When it comes to creating a good first impression — especially as a leader — we often don’t take the time to step back and pay attention to how we carry ourselves. From our body posture to the words we say or don’t say, everything has an impact on how successful we communicate. Below are a few tips on how to make a positive connection with your team from the onset.
Have a positive mindset
We tend to pick up on the negative more than the positive. An upbeat approach with an open mind connects people and builds trust. The result? You’ll get open and honest feedback from the team.
Be aware of your body language
We all communicate with our stance or posture, often subconsciously. This can work for and against us. So even if you’re not a big fan of someone on your team, your body needs to show signs of positivity such as open arms and uncrossed legs. Crossed arms and legs and keeping your hands close to your body while speaking are all signs of closed body language. The more you can be aware of how you look, the more you can control it.
Pay attention to queues from your team
Another mistake many leaders and executives make? Not keeping an eye out for their team’s subtle queues. People want to be acknowledged, especially by someone they respect. If you wave off a comment from a team member or choose to not listen, they’ll be less likely to provide input the next time, which can have a negative domino effect. When there’s an issue again, they may decide not to tell you or to wait until the very last minute when the problem has already gotten out of hand. You want to show the team they can always share their concerns and be open and honest with you. All you have to do is sit back and listen.
Most of us are exposed to many leaders over our careers. So, if you’re looking to make a good first impression, just be yourself. Human beings like to work for fellow human beings… if you can be more open and real with others, then they’ll do the same. When you let your guard down, you help your team relax. Learn to joke and laugh (even during stressful situations) — you’ll lighten the mood and relax everyone.
Find common ground
Every person is different and it’s impossible to make everyone think, feel, and react the same in every situation. The key to being a good leader is to understand these differences and find a middle ground for everyone. Some people prefer to work in silence and be contacted via text messages while others may prefer to talk face to face. You need to establish a fair balance between these differences so that the team is working at its highest potential and everyone is being the best version of themselves.
Ask open-ended questions, then step back and empower your team
This final tip is the best:
As a leader, your job is to ensure your team is on task, knows what they’re doing and gets the support they need. If you’re either disinterested or micromanaging, you’ll slow down a project’s progress. Instead, be a part of the discussions and ask questions. Your interest and curiosity will inspire your team to take initiative, instill commitment and rely on each other’s diverse expertise and knowledge.
If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills, Phoenix Perform is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.