"Connection is what transforms a dog-eat-dog environment into a sled-dog team that pulls together," says Michael Lee Stallard, author of the book, Connection Culture. "Connection builds an emotional bond that promotes trust, cooperation, and esprit de corps among people in the workplace."
Based on shared identity, empathy, and understanding, connection moves primarily self-centered individuals toward group-centered membership.
"Without that sense of connection, employees will never each their full potential," states Stallard.
The 10 ways you can improve your connection skills are to:
- Recognize varying connection needs
- Be present in conversations
- Develop the ability to empathize
- Develop the habit of emphasizing positives
- Control your tone of voice
- Negotiate with the mindset to solve a problems rather than to win
- Provide autonomy in execution
- Learn to apply the five languages of appreciation
- Apologize when you make a mistake
- Develop social skills and relationship skills, and recognize the difference between them
"Creating a connection culture is a new way of thinking about leadership, employee engagement, and organizational health," says Stallard. And, that "human connection affects much more than the bottom line."
In addition, the five primary reasons connection cultures need to be a high priority are that employees who feel connected:
- Perform at the top of their game.
- Give their best effort.
- Align their behavior with organizational goals.
- Help improve the quality of decisions.
- Actively contribution to innovation.
In the book, Stallard also focuses on the six universal needs humans have to thrive:
- Personal Growth
As you read the book, you'll learn the:
- definition of connection and its effect on organizations and individuals
- 24 character strengths necessary for building a connection culture
- roles that committed members and servant leaders play in shaping an organization's culture
- leadership qualities needed to transform workplace cultures
- practical actions to implement a connection culture in your organization
The book includes Study Questions for book groups. Plus, you'll likely also enjoy reading Stallard's examples of well-known leaders who created a connection culture, including:
- Bono of U2
- Alan Mulally of Ford
- Coach K of Duke men's basketball
- Ed Catmull of Pixar and Disney Animation
Stallard is co-founder and president of E Pluribus Partners. He is the primary author of Fired Up or Burned Out.
Partnering with Stallard on Connection Culture are authors Jason Pankau and Katharine P Stallard.