Never Underestimate the Power of Knowing Your People

White woman with an Asian man at the conference table talking.

As a leader, knowing your people has a powerful and long-lasting impact. But the pendulum of effect swings two ways–positive and negative. 

A manager who is indifferent to his staff will leave individuals feeling disposable and unremarkable. However, a boss who takes time for personal connections can alter life outcomes for the better. 

Get to know your people beyond the tasks they do.

4 Skills for Developing Relationships with Your Staff

Know your employees. 

Above all, have extensive knowledge about the backgrounds, needs, and desires of your people. Get to know your people beyond the tasks they do. Ask them directly about their career goals and aspirations–what do they want to get out of their job? 

Keep in mind the goal isn’t to introduce or interrogate. It’s to gain insight into their dreams, strength, and motivations. 

white man with beard speaking to black woman at work

Match suitedness.

Draw connections between the opportunity and the development needs of your employees. This involves continuously be on the lookout for options that can advance your employees’ careers. For instance, when opportunities are identified, ask yourself whose growth and development would this opportunity most advance?

Envision the desired results. 

Next, have a clear picture of the desired benefits that given opportunities present for the employees and the organization. Do some future-casting with your employee. Think through the potential benefits–to the employee and the organization–that could emerge if the opportunity is accomplished. After that, give some thought to the actions that will have to occur to maximize the probability of success.

when you know your employees’ aims, and you’ve assigned them an ideal opportunity, you can’t help but take a strong interest in their success. 

White woman looking at clipboard in office

Provide ongoing support. 

Genuinely want and support your employees’ success. In fact, when you know your employees’ aims, and you’ve assigned them an ideal opportunity, you can’t help but take a strong interest in their success. 

Stay involved by periodically asking what support they need from you, removing barriers that might block their progress, and offering encouragement and guidance when they hit roadblocks and bottlenecks. This is a natural part of knowing your people. 

In conclusion, the more you cultivate these skills, the more you will see opportunities to open doors for others. The altruistic efforts you make will offer them a better future professionally and personally while affording you remarkable leadership opportunities.

Bill Treasurer

About Bill Treasurer

Bill Treasurer is a bestselling author, leadership consultant, and creator of Q Cards. He is the founder of Giant Leap Consulting, a courage-building company, and the author of the international bestseller, Courage Goes to Work. His workshops have been taught to thousands of executives in eleven countries on five continents. For more than two decades, Bill has designed and delivered programs for emerging and experienced leaders from such organizations as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lenovo, eBay, UBS Bank, Spanx, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to founding Giant Leap Consulting, Bill served as an executive in Accenture’s change management and human performance practice, eventually becoming the $35 billion company’s first full-time internal executive coach.

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