This article first appeared in Industry Week.
It’s probably never happened to you, but have you ever found that you don’t get good and useful feedback from your staff, teammates, leadership, and maybe even family or friends? You ask, then… crickets? It may be that you’ve trained them that way.
Many organizations are experiencing the full force of change. This new speed of change is creating a shift in what employee’s value and what they are looking for in an organization. And because of this, organizations are now reflecting more on their culture and considering ways to enhance employee engagement and retention. Now is the ideal time for organizations to reflect on their legacy learning approaches and ask themselves: “will our existing learning approaches to enhance employee engagement, leadership development, change management, and problem solving help us transform our culture to best meet the future demands of our customers and stakeholders?” Perhaps, if the focus is on developing the team and not just the individual learner.
The days of traditional and organic relationship building stopped abruptly in 2020, and the effects are still lingering in 2021. In person meetings were canceled, and virtual meetings took place. Casual run-ins with coworkers at the water cooler stopped, and the way we meet new customers has been altered dramatically.
When it comes to building rapport in conversations, the key is to keep it simple and listen, listen, listen! It is all about trust and relationships; companies do not do business with companies; people do business with people.
Who would have thought that only a few months into the year 2020, we would all be living through another life-altering crisis? Like previous major crises, they are unwelcomed and unwanted. As we are in the trenches of this current experience, we must remain united and look ahead to a new world that will forever be impacted.
It’s hard to be a leader right now. You have people relying on you that are worried about their jobs, scared that they or someone in their family may become ill, or are just incapacitated by the overwhelming sequence of events that have occurred due to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, you may have some of these same worries and concerns. So, how do you take care of yourself and all the others who are relying on you?
During this time, we need to be more alert than ever. In many cases, the demand from our work has increased, our families continue to need our love and support, and we as individuals need to make sure that we are mentally focused.
It’s nearly April, and April is the usual time for spring cleaning at my house. Since the word “clean” has taken on a whole new meaning for all of us, I decided to really dig deeply into old dark corners to tidy up and truly sanitize. When moving some old picture frames and clay pots aside, I found a resource that I’d forgotten about. Published in 1992 and written by Donald T. Phillips, the little paperback Lincoln on Leadership is a profound, timeless reminder of the simple yet effective things we can do, not only in times of trouble, but every day to build confidence and loyalty among our employees. (And I found it on Amazon for as little as a quarter! Now that’s a bargain.)