This leadership secret is probably best illustrated outside of work.
How do you know that your parent, spouse, child or partner loves you? What makes you sure and what causes you to doubt?
There are many visible things they do and say that point to their love for you. But that’s not what really clinches the deal. While they are an important part of your knowing, they are far from being the whole picture.
What really makes you sure of their love is the way in which all the visible indicators are matched by the invisible aspects that accompany and validate the visible. Pause and think about that…unless the invisible validates the visible we instinctively know we’re being duped.
The same is true in leadership.
As a leader, you can say and do all the ‘right’ things, but unless the invisible components are there to validate your words and actions, they will backfire.
The invisible components cannot be layered on to who we are, we cannot manufacture them. They are a result of who we are at our core and how we view the world and others. You cannot fake genuine interest – the invisible gives you away. You cannot force yourself to be genuinely interested – the invisible will give it away. If you want your team, your boss or your peers to believe you are genuinely interested you are going to have to pause, open your mind and find what genuinely interests you about them.
The same is true for all the other invisible pillars of leadership such as commitment, belief in someone and trust. The unexpected advantage of ‘finding instead of faking’ interest, belief or commitment is that the hard work of ‘creating connection’, ‘building open communication’ and ‘giving tough feedback’ all becomes much easier.
Try it and share your insights with us.