There’s a famous quote from the grizzled football coach Vince Lombardi.
“I don’t necessarily have to like my players and associates. But as their leader, I must love them. Love is loyalty. Love is teamwork. Love respects the dignity of the individual. This is the strength of any organization.”
Love is important.
Vince talks about it from an organizational standpoint, and from a people standpoint.
It’s about respect.
And when you show respect to people, you demonstrate that you care about them
And in return, they will show you loyalty.
Not because they have to, but because they want to.
The other day a colleague of mine, commenting on a short video I did on the topic of trust, noted that I had not mentioned listening. And so he made a list of things necessary to improve listening and communicating.
My friend, who asked that I not use his name, has shared these thoughts with the young leaders he mentored and coached. And he has graciously allowed me to share them here.
Keep your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it.
Listen well. Genuinely listen. Ask questions that allow others to know you’re listening.
Don’t speak over people. Don’t finish their sentences for them. Good eye contact is helpful, and important.
Maintain confidentiality, when appropriate and for sure when asked.
When needed, roll up your sleeves and join the task to help.
Ask your people what they think and why. Do it often.
When you disagree, argue the facts, not the personality.
Do not criticize your direct reports in public. Do it in private.
Support members of your team. Have their backs, especially when they are in a tight spot. Support does not confer agreement.
Likely you have heard many of these before, but it’s always good to be reminded of how we can become more attentive listeners. “There is perhaps no greater gift you can give to another person,” goes the saying, “than by paying attention and let them know they are being heard.”
Listening is an investment in another person. It is a sign of respect. Doing it regularly and with kindness demonstrates that you value the contributions of others.