At Align4Profit we train leaders in Leadership Intimacy, because it fosters the kind of human connections that result in High Commitment and High Performance. But we also see how important human connections have become to a worldwide workplace rapidly losing the benefits of personal intimacy.
Email, texting, social media, and smartphones enable us to find information without talking to a person. We google our destinations rather than ask for directions. We order and purchase products without human assistance.
In Managing Yourself: What Brain Science Tells Us About How to Excel, Edward M. Hallowell reminds us that these kinds of conveniences extract a price from the workplace. Employees lose connections that build engagement. He writes, “Working on a connected team galvanizes people in ways nothing else can.”
As they lose personal intimacy, employees become disconnected. “As a result, disengagement, one of the chief causes of underachievement and depression, is on the rise, and that can have big personal implications.”
Hallowell cites a study of 20,000 European employees finding that “people who felt disconnected from their managers were more likely to get sick, miss work, or even suffer a heart attack.” On the flip side, data from Gallup determined that “people who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely as others to be positively engaged with their jobs.”
Personal, face-to-face interactions create human bonds, feelings of attachment, and comfort. As these intimacies continue, they build loyalty and inspire workers to make sacrifices for each other and the organization.
Leadership Intimacy relies on the human connections that enable leaders to personalize their leadership approach and to engage and mobilize the full potential of their employees. Obviously to do so in a world that discourages face-to-face communication presents a challenge.
To learn how to put Leadership Intimacy to work for your organization, I strongly recommend our CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Program. At CoachQuest, not only will you learn how to implement Leadership Intimacy, but you will also learn and practice the specific leadership skills you need to address alongside leaders like you from other organizations with many of the same challenges.