Last week I was almost bowled over by the gratitude and joy expressed by someone to whom I had sent a little thank you card.
This woman is a doyen of the networking scene here in Portland. She is appears to be known, respected and loved by everyone she interacts with. She has built a very successful business through her networking, is an influential presence in a variety of business circles and has contributed much in the business community.
It surprised me that she has not received a personal note in several years!
In spite of all the great communication tools and media we have, we seem to be disconnecting on a human level. People seem to need reminders these days to communicate in person. When I asked a client “did you go to the other party to ask for the report in person?” she thanked me for the “novel idea.”
One leadership question I receive frequently is about how to motivate people and to keep them engaged and motivated. The simple answer is: by fostering a culture of personal contact and caring.
I think we are treating people as invisible in the workplace and that does not bode well for employee retention.
Direct human contact is the “novel idea” essential for leadership. Here is what it will accomplish for you:
- People can experience your care and compassion through direct contact
- The quality of your leadership rises significantly when you are physically and mentally present
- It moves people to feel warmth towards you
- You will establish trust and start building real relationships
- It will bring you unexpected joy
- It is very satisfying to be the one to make first contact
- Reciprocal, tangible relationships are a basic human need
- It will make that significant sale
- It will make a lasting commitment to you, your team or business easier
- You will create a desirable workplace that continues to foster human interaction
- All the above will apply to your teams and their morale
My challenge to you this week is to get up and meet the world around you eye-to-eye and start talking.