Warm and friendly
What is it?
The quality of the relationship between manager and employee is one of the best predictors of managerial effectiveness. A good relationship begins with managers treating direct reports with dignity and respect so that employees don’t feel intimidated or patronized.
Why is it important?
When employees feel devalued or disrespected, their work suffers and they become disengaged from the organization. They are reluctant to give their best and only do enough to get by. They are no longer team members who are committed to the success of the organization.
It costs us very little to show appreciation to those with whom we work. A kind word may be the highlight of that person’s day. The real challenge is being cordial to someone we just don’t like or get along with. Anyone can be kind to people who are kind to them. A true test of character is being pleasant to those who aren’t very friendly toward us.
Managers often live in a world of frustration because they perceive their employees aren’t working hard enough or producing quality work. When we’re irritated, it’s often perceived by others. We need to be aware of underlying frustration and to diffuse it. And punishing employees by being curt and short with them is often counterproductive. It’s much better to have an open conversation about failed expectations and substandard work performance.
One of the easiest ways to improve your approachability is to initiate non work-related conversations. Simple questions such as “How was your weekend?” can go a long way toward building good will and trust. There just isn’t any downside to telling employees to “Have a nice day” as they start packing up to go home. Taking an interest in their personal lives will bear much fruit. Asking about spouses or kids shows that you care about them and want to know about the things that are important to them.