How can you learn to lead with and embrace humanity?
Do not forget the human side of human resources. You as a leader, have a lot to focus on, but what about the emotional needs of your team? “This person cared about me as a human being” – when you lead with humanity, it is one of the characteristics that people will bring up when they think of the best manager or supervisor that they have ever worked for. So, how do you do that if that is not your natural tendency?
Use these three tools to become more in tune with the humanity of your workgroup:
1. Check in with your team.
Realize that people may be more stressed than what they are showing on the surface. Many of us take our stress and bury it inside, or we carry it around with us, and we do not let it show because we do not want to burden other people with our stresses. That does not mean that the stress does not exist.
So, touch base with people. It could be something you work into your daily routine. It has nothing to do with the work at hand, but it is important to the people that work with you.
2. Recognize that there is likely a story under the surface that you know nothing about.
Let people tell you about what is going on, if for no other reason than to simply unburden themselves. You do not have to feel compelled to solve all their problems because they are probably working their way through them.
If it turns out it is a problem that you can offer some assistance or maybe direct them to some assistance that is available through your company’s benefits program, obviously, offer that as a resource. When you, as a leader, know more about team members, it helps you figure out what motivates them, and how to get the best from them.
3. Listen and empathize.
When you hear people express things, you want to be able to fully hear them. That means paying attention to them, listening to them, nodding, and asking questions. Then to really cement it, you can and extend your humanity.
Follow up later and ask how things are going, whether they are improving. Many leaders are worried that if they get too embroiled in their employees’ personal lives, it is going to cause more drama. However, by being approachable and being a person who is interested in what your team is going through, you will build bonds and high levels of trust. This in turn will drive up performance and results.
Once you have worked on becoming more empathetic or working more humanity into your approach, you may decide that you want to improve your other leadership skills. This can be done through our public workshops delivered either on-site or virtually.
No matter what you need to become the best leader you can be, we will be your coach, your champions, and your resource.