“Would I rather be feared or loved? Umm…easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” – Michael Scott, The Office
Though Michael Scott may not be what is traditionally called a “great leader,” he may have some insight into how to best lead a team. A recent study by the Gallup Organization found that people who said they had at least one friend in the workplace were more likely to be satisfied in their role and engaged with their team.
Just as we would with any other relationship in our lives, we need to take the time to grow relationships with colleagues, earning their trust and respect. With this foundation, we can more easily open the door for clear communication and accountability. The best leaders want their team members to feel that they should go after achievements not only because of their own hopes and dreams, but also because of a desire to bring success to the group.
To deepen your work relationships, look for opportunities to identify personal strengths and goals in your team members. It should be your goal to support them in leveraging their strengths and meeting and exceeding their goals. To do this means committing a significant amount of time to getting to know and understand your team members, and ensuring they know you care about them both as individuals and as valued team members. In addition, by showing and demonstrating deep respect for differences and appreciation for them as individuals and team members, you will further your connection, while still maintaining professional and personal boundaries. There are many ways you can make a genuine, meaningful connection. What have you done lately to show you care?