your team. This also is true of your general attitude in the workplace.
By showing others that you care – about them, their contributions and their growth – as well as trust in them to work beyond the task at hand, you empower them to exceed expectations.
- Ask for feedback.
When you ask someone for feedback, you show him or her that their opinion matters. By asking for their expertise, you are showing them your genuine trust in their perspective as well as an interest in collaborating.
- Share the why.
When a leader sees that what they do matters, they begin to take more ownership of their work rather than just accountability. If a leader can draw a line from the task at hand to the bottom line, they are more likely to see the value in it, and take ownership over it.
- Present new challenges.
When work becomes mundane, engagement can falter. By presenting opportunities to tackle new challenges, or be a part of a special project team, leaders rise to the occasion and become more engaged and invested.
Communication is 7% words used, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language, what are those around you saying?
- Listening is essential.
Communication is so much more than talking. Listening and processing what others are saying (through their words and their behaviors) allows you to be more in tune with those around you, allowing you to be more aware and effective.
- Get focused.
As we mentioned in Communicating in Silence – How to Connect Without Words, “What is your body language telling the speaker? Are you making eye contact? Actively taking notes? Offering encouraging nods of understanding? Sharing verbal cues of active listening?”
- Let curiosity lead.
Ask follow up questions. Explore the “what ifs.” Taking the time to immerse yourself in the world of potential ideas helps you as a leader gain perspective and shows your team you really don’t come into conversations with all of the answers, and depend on them to consider, share, and lead.
By showing colleagues their work is appreciated, their engagement and excitement increases.
- Please and thank you.
During the hustle and bustle of the day, sometimes we forget the simple things, like saying ‘thank you’ while looking someone in the eye. Increasing your sincere verbal appreciation of what you are asking, or receiving, from others goes a long way.
- Positive reinforcement.
After a particularly tough presentation, project, or task, recognizing the efforts of others with a “Great job!” or public recognition of how their contributions impacted a project, shows not only the leader, but the entire team that valuable contributions were made.
- Making time.
Sometimes a leader needs five minutes of your time to run through a project they are working on. Sometimes someone has an idea in their head they just can’t quite articulate yet. Sometimes a colleague needs a friend to chat with around the water cooler. No matter the need, choosing to make time for those you work with shows that you appreciate their need, and want to help.
Your leadership style makes a difference to your team, colleagues, and managers.
If you or your team could use some help accelerating your leadership impact, we’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Give us a call at +1.847.920.0190.