Emotional Connections Touch People

I once attended the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.  Great event.  Great atmosphere.  Great music.  Great people.  

As I listened to country song after country song, I thought to myself, “How touching are some of these lyrics?”  I found myself relating to story after story, becoming more and more emotionally connected to the artists in the process.

Songs often tell stories, paint pictures, and make us think about relatable facets of life, love, family, and things that matter. 

You and I are attracted to and ultimately connect with each other’s humanness.  The moment I realize you’re a human being experiencing human emotions and “stuff” just like me, an emotional connection is sparked.  And the same goes for you. 

The connecting link is the sharing of our stories.

What if leaders took it upon themselves to go first and personally connect such that people on their teams genuinely feel touched by their own stories of lessons learned in their own lives?

More people would smile.  More people would be happy.  More people would genuinely feel better about life and work.  

Leading with hospitality is about changing how people feel about work.

Here are three ways leaders can be intentional about touching people with genuine, human connection:

  1. Carve out time to connect:
  • Weekly one on one’s with each member of your team
  • Weekly, or at least bi-weekly team meetings
  • Consistent touchpoints, through written communication 
  1. Share stories of your own and invite those you lead to share their stories

Stories worth telling:

  • Lessons you’ve learned the hard way
  • Humbling mistakes which redirected your path
  • Illustrations of people exhibiting the behaviors you’d like to see from your team and even yourself
  1. Show people you care

Actions which connect with hearts and minds:

  1. Handwritten thank you card or words of encouragement
  2. Jumping in and working alongside someone, helping them where they feel a little less than confident
  3. Simple encouragement with a smile, hi-5, or round of applause on a job well-done

 Take time to connect with the important people in your lives – at work and at home.

Share stories of your own, listen to stories they have to share, and let them know how much you value them.

Show them how much you appreciate them because as we all know, actions speak louder than words.  

Soon you’ll have a smile on your face, as you look out to your team smiling right back at you whether it’s through their mask or through your next Zoom call.

Emotional connections touch people on the inside, which compels them to do more, become more, and deliver more on the outside.

Lead with hospitality…

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