November 3, 2020
Man oh mannn we’re so excited for today’s episode. Before we get started though, I just wanted to say thank you, truly, for being here. Your consistent support, excitement, and encouragement for this podcast, and us is seriously so meaningful to us. If you’re new, welcomeeeeee! Make sure to hit the subscribe button to stay up to date on all of our episodes! We drop two a week sooo… you don’t wanna miss anything. And If you’re already part of the Heart & Hustle fam, welcome backkkk! If you haven’t already left a review, that would seriously mean the WORLD to us. Every time you take two minutes to write a review of this podcast, it’s like a giant virtual hug for us. Plus, it really helps us get more eyes on this show. So.. thanks in advance for the wonderful review you’re about to write.
OKAY… now… Let’s get started with today’s topic!!! This is gonna be a gooood one. If you’re an entrepreneur who currently has one or more employees, THIS IS FOR YOU. If you’re an entrepreneur who someday WANTS to have one or more employees… THIS IS FOR YOU. If you’re a human being who wants to learn about being a good leader… THIS IS FOR YOU. hahaha okay but seriously, today we’re talking about leadership and managing a team. Evie and I break down how to communicate with your team, the importance of connection within your team and how to pursue that, and cultivating community within your staff and how that’ll change the GAME for you as a business owner.
Evie and I are so excited to dive into this topic today. We both currently run teams of 4-8 on several different companies and each of these points is lessons we’ve learned through the years of growing our businesses and our teams. Some of them have been learned the HARD way sooo hopefully today’s episode will give you a leg up and help you avoid some of our own mistakes. ALRIGHT, I’ll shut up now so we can get to the good stuff! Ready??? Aaaanddddd… let’s go!
We will dive into a few foundational points and principles that you can pursue in building and managing a team well and become a strong leader. But the main foundation, the main point, and goal that all these principles are driving towards is to create a culture of value and honor. Keeping that in mind as you are approaching any sort of leadership or community building in business or life. That is the goal and is what you are driving towards.
The inspiration for this episode is as entrepreneurs we started a business that was a creative hobby we loved. As our business grows we then find we need help and team members.
You probably didn’t start your business from the get-go thinking that you need to know how to be a good leader, boss, and manager of people. That is probably not the thought that was in your mind when you started your business. We know for us that was not anything that we thought. We didn’t think, “Oh in the future I am going to have a team of eight and manage them well”.
From the flip side maybe you are not an entrepreneur at all, but in a 9-5 job and you absolutely hate it. Another inspiration for this topic is creating a culture of value. A lot of times people hate their job because the boss or CEO has not created a culture of value. What that means is that you as an employee have no buy-in, you have no reason for what you are doing matters. It makes you not care and slack off. Getting your work done and getting out of there as fast you can.
We want to talk about why people hate their jobs? Or why is it that people don’t feel what they are doing at a company or business matters? If you are building a team or company this is something to keep in mind. How can I lead my team well so that they feel they matter and are important, and understand the mission of where we are steering the ship.
A lot of these principles are applicable to everyday life, whether that be in a corporate job or a manager at Chick-Fil-A. As well as parents! Keep an open mind as you learn about these principles and pick and choose what applies to you personally.
It will be so so so revolutionary if you do not currently have healthy communication in your workplace, business, or company. This will change your life! It will change your employee’s life! Being able to lead with compassion & empathy in communication because communication, especially confrontation, doesn’t mean you bulldoze over people or walk over people. It doesn’t mean asserting your dominance saying ‘I’m right” and “your wrong”.
When you are able to lead with compassion and empathy, and hearing why they were late on this project, why did they do a sub-par job on this project, or why are they struggling with this scenario? Leading with that mindset of caring for the other person in that situation is going to make them feel valued and honor by you. They are not just a puppet or pawn, or chess piece that you are moving around your chessboard. Making them feel important and valuable and that their impute is to you as well. That will create mutual respect between you and any employees that you are working with.
Especially from a CEO’s position if you invest time and value the opinion of your employees, it helps give that buy-in. They will feel like: “Oh my opinion actually matters in the direction of where the ship is steering in this company”.
You set the tone.
You set the tone, as a CEO it is so important to not let things get pushed under the rug. Such as if there is a disagreement or something they did you are not happy with.
Always have healthy communication. Always bring it up in a loving, but firm way. Again, you set the tone in that conversation. You get to decide how you’re going to make them feel in that conversation. If the job quality is not what you expected from them then have that conversation and don’t ignore it. Set the tone in that conversation to let them know that you’re not beating them down or that they are an awful human being for making one mistake.
If you are afraid to bring up the hard stuff, that is going to come back to bite you in the butt later. So don’t be afraid to have those conversations and be open and honest. Getting feedback and asking your employees, “what did I not do as the leader to not set these expectations beforehand?”.
Don’t assume it is always their fault.
We are all imperfect people.
Not only do you set the tone for the hard conversations, but you set the tone for the positive conversations as well. You need to be praising and communicating what your team is doing well. Even the little things that you are noticing.
“Thank you so much for showing up on time.”
“Thank you for your quick response.”
“Thank you for going above and beyond, and going the extra mile.”
“Thank you for already taking proactive action on that project, because I value that so much.”
Recognizing and setting the tone of honor and acknowledgment when someone does something well. Healthy communication is not just a hard conversation (even though that is what a lot of people struggle with).
We also struggle with positive reinforcement, calling out the gold in our employees, and saying what we value. Noticing that! It is easy as a leader to get caught up and distracted by all the responsibilities and tasks that are swirling around in your brain and life. And it is very easy to forget to notice that that employee just went above and beyond for your customer or helped out a fellow team member. It is very very easy to be like cool cool cool, and check that off the list. We will then so often forget to say it.
If an employee has done a good job we need to constantly remind ourselves to praise them. Especially if someone’s love language is words of affirmation, but don’t worry we will get into that in a second!
Remind yourself on your to-do list to praise your employees. It will take practice, but at the end of the day think about what have my employees done well today that I can praise them for? It can almost be a to-do list at the end of each day that you check off. This will revolutionize your workspace and team environment.
DO NOT DO NOT, feel avoidant or yucky about healthy communication. Healthy communication will change your entire company if you know how to do it well.
This is so so so important as a leader, as a boss, or as someone who is managing and leading people. Get to know your team’s different and unique weaknesses and strengths. Learn how they tick. How they think. How they operate. What drives them. What scares them. Pursue that knowledge of them because that will help you lead, serve, and honor each one of them well.
When we hinted above about learning your employees love language it was because if their love language is words of affirmation that will then help you know how to talk to them in the ways they feel love the best or receive positive reinforcement best. Get to know your team’s Enneagram number, love language, and their personality strengths. And honestly treating them how you would want to be treated.
Another important part of this is doing check-ins. Regular check-ins, not for tasks, but like “how are you feeling”?
“How can I do a better job as your boss to make you feel valued, loved, and appreciated in this team?”
It goes back to healthy communication, but having those regular check-ins to get to know them better. This ties in with communication but it’s also more than just communicating it’s actually seeking to know and understand. To try to realize and recognize how someone thinks and their background to learn that they might operate better with tasks and to-do lists. Or learning they come from a more fluid and creative background and operate well with a bit more leniency and freedom. Understanding these little nuances in your staff will change the game for how they feel, therefore for how they work.
It’s not let me love my team so they work harder.
It is, let me love my team so they are LOVED.
Talk to them about stuff other than work. Ask about their week, and personal things going on in their life. Show that you care more about them than just as your employee.
A bonus would be to know their birthday, their anniversary (if they are married), and have them on your calendar. Then send your team member birthday gifts to show you care more than just who they are at work.
That is the bottom line and then from there, it creates a beautiful cycle of love, respect, and honor for everyone. Then everyone has buy-in and feels invested in you and your company. It creates a desire for them to be a part of what you are doing.
Putting value in and getting to know your staff. Having them take strengthsfinder quizzes, love language, or Enneagram quizzes. Learning about them so you understand how they think, how they operate, and what drives them will help you navigate communication and day-to-day tasks with your team.
Now that might sound fancy, and that you need to have a staff of fifty, but not at all! Even if you have a staff of one, cultivate and think creatively how can I create a community with that one person or even if you have a team of 10. It doesn’t matter the size, it’s the principle of cultivating community. That they feel loved and welcomed.
It blends in with the other two points we have talked about, but a practical thing you could do is have a team retreat as you grow. We know that is hard in the season of Covid as we have been trying to have one ALL year, but we think this is something important. Especially if you are an online business and have remote team members. Getaway and see all your people in person, hug them, and have those conversations face to face.
Whether you communicate on text or slack, for us on slack we have different channels for different areas of business but we also have one that is called ‘general’. That is where Rachel talks about her kids or others give updates on what is going on in their personal lives. We also have a text message thread that is purely about life. This is another way to cultivate community within us. If we slack each other then we know it is purely working but if we text each other (how you would a friend) then we know it’s personal.
Talk about the mission statement of your company. Whether that’s once a year at a retreat or monthly. Talk about the purpose of what you are doing. Talk about your goals with your staff. Bring them into an ownership mentality of the company and their job within the company. Bringing them into that ownership that they are a part of your community and movement that is fighting for change in your specific area. No matter what it is, if you have a mission statement invite your staff into that movement. Give them buy-in that they want to be a part of it because they see your goal and purpose and what to be a part of that change in the world.
Don’t make them feel like they are replaceable. Avoid that replaceable mindset at all costs. DO NOT EVER make an employee feel that someone else could do their job at any point in time.
As you grow your team, as the manager or CEO, when you are giving tasks to your employees it is giving them ownership and value. We know as an entrepreneur you are used to doing things on your own and it is hard to trust others with tasks and bringing them in. Learning to let go and not look over your employee’s shoulders and checking that they are doing a good job. If you can practice this it will build trust and empowerment throughout your team. If you do look over people’s shoulders, you’re not empowering them to have that buy-in. When you don’t, it enables them to create a culture of value and honor throughout your entire company.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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