Leadership success requires strategic thinking, detailed planning, and daily effort to connect with each employee, regardless of how long they’ve worked for the company. Business leaders who want to see results while overcoming obstacles will need to prioritize connecting with their workers. The deeper connection will require them to learn more about their employees and how they intercept information and communicate in the workplace. Leaders will typically have an emotional or pragmatic connection with employees in most work environments. However, the differences between the two are tremendous, with one option providing better results than the other.
What It Means to Have a Pragmatic Connection with the Team
Having a pragmatic connection with team members isn’t uncommon. Many managers and leaders for different companies take their roles seriously and feel they need to move forward with a more practical approach. These professionals are often most concerned about getting things done and figuring out what steps they need to take to reach specific goals. Instead of considering the needs of each team member, however, they often spend most of their time focusing heavily on what their team needs to do and how quickly they need to get it done to see the most significant results. While there is nothing wrong with being a result-driven professional, a lack of care for the communication aspect between team members can quickly create tension and frustration in the workplace. The added stress and frustration are no good for any company, regardless of how long it has been in business.
Unfortunately, leaders with more of a pragmatic connection to team members are less connected on a personal level because all they’re thinking about is the next assignment that needs to get done to help them reach their end goal. These professionals are also known for having much higher standards. Unfortunately, the standards aren’t always realistic or easy to uphold when employees have difficulty communicating with one another while sharing ideas and taking in new information. Another problem with pragmatic leadership is the lack of learning acceptance and diversity. Pragmatic leaders often fail to realize and accept that their employees have unique learning styles that differ from one person to the next, so they tend to relay information in a way that they believe is most beneficial based on their communication preferences.
The Difference Between a Pragmatic and Emotional Connection to Team Members
While a pragmatic connection may appear to work for some, such a connection doesn’t deliver
long-lasting results that companies want to see and experience. An emotional connection is the opposite of a pragmatic relationship in many ways. While pragmatic leadership is all about being practical, following a particular structure, and trying to achieve the best results possible, emotional leadership is about building trust, communicating more effectively, and treating team members with respect to make them feel appreciated and encouraged in the workplace. Everyone in the workplace can collaborate with ease because there is less emphasis on being perfect when getting things done and more emphasis on teamwork. When employees feel like they matter, they tend to get much more done with morale at an all-time high, leading to better results for businesses. Researchers from various institutions have noted that leadership is an emotional process. In addition, a publication from Foltin & Keller, Leading Change with Emotional Intelligence, detailed the importance of leaders recognizing and managing their emotions while working with team members.
When working hard to build an emotional connection, company leaders need to ensure they’re taking the steps necessary to become intellectually aligned with the rest of the team members. If they want to become intellectually aligned with employees, they must understand that different learning preferences and communication styles exist. These professionals can then provide employees with access to resources and tools that keep them encouraged and self-motivated enough to complete their tasks and stay productive, which leads to better overall results for everyone involved. Those in power trying to decide which approach is best for business can create a more profound connection while building a bond with the employees.
The Leading Advantages of Building an Emotional Connection with the Team
Building a solid emotional connection with team members reduces stress within the workplace while creating a more welcoming environment that employees can look forward to each day. Some of the additional advantages of an emotional connection include:
When employees feel appreciated and encouraged despite any learning differences, they’ll feel more inclined to put their all into everything they’re doing while working for the company for more extended periods.
Companies struggling to keep employees around long enough should consider the type of leadership they have and the changes they might need to make to avoid such an issue in the future. Because an emotional connection leads to greater employee retention, less miscommunication, and higher productivity rates, businesses that take the time to build that emotional tie with employees can get ahead of their competition and achieve many goals.
How Leaders Can Begin Fostering Better Relationships with Employees
If business leaders want to build a better relationship with employees while creating and strengthening an emotional connection, they need to discover the Inner Genius Archetype of each employee. The Inner Genius Quotient of an individual represents their learning and communication style. It’s nearly impossible for anyone, regardless of their experience in the workplace, to have strong communication skills or influence a team of workers when they don’t know how to effectively engage in discussions with them. Understanding the unique learning preferences will allow team leaders in various industries to communicate in the most balanced way possible to ensure that everyone has a detailed understanding of the information presented to them to get their jobs done without stress or frustration. As a result, businesses can achieve more goals and continue to thrive while employees feel a greater sense of respect and appreciation from leadership and their peers.
WRITTEN BYCatherine Mattiske