People + Connection
David J. Greer
You are standing outside your office door having just walked into the building for the first time today. As you contemplate sitting down to get to the first tasks of the day done, you make a decision to turn around and walk around the office. You make sure that you connect with each of your first reports, being curious about how each individual is doing today. Only after having walked around and connected do you return to your office to work on what is next.
If we want to grow our companies, we need to grow the people around us. For them to grow, they must first connect with you, so that you have trust in them and they have trust in you. As high performing entrepreneurs, we often miss out this step, thinking that the tasks we accomplish are more important than the people and connections in our business.
When you start a business, you are often the only one who can get things done. As the business grows, it is imperative that you move your focus from getting things done to helping others on your team become the new leaders in the organization.
Start increasing the connection to your people using by trying one of the following ideas:
- When you first get up in the morning, identify the key connections and conversations that you need to have during the day. This includes both people inside and outside of your organization. It may be a first report or just as likely it could be a powerful supplier or a key customer.
- Whenever you meet with a group, get everyone to share a win, before starting in with what is going on. Our brains operate differently when we start from a positive place. You can learn more in my post “Start with the Wins”.
- At your weekly meeting, make sure that anyone on your team who needs your individual attention gets meeting time booked in their and your calendar.
- Have the tough conversations first. We all avoid those conversations that make us uncomfortable whether it is an employee who is not being accountable to a customer who is being unreasonable. Difficult conversations are the typically the ones that help us move the business forward the most. Step into them rather than avoiding them.
- Structure some aspect of your day so that you naturally have to get out of the office and connect with people. One CEO I know makes sure that he never has a printer in his office. When he prints something, he uses the journey to and from the printer to intentionally check in with people.
- As I mentioned at the start of this post, start your day by walking around, practicing your best listening skills so that you can really understand what the issue is for each individual. If you need more ideas on how to listen better, check out my post here.
The people around us and our connections to them have infinite potential to move our business ahead. As a CEO, learn to connect with your people every day so that you can create the next group of leaders who can sustain your business growth.