Climate Change for Teams (part 2 of 3)

By Tom Davidson

Today’s blog is about how to show more interest in each individual, here’s how you can show more interest and help change the climate:

“Climate change” usually refers to the gradual rise in temperature in the environment that has multiple implications to the ecology. Climate change on your team has many ramifications as well. 

– When your team suffers from a bad interpersonal climate, the quality of work and quality of work life suffer.
– When individuals on your team feel stagnant in their roles, the amount of effort they put into their work falls off dramatically.
– When your team is always fighting fires and fixing problems, their human climate can become discouraged and gloomy.

While you might not be able to affect global warming as much as you’d like, as the leader of your team, you can affect the climate of your work group. In fact, it’s your responsibility to control the climate of your team, and you can do so by giving them a little A.I.R. 

 – “A” is for Appreciate inquiry – Asking individuals and the team about what is going well, not just what’s broken.

– “I” is for showing Interest in each individual – Constantly showing that you care about your people and what’s important to each individual.

– “R” is for Recognition – Showing that you appreciate the time, talent and effort of each person.

Today’s blog is about how to show more interest in each individual, and tomorrow’s will discuss the “R” for recognition. 

“I” is for showing Interest 
Having interviewed several hundred military officers who were exiting the armed forces, I learned a huge lesson. When asked about the qualities of the best leaders they had in their military experience, the overwhelming theme was that the best leaders showed that they cared about them as people, no better confirmation that soft skills get hard results. 

Here’s how you can show more interest and help change the climate: 

– Spend quality time with each person. Take time with each employee to just talk, and by talk I mean, listen. When people feel heard, they feel respected, and when they feel respected, they give more effort.

– Ask about their goals and interests.As a supervisor, you should be taking your people’s pulses on a regular basis. This means learning their interests, goals and aspirations. For example:

– What do you want to be doing around here in five years?

– What do you want to learn more about?

– What has been the most interesting or fun part of this job?

– Champion their concerns. Your people want to know that you have their back, and that means that you are doing all you can to get them the resources, skills and tools they need to do their jobs.

How else can you show interest in your employees?

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