Investing In Team Relationships

 

Julie Morgenstern shares enormous parenting wisdom in her On Leadership interview. As the father of three young boys, I was captivated by her research and insights and have already begun implementing some of them in my home (to total early failure, but I am committed to endure).

One of her most impactful suggestions related to how we spend time with our children. She advises that the research supports short bursts, consistently delivered with no distractions. Instead of broad swaths of time where we’re likely distracted in and out of focus, take 5-15 minutes delivered several pivotal times each day (upon waking up, sending them off to school, dinner, bedtime etc.).

Without patronizing your team members, I think the same principle can apply.

If you’re in a leadership role, run the names of your direct reports through your mind and ask yourself when was the last time you invested some uninterrupted time connecting with them. Listening, understanding, and re-engaging with them. Personally and professionally.

I recently had a close colleague, who reports to me and I’ve worked with for nearly 15 years, albeit mostly in different states, ask me if I knew the names of her two children. She was in fact testing me.

I failed completely. I couldn’t name either one. I was mortified. It was humbling. As I write this, I can still only name one of them. Shameful.

It’s not complete disinterest. At least that’s what I tell myself. This is a person I spend hours with on the phone each week. We collaborate on many projects. I’d even say we’re friends. We have high trust with each other, and we know a lot about each other’s lives, insecurities, wishes, and goals.

And here’s the additional shame—I’ll bet she could recite my three boys’ names with zero hesitation.

Check back in with your team members and colleagues. Investing in your relationships is paramount to building high-trust, highly productive teams.

And listen to remember. Don’t just ask because you think it’s the right thing to do—even though it is. I’m still asking myself why I can’t remember her second child’s name.

_____________________________

Don’t leave the success of your first-level leaders, and your organization, to chance—download our complimentary guide today and help them make the mental leap to leader. 

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a twenty-three-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts multiple podcasts including FranklinCovey On Leadership and Great Life, Great Career. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multiweek Amazon #1 New Release Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. Scott authors a weekly leadership column for Inc.com and is a frequent contributor to Thrive Global. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Scott Miller
Previous Article
Find Your Unique Story
Find Your Unique Story

Scott Miller shares an insight from Dorie Clark to help you find your unique voice so that you can contribu...

Next Article
The Next Big Thing
The Next Big Thing

Does your culture encourage innovation at every level? As a leader do you actively seek it out? Truly liste...

×

Sign Up for Our Weekly Newsletter

First Name
Last Name
Country
FranklinCovey does not share, sell, rent or trade personally identifiable information with third parties for promotional purposes. Privacy policy
!
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!