Being a leader is not just a case of sending people on ahead to see who sinks in the quicksand and then going around or stepping on their heads.
Leadership involves many aspects, and at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, Brian Kight, director of performance at Focus 3, emphasized the importance of connection. He called connection the conduit by which people experience a leader’s character and competence.
Kight suggested the following to make a connection:
- Care deeply. Caring is the ultimate connector because it creates an emotional connection. Find out what is important to the other person and make it important in a way they can feel.
- Listen carefully. How someone listens sends a powerful message to people. People do not always need to be agreed with, but they do want to be heard and understood.
- Communicate effectively. This comes from caring and listening, because they help to communicate a message that will be heard. Clear, effective communication is essential in almost every walk of life.
- Adjust appropriately. Each person on a team is unique and has his/her own way of communicating and connecting. Be flexible and adjust methods of communication in response to the style of the people.