The picture says it all really. A woman with a toddler in Starbucks got my attention when she crouched down to communicate with the boy. This isn't so much a parenting lesson, but a leadership one. Seriously though, how many times have you seen an adult in public demonstrate such incredible tact when it comes to communication? I was stunned at how unique this moment was.
How do you connect yourself with those who are supposed to follow you? You get on their level. Let's get practical.
1. Ask them about things they care about. Do they like soccer? Are they into jazz music? What about that new pair of shoes they're wearing? How about asking about their kids?
2. Seek out their opinion. The office party is next week. You ask Tiffany what kind of food to order for the team to eat. Tiffany says pasta and ice cream. You order pasta and ice cream.
3. Become one of them. As a lacrosse coach, I'd put on a helmet and demonstrate what I expected from a certain drill during practice.
4. Don't talk down to them. Great leaders never ever make people feel inferior. They make them feel that it's a total pleasure to follow them and work with and for them.