3 Ways to Create a Deeper Connection at Work

bigstock--129759269You have to put yourself out there if you want to create an authentic connection with people.

Sharing your Leadership Point of View is one of the most powerful ways to accomplish that, according to coaching expert Joni Wickline.

In the August issue of Blanchard Ignite, Wickline describes a Leadership Point of View as a story about“…the people and events that have shaped who you are. It also speaks to your values, your beliefs, and what drives you as a leader.”

For many, creating a Leadership Point of View (LPOV) is an emotional journey. Wickline says a lot of leaders play it safe when first given the chance to share.

“It’s hard to share some parts of your Leadership Point of View because it’s so personal. It’s normal to be apprehensive talking about people, experiences, and values that have made you who you are, including your expectations for yourself and others. But it will deepen the relationship between you and your direct reports. It dramatically shortens the time it takes people to get to know you as a person and as a leader.

For leaders who have never even considered sharing personal experiences, Wickline suggests a couple of first steps.

Take a Minute to Reflect. Going through the process of identifying your LPOV requires time—time to reflect on yourself; what brought you to where you are today; what makes you tick. Most leaders haven’t spent much time looking back to identify where their values and beliefs came from. Wickline would be the first to admit that she fell into the same category.

“When I started working on my Leadership Point of View, I had to think long and hard about my current attitudes and how they came to be. For example, when somebody tells me I can’t do something, I immediately fight against that and do whatever it takes to prove them wrong. Where on earth did that come from?”

Tell A Story. Wickline says when leaders spend time thinking about where their values and beliefs originated, they will come up with stories they can share with people. And stories are important.

“People remember stories. If I just say, ‘Here is a list of things I think are important,’ people won’t remember that. But when I tell stories about experiences I’ve had or share something I learned from my mom or dad, it makes a connection.”

Make Sure It’s Your Story. It’s important to share your authentic self, reminds Wickline. She once worked with a leader who asked to hear her story as an example of a good presentation so that he could better shape his.

“He told me he really resonated with my story—but I reminded him it was my story, and he needed to tell his. He insisted he could just refine mine with a little bit of tweaking here and there, but I continued to steer him away from that idea.

“I told him, ‘No, the story won’t sound authentic if you try to frame it as your own.’ The goal—and the power—is in sharing your true, authentic self. We each have many stories no one else can tell.”

Creating a Deeper Connection

In encouraging leaders to share their story, Wickline relates positive experiences others have had after crafting their LPOV. “People who put the time and energy into this process consistently look back on the experience as something that helped them rediscover the values and beliefs they hold dear. Sharing your story with your team creates a deep connection.

“So what are the stories that illustrate your values that you could share with others? What’s happened in your life? Who can you point to as a personal influence that will help your team learn more about what makes you tick? Creating and sharing your Leadership Point of View is a wonderful gift to give to yourself, your people, and your organization.”

You can learn more in the August issue of Blanchard Ignite.  Also be sure to check out a webinar that Wickline is conducting on August 24, Creating a Deeper Connection: Sharing Your Leadership Point of View—it’s free, courtesy of Cisco WebEx and The Ken Blanchard Companies.

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