Leaders – what is your routine the first 5 minutes in the door? Do you head straight to your office? How you spend the first 5 minutes can ignite the fire in your team if you know what you are doing. Sometimes leaders are so focused on putting out fires they forget how to light them. How can y0u change the energy quickly?
I recommend the first five minutes you connect and engage your team – face to face with those close by and virtually with those working remotely.
Seek them out and ask them to tell you something good! What are they excited about?
What is their focus for the day? What will they accomplish today? How can you help?
Ask about their kids and out of the office activities. Engage and show sincere interest.
Seek opportunities to praise them for the specific things they are doing well. Why are you proud of them? If they are virtual it could be a quick Skype call, phone call, email or text.
Remember it not just what you say but HOW YOU SAY IT! The tone of your voice, look in your eye and sometimes physical connection with a high five, fist bump or pat on the back. Why is this crucial? Because sometimes people come in with a bad attitude and you can help turn it around with your energy. Yours should be contagious!
Do you want a simple way to check your energy level? Get a check up by using your Smart Phone and the voice recorder. Just click record and put it in your pocket. That takes some guts! What takes even more guts is to LISTEN to it! I recommend you do a “check-up” every month. BONUS TIP – the next time you hold a formal meeting to talk to your team set up a tripod and video tape yourself! You may be shocked at what you see. Some think they are the “dispenser of enthusiasm” and they sound more like Eeyore!
You might have a team of 10 or perhaps hundreds or thousands. If you have many, start with your direct reports and them have them duplicate the same strategy down the line. How much is this strategy a departure from what you normally do it? You know it is easy to get caught up in your office and have the best of intentions to get out but it never happens. Start the first 5 before you get to your office.
Another way to accomplish the same thing in a group is with a quick, stand up 5 minute HUDDLE. You can watch a short video here how to make that huddle great. Test it for a month to see if it works for you. If you want extra-credit, try the First 5/Last 5 strategy. As you may have guessed, connect and engage in the last 5 minutes of the day. Repeat the same process. Start this simple discipline today and reap the benefits!