Building relationships during the holidays can be a challenge. You would think that with all the holiday parties and get togethers that it would be easy to deepen your relationships with members of your team as well as with potential members. This is so not true.
During the holidays, we do become focused – focused on family, focused on gift giving, focused on holiday parties and focused on avoiding the crowds and traffic. We are laser focused. The tradition of sending out personalized holiday cards has also lost its popularity. I used to get over 100 cards from people I knew and loved to folks I didn’t even know who they were much less what their business did. Now, if I get 10, it’s a lot and most of them come from the card sending companies.
As a leader, this is the season to deepen your relationship with your team with purpose. Everyone is busy. So how can you arrange to have a meaningful conversation with the tribe without either of you feeling it is an imposition? I find that my tribe likes to take a moment to get out of the craziness of the holiday and sit with a cup of coffee or tea. This is not necessarily a long lunch hour but rather 15 to 30 minutes in a quiet coffee shop (which usually is not Starbucks or Peets). If during the day is not possible, then a moment with a glass of champagne can really brighten the day.
Surprisingly, there is no agenda. I don’t have a list of questions a mile long. Rather it is a time to talk about plans, about family, about the good times and the bad. It can also be a time to sit and B#@*!. It is whatever the other person wants it to be. What I get out of it is exploring areas of that person that don’t usually come up in our normal conversations. I want to learn the good, the bad and the ugly that they are willing to share. This begins to build a bold, rich picture of this team member. It gives the person depth and breadth which helps me to better lead them in the future. It can also tell me what is working in our relationship and what is not. Do I need to change my leadership style to be more effective? Have I overemphasized some skills of leadership and not used others at all? How does the person respond to my leadership? How can we be even more successful?
Connecting and Sharing
I learn a great deal about herding cats when I am building relationships. These lessons are incorporated into the 12 Steps of The Art of Herding Cats: Leading Teams of Leader. I will teach you how to connect and share stories and experiences that build the relationship within the team, how to take action based on what you hear and how to be supportive without losing accountability and/or responsibility. Join me in taking your relationships to a deeper level.
Something else I have learned as a business woman is to ask for what you want. If you loved what you just read, this content is not for free. As a form of payment, I am asking you simply to comment or share this on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter.
Linda Patten, MBA, BSN, RN has over 30 years of experience leading women to success in building and achieving their dreams. She turns networking marketing women from product sellers to leaders of highly functioning teams. To learn more about her innovative programs, click on Contact Us.