“People don’t mind being challenged to do better if they know the request is coming from a caring heart.”
~ Ken Blanchard

Indira Gandhi once said, “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” This has never been more true. Successful business leaders know although you can manage people by simply giving orders, only through caring about your employees will you take that next step in management evolution, from managing people to leading people.

As James Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote in their book, Encouraging the Heart, “All things being equal, we will work harder and more effectively for people we like. And we like them in direct proportion to how they make us feel.” Following are four ways you can help develop yourself as a caring leader, creating trust and loyalty in the process.

Evolving from Managing People to Leading People

  1. Start off on the Right Foot. At the beginning of each workday, make it a point to speak with your employees. This sounds like common sense but common sense isn’t always commonly applied! For example, compliment them on their successes early in the day, and you’ll see a more positive attitude and greater productivity throughout the workday.
  2. Recognize and Personalize Their Successes. It’s not a new concept to praise and reward your employees for a job well done; however, make sure this recognition is both public and personal. This doesn’t have to be a formal celebration, but it should give your employees a time to focus on the success of their team member. A pizza party or a cake, for reaching a small goal can really keep a team motivated and show you appreciate their hard work.
  3. Take Advantage of the Afternoon Lull. There’s a reason energy drinks use the 3 o’clock hour as an example of when people need a pick-me-up, it’s the time when many employees feel their energy and motivation drop. Take advantage of the afternoon lull, and walk around your employees, asking them how things are going. It’ll not only motivate them to keep productivity going, but will also show them you care about them.
  4. Be Friendly. Although it’s difficult sometimes to draw the line between friendship and boss-employee relationship, this doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly with your employees. Be easy to laugh with your employees. Take note of things in their personal life, such as a new addition to their family or a sick family member, and inquire when appropriate.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.