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4 Ways to Become a More Interactive Leader

Interactive Leader

Today’s expectations of those in leadership roles are substantially different than they were a few years ago. Workers and managers are often remote or traveling for business, making it hard to interact often enough to build rapport.

Yet, that connection is essential to productivity and employee satisfaction. When workers know their leaders are engaged and interested in their ideas and opinions, they’re more likely to put their full focus on the business’s goals.

Still, even if your job is hands-on and on-site, being an interactive leader in an increasingly virtual world can take time and effort. Because you’re seeking out ways to make this happen, you’re likely to be successful. These four tips will help you on your path to becoming the best interactive leader you can be.

1. Make Yourself Known

In many companies, the leaders hire people to do the hands-on part of running the business while they stay behind the scenes. It’s a tactic that has worked well in the past, but now, employees want to know more about those in charge of their jobs.

It’s easy to make yourself known in brick-and-mortar businesses and remote work simply by scheduling an hour or so into your week to mingle. Walk through the floors and greet each person by name. Ask them how their families are doing and remember the details they provide. When you leave the interaction, make notes in a spreadsheet or note file, and refresh yourself before you visit again.

If you’re leading a large company, invite everyone to join you on a video chat for a working social hour. Both you and they can ask questions, discuss progress and setbacks, and get to know each other’s personalities better.

By putting yourself out there, your staff sees you as a real person. If you do this well, it increases worker loyalty to the company.

2. Book Corporate Trips

Corporate leadership retreats are skyrocketing in popularity because they offer businesses a significant return on their investment. The upfront expense can be hefty, but the ROI you’ll see is more than worth the effort.

These business trips are pulled off in various ways. Some companies use them as incentives to reach goals, while others hold conferences for staff development and training.

Either way, the idea is to book one hotel for everyone to stay at and get to know each other (and you) better. This article by Hotel Engine helps you understand what kind of lodging options you have so that you can choose the best one for your next getaway.

Once you decide on the destination, the next step is setting itineraries that encourage business productivity and employee relaxation. Ultimately, the goal is to boost your worker’s loyalty and increase their knowledge of the company’s goals.

By providing everyone with an enjoyable trip, those who didn’t go will want to work harder and join in on the next one.

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3. Create Open Channels of Communication

When there’s a problem, your staff are technically supposed to bring it up to the person directly above them. But this often prevents you from knowing what’s happening in the company.

Increase the interactivity of your leadership by requesting everyone CC you in their communications. Let them know you’re not “checking up on them” but that you want to understand the issues and feedback that are part of the daily work culture.

This “open channel” policy can show workers that you’re interested in everything from the smallest to the biggest parts of the business. If you continually show them that it’s okay to complain (as long as they’re looking for solutions, not trying to add drama), this safe environment helps everyone grow.

4. Go Old-School

We’ve gotten so used to technology that many of us forget the value of old-fashioned thank-you notes and in-person communication.

For instance, instead of texting or emailing your workers a “Happy Birthday” message, send them flowers with a note written by you that tells them how much you appreciate them. If they have a life-changing event, such as a wedding, birth, or loss in their family, congratulate them or offer condolences in person. If you can cook or bake, make them something special to celebrate the occasion or help them through their hard time.

These old-school methods are usually so unexpected that they add a unique, warm touch to a world full of cold and artificial technology.


Conclusion

Being a more interactive leader doesn’t mean taking hours of personal development classes and having regular “team-building” sessions. It’s something that will eventually become part of your daily persona and the work environment.

Let these four simple tips guide you as you strengthen your leadership skills and get to know what your employees need on an individual basis.

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