Kind Leaders understand that it isn't either/or ... it's BOTH!
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve heard from a number of people that they haven’t spent any time at all with their leaders recently. Their leader hasn’t connected with them in person, video chat, phone call or text. And that isn't very kind!
Why isn't it kind? Because in order for people to do their best, work in alignment with organizational needs and to have the courage and confidence to create and innovate, they need to have clear direction from their leader. As well, in order to feel wanted, needed, and engaged in the organization's mission, people need to be connected with their leaders. Also, trust is developed when people spend time together. People who don't get to spend time with their leaders don't develop that trust.
One of the questions people most often ask me is "Is it more important to spend 'quality time' with my leader, or 'quantity time'?
Here’s what I tell them: The kind thing for leaders to do is spend both “quality” and “quantity” time with the people who give their precious time to care for customers and make the goods and services that keep the organization going!
Quality time means their leader is paying their full attention to them and focused on understanding what they are doing, how they are doing it, what problems they are having and helping them fix those problems and learn and grow professionally and as a person!
Quality time also means leaders are taking the time to set and communicate clear targets about what should be done and how it should be done!
Quantity time means checking in with people frequently! Daily! Hourly if needed! Making sure that people have what they need to do their work optimally!
Just like seeing our friends on a frequent basis creates strong bonds, trust and enjoyment, spending quantity time with those you lead does too!
Today, when you are wearing your Leader Hat, please take a few minutes and do the following:
Pay attention to how much quality and quantity time you are spending with your people. Sit down and figure out how exactly how often you see them, and what you do when you do.
If you aren't spending enough time (quantity), reflect deeply on where you are spending your time instead, and make a change! I'd suggest checking in with each of the people you lead every single day! (Yes, you can make the time for that!)
Make sure that the time you are spending with people is quality time from their point of view! Ask them if you are giving them what they need to be successful, confident and creative! If you aren't please listen with open eyes, open ears, open mind and an open heart so that you can give them what they need!
People know that leaders spend their time on what they value. So, deliberately spending both quality and quantity time with those who follow you is the kindest thing that you can do as a leader!
And for an interesting finding from a great study about leadership time, please see Chapter 6, page 111 of The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness!