Connecting with your team…

I drive a pickup truck. It’s not for everyone, but I like it. Where I live, when I pass a car on the road, it’s just another car. But, when I pass a pickup truck, there’s a good chance we might wave at each other. Why? Because we’re both driving trucks, of course! Now, if we happen to be driving the same model of truck, the chances of exchanging the dashboard wave just went up dramatically. So what is this pickup truck phenomenon? Well, actually, it’s not about pickup trucks at all. It’s about something even more basic. It’s about  connection. By nature, we enjoy connecting with people that have common interests. Paying attention to this simple, yet important fact can help you in your quest for improved leadership. If you have great team members, they most likely enjoy being part of something larger than themselves. Quite simply, it’s part of what makes them great team members. But great teams don’t just happen; their success is dependent on many factors. One of those factors is, how well do the team members connect to one another? When team members connect, they are much more likely to trust and depend on each other.  As the leader, it’s your responsibility to foster this type of environment.  That means you need to set the example of connecting with your team. For some this might feel awkward, but it’s not that complicated. It starts with simple conversation. You might strike up a conversation about an individual’s favorite food, where they were born and raised, or what hobbies they might have. And don’t manipulate. Be genuinely interested. In doing so, you will begin to build trust amongst each other, and in turn, begin to function better as a team. And you might even find out that there are more truck drivers out there than you thought!

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