Sandi Speaks: Taking Care of Others
“Take Care of People and They Will Take Care of You” is so true!
The Law of Reciprocity is a universally understood rule of thumb, and an incredibly valuable one that can transform your workplace relationships when integrated effectively.
But how do you truly take care of people? How can you make your team passionate about their jobs and excited about your culture and mission?
Listen completely before needing to speak
Most of us love to talk. Yes you do….admit it. You may be asking about someone else’s weekend, but you are really dying to tell about yours. You may ask another’s opinion, but wait until they hear yours! They will be amazed! That little voice is in all of us. Resist it, and truly listen. Listening is very different than being silent until it is your turn to speak. Active listening involves hearing the concern or the joy, discerning the root cause of either, and taking time to rejoice or talk through an issue. Are you being asked to fix something, or simply be interested and supportive? Would it benefit everyone if you fixed it, or is this a great opportunity for someone to grow and find their own solution? Pause and consider before you open your mouth! In this day and age of distractions and instant rewards, active listening is a rare and valuable gift that has the ability to foster relationships like no other. When people feel listened to, people feel cared for!
Strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin
Your top salesperson may be energetic, fearless, assertive, and someone who refuses to quit. All amazing traits! But these same traits can appear stubborn, intimidating, exhausting, pushy, and even rude to those on the team trying to support their requests and needs. Encourage everyone on your team to realize that their strengths can be their weaknesses, depending on the audience. They need to consider adapting their approach accordingly. It isn’t rational to ask a dominant personality to not to be dominant. But you can ask them to adjust their message in a way that minimizes miscommunication and increases team harmony!
Cultivate those strengths, and be aware of weaknesses
Everyone has talents. And everyone has areas in which they do not excel. Encourage your team to not only know their weaknesses, but play to their strengths! If one never misses a detail but another is incredibly creative, that sounds like a winning combination that could work well together. But not if you require everyone on the team to be creative. Help them make that winning combination function well, by offering encouragement when you see members of your team actively tapping into their talents, and giving positive feedback when you see them making progress in areas of weakness!
Last but never least, respect and empower your team
When you come from a place of respect and empowerment, your team will surprise you with a level of commitment and loyalty that will astound you.
How you respond when mistakes are made, and how you empower employees to make decisions communicates volumes to your team about your attitudes and loyalty to them.
Can they trust you to have their back when challenges arrive? What about in supporting their ideas being heard? When people feel respected and valued, they will shock you with the amount of energy and commitment they put back into work.