One of the common traps leaders make is falling into the belief that they need to prove they can do the work required, so they focus on the work to be done. This means they bury themselves in delivery, under-manage their team, promote their personal achievements and defer to managing up rather than managing their team.
The interesting thing is there is compelling research that leaders who spend time ensuring their team feel good get better results.
The feelings of our team can make a difference to how our team performs overall. Leaders play a huge role in shifting their team member's in the right energetic direction whether they are aware of it or not.
Imagine you have walked into a room where two of your colleagues are having an argument. The energy feels thick, tense and uncomfortable. Contrast that to walking into a room where your colleagues are laughing and caring about one another. The energy feels supportive, fun and positive.
Which room would motivate you to stay longer? The answer is pretty obvious - the room that is filled with laugher draws us in. It's pretty contagious. Energy that is filled with arguing, yelling or blaming makes us feel like walking out of that room pretty quickly.
Yet, it's not just obvious energetic tension that can make a team feel uncomfortable. There is also evidence to suggest that how people are feeling and what they are thinking about impacts the energy of their team.
Research by the HeartMath Institute found that our thoughts and feelings create an energy field around us which lowers or lifts up the attitudes or dispositions of those located near us.
In a study by Dr Rollins McCraty, his research found that the energetic field that each member of a group generates a social field environment. Each group member’s heart coherence contributes to the group’s collective coherence.
The Power of Mirroring
Our brains are designed to model other people as a short cut mechanism to learning. This occurs through "mirror neurons."
Mirror neurons are critical in organisations because employees are always observing leaders to see how to behave. In particular, leaders' emotions and actions signal to employees to copy those feelings and actions. Leaders commonly activate neural circuitry in followers' brains. If a leader isn't aware of this powerful ability, they can often unintentionally switch on the wrong behaviours in the people around them.
Leaders who are fun to be around leverage mirror neurons in a positive way. We all want to be around bosses who make us feel good. Seems obvious, yet the pressure from deliverables and personal issues can make leaders tense. This means they inadvertently take their frustrations out on their team members or send out the wrong energetic signals that people sense and react to.
Four Steps to Making your Team Feel Good
Leaders who understand this are the ones that people want to work with. They are the leaders who create an environment so it’s hard for people to leave. They are the leaders that inspire loyalty. They are what I call Trusted Leaders. Progressive leaders who realise it’s not about them looking good, it’s about everyone around them feeling good about themselves, their work and their colleagues.
If you want to read more tips on how to do this pick up your copy of Trusted to Thrive today. It’s available on Amazon, Booktopia and all other good book stores.