Do You Know Me?
Do you have a strong sense and understanding of your team? Do you support each other’s goals along with the organization’s mission and continuing achievement? How well do you know the people who work for you? And, what kind of message are you sending them?
American Express had a campaign shot by the famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz, “Do You Know Me?” It was iconic because it made you think about how well can we, the general public, possibly know a celebrity other than what they have shared with the public previously. https://www.kimbercturner.com/clickwise/do-you-know-me
Beyond what you gathered from hiring interviews, or information they might have shared with you through work projects, how well can you really know your individual team members? Do they trust you or feel you care enough to share more so you have a real understanding of them as individuals? Perhaps they have a skill or knowledge you are unaware of, yet may be of real value. Perhaps there’s more in their engine waiting to be used if they were just given the right signal.
Do you recall your early career? When I was a principal in the Media, Entertainment, and Technology practice at a retained search firm, I had two Managing Partners I supported besides bringing in my own projects. One I had worked with for years who knew me well because she took the time and had an interest, and one who didn’t. At holiday time, the Managing Partner who knew me presented me with a beautiful luxury-brand silk scarf with my favorite colors wrapped in a rich gold box. Finally, after receiving my holiday gift to her, my other boss sent me in a manila box, unwrapped, a plain metal ice cream scoop along with a generic “Seasons Greetings” card with her signature. I never ate ice cream or any frozen dessert that needs a scoop and she had eaten enough meals and desserts with me to know this – if she paid attention.
My immediate reaction from the sting of the scoop: “Does this represent my value to her”? My second thought, “after working three years with me, she makes no effort to care about me as an individual and considering there are only three principals in our team, it shouldn’t be that hard”.
As you can imagine, my loyalty and dedication to the scarf giving boss knew no bounds, the other boss, not so much. The clients I brought in and the ones I took great care of for the first were done to make her proud. The other one to this day, I think of as the kind of boss I would never be, and her behavior lingers as a constant reminder to appreciate those around me.
It’s worth it to make an effort to learn about and appreciate each person you work with. You want the best for and from them, and they will only show you that best if they know someone cares to see it. Furthermore, their dedication and engagement in work comes from being happy and being seen as full individuals. You could be responsible for the individuals on your team being encouraged or discouraged. When people are dissatisfied, they leave their bosses not their jobs.
I work with clients everyday who are cultivating more engaged leaders and creating a culture of support and growth which results in better retention. If you’d like to increase retention in your organization, let’s talk. You can reach me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com.