Discovering Your People

How well do you really know your staff? Of course, you know the work they do and perhaps some of their interests. But how deep does your knowledge or insight really go?

One of my clients recently discovered that one of her employees is a regular marathon runner. He had competed in races for years and the only reason it came up was because another employee mentioned something about him raising money for a charity race.

Another client learned that one of her staff members was an enthusiastic traveler who successfully spreads out 2 weeks of vacation over long weekends and company holidays so that she takes 3-4 trips abroad each year. She had no clue.

Yet another learned that the wife of one of her key employees was going to give birth in less than a week. It seems unfathomable that this client didn’t know about this baby a few months earlier!

The one thing in common among all these clients is that none of them take time to get to know their people on a personal level. As a result, they learn about these things “by accident”.

Leaders who don’t take the time to get better acquainted with their staff are missing a huge opportunity to build goodwill. When you’re “all business” on the job, it can backfire and reflect that you’re not interested in them as people, only in their results at work.

This isn’t about delving intrusively into their personal lives. Rather, it’s about being human. It humanizes you when you express interest and it humanizes them when you see their additional dimensions and talents that you don’t see on the job.

Whatever you can do to become more personally connected to your employees goes a long way to grow and improve relationships. When they know that you’re interested in them, they’ll be more driven to do a better job.

Your people are not automatons. They’re human. They have thoughts and feelings that are so much more complicated than what you see on the job. Treat them accordingly.

Have a great day!​​​​​​

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