Building a Caring Relationship Creates Dividends

aug3 dividends

Recently I presented a seminar on Feedback Skills to executives. We’ve talked about many managers who have avoided honest feedback in the past and hats off to my attendees who are wanting to give feedback and be more effective at it!

During the Seminar, we discussed the importance of creating a relationship with the employee prior to offering feedback. When a direct report experiences true caring over a period of time, and they trust you, then they will be more open and more receptive to your thoughts and expectations (your feedback).

Many managers underestimate how incredibly important it is to get to know your employees as people – not just what role they can play in the team, but who they are, what their personal interests are, who’s important to them in their lives. Then ask their skills, challenges and dreams for their careers – consider this an important investment in the ROI of your team – because it will pay you dividends.

When you take the time to create this genuine personal connection, the oxytocin neurotransmitter is released in the brain – both yours and the employees. Oxytocin is known as the “bonding chemical” and when it is experienced, people feel a sense of wellbeing and caring for one another and trust is enhanced.

Conversely, when a manager simply gives feedback without a trusting relationship, it is more likely to trigger stress hormones and result in the direct report shutting down – as their brain sees the information as a threat. This is likely to result in defensiveness vs. the openness needed to consider the feedback and how to best respond to it.

Once team members are feeling safe and cared for as individuals, they are more able to remain open to feedback and ask questions that help them to better understand how they can improve as employees. When direct reports care about and trust their boss, they will care more about what their needs are and will be more open to listening to their perspectives.

So, think about, how you could motivate your team, simply by taking the time to ask them about their hopes and dreams for life and what their goals and aspirations for their career are! The dividends of cultivating a genuine caring relationship are well worth the time invested.

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