Why are there so many sitcoms about bad bosses? The biggest reason is that we have all had an experience with a boss who just doesn’t get it. It is easy to relate to because the experience of having a hard time with one’s boss is basically universal. Emotionally Connected Leader tend to build stronger teams. This is because emotion is a foundational aspect for every business.
If you are a leader in a contact center, you may struggle with the idea that your employees see you this way, and to be honest, some of them truly might. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the key to being a great boss is simpler than you might think. One thing that all bad bosses have in common is a lack of emotional connection with their employees. While the demands of the workplace will always put some level of strain on interpersonal relationships in the workplace, emotional connection is a powerful tool to help navigate these difficulties so that everyone comes out a winner.
A common problem that workplace leaders face is the idea that they are simply incapable of connecting with their workers. This is never true. Whether you see it or not, the only thing standing in the way of an awesome relationship with peers and employees alike is your own mind.
The only question now is: how do I get started? Here are a few important guidelines for building emotional connection with those you lead on the job.
1. Establishing Systemic Collaboration as an Emotionally Connected Leader
One important lesson that everyone learns as they start to climb the ladder of success is that no single person can do everything. In fact, no single person can truly do anything without relying on someone else in one capacity or another. A business is made up of individuals, but it only functions properly when those same individuals work in unison as one deeply interconnected organism.
Systemic is the key word here. Collaboration happens naturally from time to time, but to reap the full benefits of collaboration, there has to be a system in place that encourages and facilitates collaboration at every level. There has to be space and time intentionally put aside for collaboration and communication. Without this vital element, real emotional connection is impossible.
2. Positive Future
A good leader is one who learns from the past, but a great leader is one who always looks forward as well.
In fact, another crucial element of harmony between leaders and employees in the workplace is the ability to look forward together. As a leader, one of the most simple ways for you to inspire confidence among your team is to encourage them to look towards the future together.
Without some kind of a positive vision of the future, the day to day stress of the workplace can become overwhelming, particularly in the fast-paced and demanding world of contact center work. On the other hand, when everyone is working together with a shared vision of the future, overcoming ordinary problems becomes much simpler, since everyone has the big picture in mind.
3. Alignment of Values as an Emotionally Connected Leader
Beyond simply developing a common vision, it is important for leaders in the workplace to be exemplars of a common set of values. This should, of course, include the values of your company as outlined in its mission statement. It is just as important for it to include your personal values as a leader. The consistency to follow these values every day will inspire the confidence that allows people to open up emotionally.
4. Emotionally Connected Leader Should be Respectful
The centrality of respect cannot be understated. Without respect, none of the other points are really worth anything. No one wants to work a job where they feel a lack of respect, much less give 110% every day.
What constitutes respect in a leader? It begins with listening. This doesn’t just mean that you should accept feedback from employees when they come to you. In actuality, you should be seeking out the opinions of others. This is meant to enable that employees see you have an active interest in creating a healthier workspace.
Additionally, respect means giving others the benefit of the doubt when it comes to conflict. Most people are trying their best, and it can seriously damage morale when you consistently assume the worst. A common saying: people will usually live up (or down) to the expectations you set.
5. Killer Achievement
So what do the characteristics outlined above add up to? Essentially, there are guideposts on the path to achievement. An emotionally connected leader is primed for success in the workplace. Above all he or she has the toolset to handle setbacks and take advantage of opportunities. The best part is that emotional connection and openness comes naturally to almost everyone. With the right mindset (and a bit of practice) anyone can become the emotionally connected leader they have always dreamed of being.
Emotion is a Foundational Aspect of Business
When it comes to conducting business, from the idea to execution, emotion plays a big role. As a leader, emotional intelligence is a very important attribute you should continuously master. Your team is as strong as your emotional intelligence. That means, for you to build an effective team you need to be able to empathize as well as have the ability to lead by example when it comes to emotional intelligence.
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Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.