According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, effective business leaders start with a foundation of warmth and understanding and then build on that foundation by demonstrating their strength and competence. If this sounds backward to you (as it did to me before I researched the topic), you might benefit from a change of tactic when it comes to leading your team.
Without first building a foundation of trust, it’s hard for others to listen to your ideas and dutifully follow. Research cited in the article shows that displays of strength and competence engender fear, resentment and envy. And these emotions do not lead to hard work, loyalty or commitment from those working under you.
Is it possible that more warmth and understanding for co-workers could help us lead more efficiently, sell in greater quantities and have our ideas heard more readily? In other words, could connecting first result in greater profitability? The research says yes. But, while most businesspeople are adept at demonstrating their strength, trust and the sharing of ideas comes only after a connection has been made.