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4 min read
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As a manager, this year's bumper sticker should read: "All eyes on you."
With the pressure to show up, massively solve problems, and deliver difficult news, nothing was easy about this year. Simple is that there is a tool that will help you get through the rest of this year and be successful for the future.
It's not new software or a fancy incentive program.
It's just one word: communication.
Your ability to provide information effectively, efficiently, and empathetically is the difference between an organization that gets by and an organization that succeeds. As a relationship therapist for over a decade, I've figured out some of the most useful communication approaches you need to know to continue leading like a champion and helping your team succeed. Check out these five phrases to use today:
"I noticed you really showed up."
It's worth taking a break to see your team's ability to work together and really be there for one another. Exhausted and frayed, your team (just like you) tries to get through everyday life. When you stop noticing their contribution while highlighting your value in team support, you will be encouraged to hold on to it and take pride in helping others.
Related: Emotional intelligence is the secret to leadership in times of crisis
"You really went way beyond that"
Your team doesn't own your company or has almost the same investment in its success, which makes perfect sense. So if they're stretching not just to fulfill their role, but to make your company look good or make significant progress on an unassigned project, it's worth stopping to applaud their efforts. Just let them know how you specifically see they are handling more than you ever expected them to, and how appreciated those measures are. When you reward it, they can know that they can continue that effort as something that they can use and that will also support you.
"I was really impressed with your work on X"
The more detailed you get, the better. Include what type of work (i.e. your graphic design work) and what specific project or side task of a project. Everyone wants to feel noticed, successful, and valued. Being able to determine something that someone on your team has done helps that person feel like you are really seeing them, even if your energy is on other projects. It also enables that person to know what you think they are doing really well. This can encourage them to feel more confident about this task (and possibly complete it faster), and also to understand that they have room for more growth in other areas of their role. A savvy team member can take this opportunity to double those areas for growth and spend less energy and time where they shine.
Related: Essential Soft Skills and Leadership Practices for Navigating the …
"Hey, I'm only human"
Aside from owning your flaws, owning that you are only one person can be extremely helpful in changing the power dynamic and promoting more open and honest dialogue on your team. This is extremely important to your ability to gain new insights into your business, including new ideas on how to increase profitability or how your current UX is failing your customers. Also, you can set a role model that we're not all perfect, so they can watch you recover when something goes wrong and then incorporate that resilience into their own troubled moments.
"Tomorrow is a new day"
If your team thinks they are going to let you down or not, no matter how healthy their self-esteem seems, it can lead to a total downward spiral of negative self-talk and shame. The ability to keep perspective for your team when projects fail or their contribution fails can help them focus on their work and move their projects forward without standstill or standstill. This phrase is also optimistic. Even if they are not the right person for the role, you can fully understand what they are capable of first before taking final action.
Team culture always begins with intentionality and with the leader. With these little sentences in your daily communication, you can promote a happier, more efficient and more willing team and deepen the culture and camaraderie in your company.
Related: Why COVID-19 Inspires Empathetic and Calm Leadership