There is a direct relationship between success and strong leadership. Leaders of successful teams make an effort to understand the members of their teams. They know that followers want their leader to provide an emotional connection which comes with connectivity, empathy, accessibility and trust. If you ask your team what they want or need, be sure to give it to them – or if not, provide them with an explanation of why not. It hinges on the six Cs: credibility, compassion, courage, challenges, consistency and community. In addition they want trust, stability and hope and appreciation.
This appreciation could take the form of:
- training and personal development
- monetary rewards
We cannot apply the same rules to each individual when managing the entire team. Yes, you read right. People are so diverse in terms of personality, values, competencies and strengths, that you cannot expect each individual to respond in the same way. Flexibility is essential, and getting to know each team member is of paramount importance. Not only are all team members so different, but know too that your team’s individual needs change continually. That’s why you need to know when someone has a sick spouse or is moving house. Know enough about your staff in office as well as out of office. Empathy is tuning in to other people, so stay tuned.
The fruits of diversity can result in a heightened collective creativity if we foster tolerance, patience and understanding. The roots of prejudice lie in early emotional learning. We need to re-learn. It is the leader’s role to provide an environment that allows for re-learning. When one person is prejudiced others follow, so it is vital for a leader to set the tone – one of celebrating diversity.
Take time out with your team to discuss and debate your differences, and how you can create partnerships for developing potential together. Consider the fact that there are those with youth and those with experience, those who are fast and others slow. There are people who talk and people who act, the introverts and extroverts. Some initiate and others implement, some are numerate and others creative. There are leaders and followers, and some individuals who are not team players. Work with them and they will start to work with you. Most importantly, appreciate the diversity, make an effort to understand each individual and everyone will then work optimally.