The difference between great organizations and mediocre organizations are the people. The potential of any company is found in the capacity of its people, specifically in their ability to work together. Great teams are synergistic in that the people that make up the organization have a more significant overall impact than the sum of their individual parts.
Alexander Graham Bell said, “Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.” Given how vital developing relationships is to the success of an organization, it is odd that many leaders neglect to make this a priority.
According to a Bluesource study, productivity improves by up to 25 percent in organizations with connected employees. We see many resources for personal development and growth, yet we don’t often see tools to teach leaders to connect better with the people around them. Making connections that matter, like all areas of leadership, requires discipline. There are four habits I’ve found in my life that dial-up my ability to build relationships.
1. Be friendly.
Being kind and welcoming is especially important when the pressure is on, and everything is moving fast. People always remember those who had a smile on their faces during high-stress moments. Studies show that as children, we are biologically wired to be kind and compassionate. We can further develop this trait through practice and repetition. Remember, you can make a huge difference in someone’s day through a small act of kindness.
2. Practice clear communication.
Excellent communication is especially imperative when it comes to setting expectations. Be clear and direct with what you want to happen. According to statistics, 57 percent of employees report not being given clear directions. When you practice open and direct communication, you will begin to see a drastic change in productivity. People around you will thank you for your response.
3. Have patience.
Everyone makes mistakes, including you. If you give people the time and space to learn and grow, they will impress you every time. I am sure you have heard the popular quote, “patience is a virtue.” Exercising patience not only improves the lives of others, but it also has a positive impact on your life. Stan Floresco, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, states that having a wealthy reserve of patience can “re-engage frontal lobe functions.” With more patience, you will make calculated and thoughtful decisions, increasing your overall satisfaction in life.
4. Learn to have fun.
People like being around people who know how to have a good time. I am not saying you have to be the life of the party, but you need to know when to work and when just to have fun. Not only does having fun improve communication and collaboration, but it also breeds creativity. Adopting a more relaxed environment will add to the overall health of your coworkers, employees and company as a whole.