Extraordinary Team Blog

Spring is a Good Time to Make Connections

Posted by Kristin Arnold on March 19, 2009

The first day of spring is tomorrow and it’s time to get out and about.  After being cooped up this winter, make a concerted effort to informally visit your team.  Especially if you are the leader, make sure you connect with each and every team member or employee:

Touch Base. By walking around, you will get a chance to see what’s happening on the ground floor of the organization.  See what people are up to; listen to concerns; congratulate great performance.

Be Visible. Even though you may have an open door policy, many people will never take advantage of it.  But they will appreciate your appearance from time to time — even if it is just to say “hi.”

Be Human. Contrary to popular belief, you put your pants on the same way everybody else does.  By coming out of your office and visiting with people, you become one of the people.  Don’t spoil it by putting on airs; be approachable and genuinely interested in who they are, what they are doing, and what they have to tell you.

Use Proper Names. People like to be recognized.  One of the best ways to recognize people is to use their name correctly.  Whether it’s Kristin or Ms. Arnold, use proper names.  If you don’t know their names, ask (and make it a point to remember them!).

Probe Without Malice. You can always ask the default, “How’s it going?” or connect a bit more deeply by asking, “How are you (your family, dog, baseball team, etc.) doing?”  Don’t ask questions with a “hidden” agenda…save them for a more appropriate time.

Offer Help. You can really amaze your team by simply asking, “Is there anything I can do for you?”   Of course, if they take you up on your offer, you must listen and, if at all possible, take action!

We know you are busy, but the rewards far exceed the few minutes it will take to build these relationships.  So stretch your legs and go for a stroll!

Question:  What have you learned by strolling amongst your team?

More on the topic of leadership:

Strong Teamwork Results from Interactive Leadership

Keeping Your Team Together in These Tough Economic Times

Be in Front, Not Behind

The World Needs Collaborative Leadership in 2009

To book Kristin to speak or view her products go to www.ExtraordinaryTeam.com