If you’re a leader in a large organization, your employees might not even see you as a real person. Everyone has his or her own mental image of you, but that might not reflect who you actually are. Randy Conley, author at LeaderChat.Org, describes how to gain trust and present your authentic self.
In order for your employees to know you, you have to be REAL: Reveal, Engage, Acknowledge, and Listen.
Reveal information about yourself. Leaders tend withhold personal information because they feel the need to maintain a distance from their employees. This belief is often misguided. Let your employees get to know a bit about the person behind the title in order to foster a genuine relationship.
Engage employees as individuals. Treat everyone in your company as a person, not just a number showing up to do a job. It’s hard to get to know every single person, but you can still be proactive. Take some time every day to get out of your office and walk the hallways. Check in on team members, ask how they’re doing, and put in face-time whenever you can.
Acknowledge employee contributions. Employees feed off of positive reinforcement, and sometimes it’s surprising how much trust you can build with a bit of genuine acknowledgement. Authentic praise and recognition fosters commitment, engagement, and passion among your employees.
Listen to learn. Leaders sometimes think and act like the smartest person in the room. This behavior leaves little room for your to learn from the people who have the most impact on your business – your employees. When you get the chance to interact with your employees, spend more time listening than talking. This simple act also signals to the other person that what they have to say is important and you value what is being communicated.