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In reading Dr. Hallowell's book Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011), I was drawn to the 2nd step of his Cycle of Excellence, about connection.
To recap, the author, a psychiatrist and behavior expert, draws on brain science, performance research, and his own experience to present a process for getting the best from your people:
- Select: Put the right people in the right job and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains.
- Connect: Strengthen interpersonal bonds among team members.
- Play: Help people unleash their imaginations at work.
- Grapple and Grow: When the pressure is on, enable employees to achieve mastery of their work.
- Shine: Use the right rewards to promote loyalty and stoke your people’s desire to excel.
A manager or leader’s first step for bringing out the best in people is ensuring a person is well matched to a job. Step 1. The Right Fit provided many great assessment tools that help to identify an employee’s talents and strengths in order to then evaluate the fit with the tasks he or she is responsible to perform.
Now let’s turn our attention to finding connection and interpersonal relationships at work.
Step 2: Connect
A positive working environment arises from the way leaders and managers handle negativity, failure and problems. They set the tone and model preferred behaviors and reactions. Employees take their cues from those who lead them.
Leaders, managers, and employees require a mutual atmosphere of trust, optimism, openness, transparency, creativity and positive energy. Each group can contribute to reducing toxic fear and worry, insecurity, backbiting, backstabbing, gossip and disconnection.
As a leader and manager, here's what you can do to encourage connection:
- Look for the spark of brilliance within everyone.
- Encourage a learning mindset. Share what you are learning.
- Model and teach optimism for overall wellbeing of the employees and the organization
- Model the belief that interpersonal relationships are key to effective teamwork and can overcome any problem.
- Use human moments instead of relying on electronic communication.
- Learn more about each person. Get beyond what makes them tick and learn what makes them shine.
- Treat everyone with respect ̶ especially those you dislike.
- Meet people where they are and know that most will do their best with what they have.
- Encourage reality testing.
- Use humor without sarcasm or at others’ expense.
- Seek out the quiet ones. Bring them in.
In the work I do as an Executive Coach focusing on Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology in the workplace, many hours are devoted to exploring how my client wants to develop connections with and among people at work.
What do you think about this?
- What ways can you improve connection with your people?
- What resources do you need to improve interpersonal relationships with and among your employees?
Books and Audiobooks
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011)
The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success, Third Edition, Steven J. Stein, Ph.D. and Howard E. Book, M.D.
Assessments for effective connection
For information about qualified administration and briefing of the following assessments, contact Patricia at email@example.com or call 905-858-7566
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
DISC Behaviour Assessment – Thomas International
EQ – Emotional Intelligence – EQi 2.0 and EQ 360