Connected leadership is a modern approach that emphasizes building a psychologically safe, trustworthy, and comfortable environment for employees. It works on core values like embracing empathy, encouraging collaboration and shared leadership, and imbibing problem-solving skills.
As more organizations take the hybrid approach to work, the need for connected leadership has increased. Digital disruption, changing workforce demographics, and more job opportunities have contributed to the demand for connected leadership. It’s a make-or-break situation for organizations as top talent prefers to work with leaders who give importance to
- Building bonds of trust among teams
- Creating equity in a hybrid workplace
- Balancing productivity with well-being
- Promoting diversity and inclusion
- Offering better career paths through continuous coaching
How To Build a Community of Connected Leaders?
Connected leaders are not born. Organizations need to train them and build a vibrant community.
Numly has designed a ‘Connected Leadership’ Skills Framework. This framework ensures the connection between 5 Critical Dimensions around any company’s “Flow of Work” – Self, Team, Projects, Others, and Organizations, with the fabric of Inclusion, Close Communication, Creative Problem Solving, and Collaboration.
According to Madhukar Govindaraju, CEO – of Numly™, connected leaders use empathy, compassion, and trust to influence organizations, teams, and people in their flow of work. They can motivate the teams to perform and excel at work. Organizations must equip and develop a community of connected leaders who can integrate these valuable skills into their daily operations and influence others to adopt them to cultivate a psychologically safe, collaborative, and inclusive culture in the workplace.
People-centric fabric of inclusion
Hybrid organizations have employees from different geographies working together. HR leaders and executives must build a culture of people-centricity and inclusion to make all employees feel valued, heard, and respected. They must create a people-friendly and psychologically safe environment for employees across all locations. Organizations must coach the leaders to encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas freely and fearlessly. It must teach the leaders to create an environment where trust, transparency, and unbiased opinions are valued and encouraged. Leaders must learn to be vulnerable and compassionate, and listen to others to build a people-centric and inclusive environment.
A close connection is essential in hybrid workplaces where all team members might not be physically present simultaneously. While leaders understand the need for close communication, a Gallup survey shows that only 13% of employees feel that their leaders communicate effectively with the rest of the organization. Communication gaps leave room for misinterpretations. Geographical distance could worsen the situation further. Organizations must train all their leaders to develop communication skills to relay important messages to all employees efficiently. They must ensure that all team members are on the same page and have understood the message clearly.
In an ever-changing business landscape, leaders deal with unique challenges daily. The traditional method of solving problems may not work in such dynamic scenarios. Traditional problem-solving was archaic and had limitations. That’s why leaders must develop the skill of creative problem-solving. Take the example of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden lockdown created chaos in every organization. Leaders with creative problem-solving skills quickly took stock of the situation and ensured their team members got access to all the tools and systems. They took care of business continuity. Creative problem-solving requires a quick and unique way of thinking. Organizations must coach leaders in creative problem-solving and future-proof them to manage all unforeseen situations. A community of problem-solving leaders will help the teams be prepared to tackle all the challenges. It will also help the organization gain a competitive advantage.
Collaboration between different teams has become a necessity in agile organizations. However, with employees working across different geographies and time zones, building collaboration among them can be challenging. From lack of communication to lack of ideas and knowledge transfer, leaders have a tough time breaking the silos between the teams. Organizations must help leaders foster collaboration to build an integrated workplace. They must train the leaders in critical areas, such as, communicating with all team members frequently, brainstorming ideas, exchanging knowledge, and establishing a shared vision within the team.
With organizations fully functional, it’s a suitable time to build a culture and community of connected leadership. If you are wondering how to begin, don’t worry.
Do you want practical tips on how to build a community of connected leaders within your organization? Take a look at this presentation from the workshop that Madhukar Govindaraju, CEO of Numly, Inc. delivered at the FromDayOne’s Seattle Conference 2023.