Micro-moments of connection have a macro effect

Functioning from a place of care, compassion and genuine interest creates a psychologically safe space.

By Ronald Abvajee, founder and owner of Healthy Living Consulting.

It’s only by investing in micro-moments of connection of warmth and authentic connection with our colleagues, and investing time into other people, that you, as a leader, will empower them to be calm, confident and to use their talents and abilities optimally.

So what are micro-moments of connection? These are short, intentional and meaningful interactions with colleagues and individuals. Take the time (on a continuous basis) to get to know something about your colleagues and then use that information to create either proactive or reactive (but always authentic) connections with them.

As a start, this could be as simple as a quick chat during the course of a work day to find out about their history, family, their pets, interests, hobbies or favourite sports teams. The important thing here is then using this knowledge to relate to them meaningfully and sincerely if and when required.

For example, after something negative like a bad performance review or quarterly result, this will enable you, as a manager, to communicate to your colleagues and employees with empathy, compassion and insight as opposed to hostility and frustration.

This is also where the concepts of storytelling versus story-connecting come into play. Storytelling alone typically does not urge the audience to act, whereas story-connecting does.

Only when you know something about an individual do you know how to relate to them in a way that encourages and inspires action or positive change, as opposed to lecturing, hectoring or relating stories that have no impact.

As leaders in organisations we need to work with both our own and our team’s emotions to be effective so that we do not only elicit a mental reaction to a particular problem or circumstance. If we engage our individual team members correctly, we will not miss those subtle emotional needs that go into creating authentic employee-centric workplaces.

This is where continuously making an effort to spend time relating to others will pay enormous dividends. Through ongoing micro-moments of genuine connection we understand how individuals tick, what lights them up, drives and inspires them. If we take the trouble to understand the people around us, we will know how best to reach out and manage them optimally – not only for their own personal growth, but for that of the team and the organisation as a whole.