An article in the paper this morning was about unusual first names. One name discussed that caught my eye was 7. This guy’s parents named him 7 after a man his father had become friends with in the military; his name was 7 or Sevin.
This started me thinking about leaders who do not take the time to develop strong relationships with their team and followers. So I suppose that instead of names these leaders might as well assign everyone a number, you know, for the convenience of the leader. After all, the leader has more important things to take care of rather than people.
John Maxwell defines influence as the true measure of leadership. To have influence as a leader, especially when asking for significant sacrifice and commitment, you must have established a positive meaningful relationship with your team and followers. So if you haven’t they pretty much are just numbers to you.
How does a leader start a relationship with someone? Here are some thoughts.
- Start with the simple stuff and find out about their background. Salespeople use the acrostic FORM which stands for family, occupation, recreation and message.
- The message part of FORM refers to their beliefs and what they value. This is where you begin to understand people on a deeper level
- Ask what inspires them, what makes them laugh, cry and sing.
- Then ask what they hope to accomplish in your organization; in the next year, the next five years and beyond.
- Listen more than talk
- Make them aware how you, as their leader, intend to help them accomplish their goals.
By investing your time in someone you establish a powerful connection and they understand that they are more than just a number. They are cared for.
So if your team members and followers are just a set of numbers you have some work to do.