The Secret Leadership Skill: Connection
What do Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have in common? They are tangible vehicles for people to connect in a disconnected world. Certainly, Facebook has become the famous/infamous website for people of all ages to share something about themselves in the hopes of finding like-minded souls somewhere in the Universe. Instagram allows a quick picture of something that captures your imagination. And Twitter is—well—just that: character-controlled tweets to make a point and hopefully, become shared. All are indicative of our times.
Research now concludes that most Americans report having fewer friends and colleagues with whom they feel close. There’s a sense of aloneness and disconnection despite the growth of instant messages and chat rooms. What is missing is REAL human interaction: conversation! The ability to listen, to question, to empathize, to laugh, and to understand the subtle signs of nonverbal interaction that are indicators of emotional intelligence. People don’t follow leaders who write e-mails. They follow leaders who care about them as human beings, have an ability to clearly paint a picture of the future, tell the truth, and accept feedback and ideas from others.
These are skills to be learned, practiced, and honed. To help in this process, I’ve written a small, east-to-read book with simple connection concepts and actions. Talk Ain’t Cheap—It’s Priceless is perfect not only for your own benefit but for everyone who has any kind of leadership responsibility. Wouldn’t you rather talk to your valuable employees and learn what will keep them engaged and connected to your organization? Ignore this simple human connection and you might very well find they’ve left—physically or mentally.
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As E.M. Forester wrote, “Just connect!” You have no time to waste.