Think Leadership Series – Tip #8 – First Time Leader? Learn To Mingle

Many first time leaders like to make a statement. They are quick to set up fancy visions, set up a process of how things are going to get done, and several other aggressive measures.

This approach works in the short term but its effects fade quickly.

Don’t forget the Law of Connection: The hearts comes first; you must connect at an emotional level.

Recall the 3 questions we ask about our leaders: Do you care for me? Can you help me? Can I trust you?

Connecting shows caring, and mingling is one of the ways to connect.

How do I mingle? Two quick ideas

I make myself visible.
I’m always impressed with those people that manage to join a wolf pack, lion’s pack, or any “dangerous” wild animal. And then I realize, I do something similar.

By making myself visible and approachable, people get comfortable and start opening up. I become the average John Doe instead of “the boss”, a manager, or a leader. From this position, it becomes easier to carry learning conversations.

There have been several instances of others asking me how I know more about their staff than them, my answer is simple, “I’m just around.”

I Use Open Ended or Perception Checking Questions
I’m not a fan of the usual “how are you?”. I don’t get genuine answers to it.

I like questions like:

  • What’s keeping you up at night?
  • How’s the day treating you?
  • What have you been up to today?
  • You look a little stressed out, what’s going on?
  • How are you doing with project XX?

These questions elicit a more thoughtful response and implicitly show I’m looking to know how they are really doing.

These are two very simple tips that are guaranteed to help increase your ability to connect.

The catch? It requires energy and willingness to listen for understanding. No need to solve problems or teach.

How do you mingle? What works for you?

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