Strategic leadership communications is the fuel to effective leadership. But how do leaders inspire employees, connect with them and understand what’s in their hearts and minds when executives are flooded with meetings or they prefer the solitude of a corner office? Visibility. It’s one of the most powerful forms of informal communications and it delivers a mighty message: I care. I’m here. Talk to me.
Even the most time-strapped leaders find ways to engage their employees and build a sense of community by being visible. But it takes commitment. It takes time carved out on the calendar on a regular basis. Here are some simple ways leaders can increase their visibility, help build connections with their teams and spark dialogue:
- Informal visits to staff meetings. There doesn’t always have to be an agenda. Sometimes just showing up to listen, ask questions or ask for ideas is enough.
- Informal hallway meetings. This is a face-to-face conversation with small groups. Pick a topic to discuss, ask for ideas or celebrate successes.
- Walk the halls tours. This is a great way for a leader to add a personal touch, maintain visibility, ask/answer questions, say hello, ask employees about their kids or their dogs.
- Quick breaks (coffee, candy, donuts), standup meetings in the leader’s office. This provides periodic touch bases with individual teams or praises teams for their hard work and contributions to the organization.
- Monthly lunches with the leader. This is an informal get together where the leader invites employees on a rotational basis. It’s a great way to build connections and chat without a formal agenda.
- Brown bags. An optional lunch open to anyone to discuss a particular topic, answer employee questions and ensure their voices are heard.