There is no denying that the relationship between a leader and their team directly impacts morale, productivity, engagement, and general job satisfaction. When leaders take the time to recognize, understand and encourage their team members, it can lead to dramatic improvements in all of these areas. This is what heartfelt leadership is all about—a style of management based on empathy, understanding, appreciation, and trust.
At its core, heartfelt leadership is about building relationships with your team. It’s about getting to know each individual and valuing their strengths while recognizing and supporting them through any weaknesses they may have. The goal is to create an open environment where everyone feels comfortable communicating openly and honestly without fear of criticism or judgment. This type of atmosphere allows for better communication, more efficient collaborations, and ultimately leads to increased performance from your entire team.
Starting With Heart
When it comes to fostering meaningful relationships with your team members, it's important to start with heart. Building trust starts with actively listening to your team's ideas and concerns while showing genuine empathy towards them. It's also worth noting that having regular conversations around meaningful topics instead of just talking “shop" can help build stronger bonds within the group.
A book that all leaders and people managers should read to improve their communication skills is "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High," by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Galloway. In this book, the authors emphasize the importance of "starting with heart," which means approaching every conversation with empathy, care, and a genuine interest in the other person's perspective.
Knowing Your Employees
To truly understand your employees, getting to know their personalities and communication styles is essential. This is where the DISC profile comes in. DISC is a behavioral assessment tool that measures four dimensions of personality: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. By understanding an employee's DISC profile, you can tailor your communication style to match theirs, leading to more effective and productive conversations.
Utilizing DISC when hiring new employees or conducting performance reviews can help you gain further insight into each individual’s observable behavior so that tasks are assigned appropriately in terms of their natural behavior and preferences for how they like working best.
Taking Care Of Yourself
As a leader, it’s important that you prioritize taking care of yourself so that you have the energy needed to provide support for your team members whenever needed. During American Heart Month, take a moment to reflect on how you're feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally, then make adjustments accordingly so that you can give back wholeheartedly without feeling overwhelmed or depleted in any way.
The Benefits Of DISC For Individuals and Companies
DISC has many benefits for individuals and companies beginning with the awareness of different styles which leads to adapting your style for improved communication. This can be impactful in teams throughout an organization, but notably for sales professionals and in customer service settings which can result in reduced customer churn rate and by creating greater customer loyalty overall. Additionally, leveraging DISC profiles during one-on-one meetings, 360 reviews, and performance management activities provides insights into specific areas where communication improvement may be necessary.
Heartfelt leadership requires dedication from both leaders and those they lead; however, the rewards far outweigh any effort put forth when one takes the time needed to engage with their team members on an individual level starting with heart, both literally and figuratively speaking! Not only does this approach improve morale among staff members, but it also encourages improved collaboration resulting in higher levels of performance across multiple areas within any given organization regardless of size or industry.
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