Leadership at its core is a relationship and any good relationship has many aspects that include, caring, love, trust, and respect. Relationships must be a two way street where each person is open to differences of opinion and in order to do this, one needs to have a level of understanding of what drives the person on the other end of the line.
So let’s dive right in to what the acronym of L.O.V.E. means to me; starting with “L.” You’ll quickly see that the letters in my acronym aren’t always just one simple word; that’s because leading and developing others is complex and won’t always be easy.
Listen and Learn
I think we could all agree that most everyone could do a better job of Listening and being in the moment. We live in a fast paced world that always seems to be focused on what’s around the corner. The problem is that if leadership is a relationship and we don’t take time to listen to others then it will be very difficult to understand what makes that person tick; their likes/dislikes, what drives them and how to inspire them. Check out my friend El Biddulph’s blog at www.beingfullypresent.com; a blog all about living in the present and recognizing the important things around us.
If listening is where it starts then to Learn is to develop the knowledge through experience with that person. We need to retain what we hear and then use that to inspire others. One example relates to recognition. Many out there love to receive recognition from others; however, that doesn’t mean they want that recognition publicly displayed in front of their peers. If someone is struggling with their work, do you know them well enough to say that it’s a lack of skill, or could there be something else going on in their life impacting them at that time. Are you asking them how their weekend was; who in their family is important to them and what their hobbies are? All of these things are important no matter if this is a personal or professional relationship. It’s important to get to know our co-workers on a personal level in order to build the relationship, earn their trust and then be able to develop them into a better leader. Have you ever heard of the term “Manage By Walking Around?” This is all about relationships; it’s not to play big brother, rather, it’s a way to take time as a leader to get to know your people. More to come in the future on these concepts of Listening and Learning but I hope in the meantime you’ll join me in taking more time to listen and learn in order to build stronger relationships.