I have a question for you today. How well do you know those who work for you? Not sure? Then please take a moment to get out a piece of paper and write down the names of people on your team…then beside each one, write down the name of their partner/spouse, kids, pets, and their favorite food. If you can’t do it, or see some blanks, please ask yourself why. Sometimes, leaders feel like getting to know their people as “people” can’t (or shouldn’t happen) until after they’ve gained their trust. But think about it, in order to trust someone, we need to believe that they know who we are as a person, and that they have our best interests at heart. So, if you don’t know your people as “people”, they are going to have a hard time trusting you as a leader.
What can you do to get to know your people as “people”? It’s easy! When you are walking down the hall, stop and have a conversation! Ask how their family is. Ask them to remind you of their partner/spouses name if you don’t know! Start meetings by asking people to share something they did outside of work yesterday, or by holding up their pet on a Zoom call.
People are never things. And Kind Leaders know that getting to know their people as “people” is the first step to creating a culture of trust, because trust is personal!
To learn more about creating a Culture of Trust, and to find more great practical exercises, please see Chapter 6 of The Kind Leader.