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Secret Leadership Tip – Build a Partnership with Your Team

December 9th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There’s a little secret to effective team building.  A leader has 3 choices; either know this secret and uses it, know this secret and don’t believe it or use it, or is completely clueless to the secret.  What is this little powerful secret?  It is to know your team mates and treat them like your partners in business.  This means knowing more than just their name and position in your company.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?

I’m not talking about knowing all the dirt on your team mates.  That is gossip and completely ineffective unless you are leading by intimidation, which is a trait of an weak leader.  I am talking about knowing what’s important to them in their lives outside of work.  Who are they besides the position they hold at your company!

This isn’t a difficult task if you have a team of 3 or 4.  It’s easy to learn somethings about them.  The most effective leaders are those who know their team mates’ families; spouse, kids, dog/cat, the team sports their children may be playing, etc.

I have heard leaders say they don’t want to get to know their team mates very well, because they may have to fire them.  My answer to such nonsense is, if you knew them better they would integrate into the team more effectively, work up to your expectations, and you wouldn’t have a reason to fire them.  Make sense?

People spend most of their waking day at their jobs.  If they are merely a number or a position, why should they care?  If your team doesn’t care, things begin to happen.  Work efficiency slows down, office supplies disappear out of the closet at an amazing rate, and moral stinks!

Many years ago, I joined a very large company.  About 2 months into my tenure there, I was at a company meeting.  On a potty break, I ran into the CEO of the company in the hall.  Right away, he called me by name and asked how my spouse was.  He even called my spouse by his name.  He had only met me once before.  I was impressed.

He always had the ability to know all of us and recall immediately all the tidbits about us he had gleaned from our conversations.  He cared about each and everyone of us.  We were his partners in business.

Some of us may feel it is impossible to know every one’s information.  It becomes a surprisingly different task if we change the way we perceive our team mates.  If they are all our partners in business, the details about them become more important to us.

You might say, I can’t remember everyone because my memory isn’t that good.  If that’s what you think, than you are right.  I’m sorry you’ll have miss out on this very important secret. But, if you change your mind and decide to prioritize your memory skills this tip will change your team’s dynamics.

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