Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference
I can choose not to notice people. I want to notice them, but I’m easily distracted. I’m busy. All easy excuses for a leader. But, people can’t see your heart when you’re lost in your head.
It doesn’t matter if you want to notice people. It only matters that you do notice them.
Distraction blocks interaction
I walk around the office distracted by a million things – what’s next in the pipeline, problems, opportunities, and performance, to name a few.
I’m contemplating a coaching client’s concerns or the next presentation. How could I possibly find time for anybody else?
Remember you matter
It’s easy to forget that people watch leaders. A frown on your face signals problems to the team. You may not mean to be a downer, but a nagging frown drags others down.
It isn’t hard, but it’s important
People talk about simple things like smiling when they describe how leaders might improve their leadership. Send some of that positivity out into the office.
You object that you’re not good at smiling. That’s so sad.
Bad is stronger than good. You need at least three smiles to overcome the negative impact of one frown. You’re in the hole, baby. You better get smiling.
3 tips for frowning leaders to get their smile on:
1. Tell yourself you like people. Think of something you like about the person in front of you. If you don’t like people, get out of leadership.
2. Find a positive thing to believe in. What positive thing might you believe about others on the team?
3. Admire a strength. When you walk up to someone, think about something you admire about them. A smile indicates that you notice positive things.
7 small things that make a positive difference:
2. Show interest: “How are the kids?”
3. Give a pat on the back when it is needed.
4. Bring coffee for the team.
5. Celebrate progress and hard work.
6. Sing happy birthday.
7. Say thank you. (A smile and a little eye contact takes ‘thank you’ to a whole new level.)
What tips might you offer to frowners? What small behaviours have big impact?
Daniel Goleman is co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in organisations at Rutgers University, co-author of Primal Leadership: Leading with Emotional Intelligence, and author of The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights and Leadership: Selected Writings. His latest book is A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World. To connect with him, write to email@example.com