One summer day, I met my new boss to discuss the future. I had never met the man before but had heard raving reviews from contacts in the industry. For him, it was a new challenge, for me, this was a breath of fresh air. Over the course of the next few months, I would learn a lot about my new boss, primarily how caring he was for his team members.
When a new person enters our life, we immediately begin sizing them up. One of the first questions that most people try to answer is if they can trust the person. I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. Since I had just met this guy, it was tough to say how trustworthy he was, but during the size up period, actions that he cared about his team helped to build the trust required to win influence.
The Honeymoon Phase
You’ve probably heard of the honeymoon phase before. The time right after a husband and wife tie the knot and life is a fairytale. As life settles in, things become more difficult. Leaders can face a similar experience.
For a while, a new leader can be effective because it is new and different. The problem with trust is it isn’t sustainable without action. Failure to build trust and influence means you will fail to keep influence for the long run. Once the honeymoon phase is over, the leader has no choice but to feed off of the trust and influence that is in the bank to be effective.
Why You Should Care About Caring
Leadership is not a position or title. It doesn’t have anything to do with power or authority. The ability to get someone else to do what you need them to do because they want to do it is influential leadership. True leadership requires trust to win influence and a caring attitude is one of the foundations of trust.
Have you ever wanted to go out of your way for someone who could care less about you? Seriously, when a co-worker that doesn’t care about you, or worse, has done everything to make your life miserable, asks you for help, how willing are you to do it?
Have you ever had a boss that walked all over you and never looked back? Has that same boss used you to bail them out of a situation without so much as a concern over the impact on you or your family? How did that make you feel?
Now, imaging a leader who is always concerned with how your family is doing. Someone who regularly asks about the kids or school, anything that is not work related. When they need you to stay late to work on a project but care enough to make sure it isn’t a hardship on your family. These are the type of leaders that people want to serve, the type that have the hearts of their teams, thus they have amazing levels of influence.
Caring About People
When you care about people, the people care about you. Once people care about you, they care about the mission. Caring about the mission provides customers with amazing experiences. Do you see how caring about your people can have a dramatic impact to the bottom line?
One of my favorite quotes says it best, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care“. Caring is that important to creating credibility, trust, and leadership potential. To show them that you care, you must be transparent and accessible.
What better way to increase performance, employee engagement, and communication than to use the art of caring. During your walks, you can simply ask people a couple questions about their lives, open the door to “open door” policies. Make it easier to engage with you and raise their comfort level for talking with you. Most people are fearful of the boss, knock that fear out of their hands by showing you care.
What’s To Gain From Caring?
When you show that you care, your employees are more invested in your product, service, or company. Since employee engagement is at low levels, doing anything you can to increase it is beneficial to you and your company. Engaging employees through conversation shows that you care and you learn about about the employee at the same time.
As part of the building trust series, the Keys to Trust build upon one another to form trust. Caring about others is one of the best ways to show that you are trustworthy.
- Defined Character
- Understanding Team Members
- Teaching Others to Care
How Will You Make An Impact This Week?
Question: How are you going to show that you care this week? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Read more on the Keys to Trust series: