INFLUENTIAL LEADERSHIP DIMENSIONS
You can only have an impact when people want to listen to what you have to say. The way you build, create and sustain relationships is a crucial part of your influence and impact as a leader.
Read on to learn more about developing this Leadership Dimension
What is Connection when it comes to Influential Leadership?
The Connection Leadership Dimension is all about the connection you have and create with others. You can make an impact when people want to hear what you have to say. When you connect with others and they both know and understand you, you'll gain their trust and respect for you, your ideas and your message. Connection with others is enhanced through your ability to be authentic and vulnerable in your leadership, when you demonstrate vulnerability you give permission to others to do the same.
The Connection Checklist
- You create meaningful and deep relationships with people and genuinely value the interactions you have with people
- Your network is something you pay attention to - not just because of what it can do for you, but because you respect building mutual connections and relationships
- You know where it's right and helpful to include people in your projects, plans and decision making. You facilitate engagement through meaningful interactions and relationships.
- You behave authentically, people know what to expect from you. You are the same person with one group of people as you are with another.
- You are happy to share your ideas and opinions openly, you're not concerned what people may think of you or what they may say. You're secure in your ideas.
- You recognise the importance of being vulnerable and showing emotions, and you do so with ease, because vulnerability encourages connection and creates safety among your groups, teams and the people you lead.
How does Connection influence my Leadership?
People follow, support, advocate for, sponsor and encourage people that they like. That's human nature. When it comes to influence and impact, people are only going to listen to you and genuinely take on what you have to say if they like you, feel drawn to you or relate to you in some way.
It doesn't matter how compelling your message is, if there's no connection, there's no momentum.
Authentic, genuine relationships built from the heart is where the magic happens.
It's also helps with fulfilment too because connection breeds a sense of belonging, and many people want to feel a part of something. Through connection you not only help yourself, but you help others to connect too.
And connection requires you to be vulnerable and show your emotion. Because humans can't connect with robots. People that don't show vulnerability and emotion can be intimidating, because we all have emotions. When you perceive someone as having it together, all the time it often leads you to question your own ability - because that's simply not the reality.
Vulnerability creates safety and connection happens when people feel safe. When others feel safe, they step up and share more of themselves too. Impact has a ripple effect.
When you feel safe amongst your team, colleagues, and peers, you're more likely to speak up and share your opinions, challenge more freely, think outside of the box and be creative. You don't fear judgement when you feel safe and so your leadership presence increases. The value you can add skyrockets and you become known as someone that needs to be 'in the room'.
When you approach leadership through the lens of relationship instead of networking, you can enjoy building your network for what it is.
Networking is the vehicle through which your impact and influence travels. If you have a mission, message and vision, it's your network who will help to spread it.
Don't like the word network? Does it feel calculated and insincere? Maybe you prefer community. Your network is your community.
In a community people support each other. It's not a one way street, and connection is the superpower that enables you to achieve your aspirations and goals and facilitate that for others.
How can I develop my Connection?
- What's your starting point? Which aspects of connection do you find easy, and which do you find harder?
- Who do you know that builds connections well? Take time to observe them. How are they building these relationships? What do you see that might be helpful for you?
- Find yourself a mentor who you admire this quality in. Get curious. Find out what they are believing about relationship building, what makes them so good at this?
- Think about the teams or communities that you feel most at ease in. What is it about these spaces that creates safety for you? How did you cultivate it?
- Set yourself a challenge to build one new relationship each month. Think about what would be valuable for the person you want to build the relationship with and invite them to share some time with you.
- Ask to be introduced to someone you'd like to have a relationship with by someone you trust and who is connected to that person. Think of a way to say thank you for the introduction so it feels mutual to you.
- Reflect on how freely you are speaking up and sharing your ideas and opinions and challenge yourself to share something you'd usually hold back on.
- Work with me as your coach. Developing the ability to be vulnerable, connect with your emotions and use these to create environments of high trust and safety is much easier when you have someone facilitating this process with you. If this is an area you struggle with, there's probably a good reason for that and in coaching these are obstacles that are often easily overcome.
Connection is a powerful Leadership Dimension that will help you in your career and also has a ripple effect of positivity on others. It's a win- win! Feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute chat if you think you'd like some coaching. You can use the contact form or click the button below.