When people feel connected to you, even difficult conversations feel less threatening.
Here are three tips to forge stronger bonds with your employees:
Relate whenever you can.
View every interaction as an opportunity to get to know someone a little better. Make a habit of asking employees one question about their work or their personal lives each time you encounter them.
Take note of subtleties.
People seek emotional connection through countless small “bids” for attention—questions, gestures, or looks. Take stock of how much you notice these cues . You might also solicit some feedback from friends and family on how well you listen and respond to social cues in general.
Regularly express appreciation.
Research shows that the ratio of positive to negative interactions is 5:1 in a successful relationship. You don’t need to pay someone five compliments before offering criticism, but do be mindful of the ratio.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Coaching Your Employees.