WORKING TOGETHER – Can you enhance your leadership with love?


Below are three relatively easy strategies to bring a little more love into your leadership.

  1. Develop your team’s personality, not only their competence

Most companies have in place annual appraisals including goals and development plans and managers are expected to help create these plans with their teams. They are usually aimed at identifying skill gaps and include development plans along the lines of experience through exposure or more formal training courses. What is often missing from these development plans or actions are a focus on the individual’s personality type. Ignoring this could mean failure.

One of the most powerful assessments to identify personality types or traits is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. It includes 16 distinct personality types that provide insights into people’s differing preferences and can help to identify strengths that are required within the team. Personality type has been studied extensively in the legal profession and with law students. Legal professionals have also used the concept of personality type to further understand jury members and their listening and communication preferences.

Underneath the cover of an employees’ talent, is what makes them unique and that is; who they are as a person. Being recognised for your uniquely human character is far more meaningful than just being part of the team. The value of belonging to a workplace where your manager does more than help you succeed on projects and problems, they help you to work on yourself, starting with self-awareness and then a greater awareness of others. Is this love in the form of genuine care and concern? This is what differentiates your leadership and creates a level of team trust that reaches beyond the norm and grows solidarity and vitality at work.

  1. Say this one word

What if more love in the workplace was as simple as using one word more often? Research from Stanford suggests it is. The one word? Together.

According to Priyanka Carr and Greg Walton of Stanford University, adding the word “together” into your everyday management communications increases motivation. In their studies, participants first met in small groups, and then separated to work on difficult puzzles alone. In the first group, the participants received a tip from a researcher who said that they were working on the task “together.”  The second group also got a tip from a random researcher, but the word together was purposefully left out when the tip was delivered. The effects of this small manipulation were dramatic. Participants that were told that they were working “together,” persisted longer on the challenging task, expressed greater interest in, and enjoyment of the task, and performed significantly better overall.

The results showed that simply feeling like you’re part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges. Moreover, the results reflect an increase in motivation – not a sense of obligation, competition or pressure to join others in an activity.

As human beings, we are hardwired to want to work together and the word “together” is a verbal cue that elicits feelings of trust, connection, and belonging. Even if your team is not technically working together, feelings of togetherness clearly have a direct impact on your team’s motivation and performance.

  1. Appreciate the greatness of gratitude

Have you heard of Gratitude Deficit Disorder? You may not suffer from it at home, however, it is not unusual to suffer from it at work. Known as GDD, over half of the American population suffers from it according to US Department of Labour statistics.

It isn’t a mindset problem – we don’t get up for work in the morning and think “I’m going to be ungrateful at work today”, it is more to do with the culture of a company. It is up to you as a leader to spread gratitude by expressing your gratitude to others and making employees feel valued.  There are a considerable number of studies that show strong links exist between gratitude and improved performance, job satisfaction, well-being, customer service and engagement.

Research suggests that a thank you email doubled the number of people willing to help you in the future. Even more compelling is why the recipients were motivated to help out. They found that people weren’t providing more help because they felt better or it boosted their self-esteem, but because they appreciated being needed and felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked.

These techniques are not difficult so you can easily improve your leadership impact.  If you are interested in support with your business please get in touch