My friends complain, “I waved but you didn’t wave back.” Or, “I spoke but you didn’t hear me.”
Ever walk down the hall and not make eye contact with employees?
If you’re oblivious, you’re oblivious.
Second-rate leaders sink into their own world, ignore environments, get lost in thought, and neglect personal contact.
First-rate leaders hold up their heads, rise above environments, and see people. Leaders step into the world of others.
You can’t lead what you don’t see.
Six reasons leaders close their eyes:
- Need to have answers but fear they won’t.
- Too busy.
- Don’t care.
- Devalue others.
- Minimize their own importance.
- Lack social skill, including small talk.
Six powerful messages of seeing:
- Interest. What’s seen matters.
- Value. Those ignored don’t matter.
- Openness. Eye contact invites.
- Priority. You look at what’s important now. See people.
- Confidence. Fear lowers eyes.
- Focus. Circumstances bully distracted leaders.
Bonus: Seeing indicates willingness to act. Have you ever walked by a homeless person without making eye contact?
Three big payoffs:
- Performance needs an audience.
- Connection builds relationships.
- Support requires knowledge.
- Schedule private think time.
- Make eye contact and smile even if you can’t stop and talk.
- Invite hallway interrupters to walk with you to your next appointment.
- Keep intention top of mind. “I stopped in to let you know you’re work is important. We can’t solve this issue now. Let’s meet later.”
- Refer. Say, “This is important to me. Mary is on top of this. Let’s call her in.”
See reader insights on Facebook, “People need to be watched because _______.”
Today’s challenge: Hold your head up and see.
Why do leaders bury their heads in the sand?
How has seeing or being seen helped you?