As leaders, we are often caught up in the whirlwind of responsibility as our focus and attention will naturally shift to strategic endeavors or the issue of the day. While leading a team, department, or organization can consume your day, taking the time to perform small, low energy gestures can make a meaningful difference with the people who report to you.
Here are a couple of ways to connect with very little effort:
Notice things. Take time to walk around and pay attention to the vibe and energy level. Stop and chat with folks and sincerely ask about their family and life outside of work. Tom Peters uses the term Manage by Wandering Around.
Remember everything. Capture and store important information in the lives of your team members. Birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, names of family members and significant family events are just a few. If you don’t have a great memory (like me) find the right tools to help. I use Evernote to store this information and Google Calendar for reminders.
Do something. Find unique and creative ways to let people know you are thinking about them. Drop short, handwritten notes on the desks of your people when its their birthday or an employment anniversary. Make sure it is personal (not from an assistant) and sincere.
Acknowledge everyone. Taking a few minutes while wandering around to connect with as many people as you can even if it’s just to say “good morning” or “thank you.” Seek out new team members and see if they need anything.
With relationships, small but thoughtful action will often make the most impact. If you are looking to connect with your people, the little things matter.