As every good sales person knows people buy from someone who they know like and trust and that any decision relating to what they want to buy, is directed by logic, but ultimately the final decision is driven by their emotions. Our emotions are really powerful motivators and as such any great leader understands the importance of connecting with their followers on an emotional level. This connection where their followers learn to know, like, trust and really connect with their leader on an emotional level, allows the leader inspire their team and move them to action.

It is a well-known fact that the heart comes before the head. Our emotions dictate any action we will take, it does not matter whether we are part of a political rally of tens of thousands of people listening to a political speech, leading a team or relating to our spouse, our emotions direct our actions. Think back to a talk you have listened to in the past, was the speaker dry and just delivering an endless list of facts or did the speaker engage you on a human level, telling stories that touched your emotions? Learn the art of connecting with your team on an emotional and you have an incredible tool to positively influence your team to action. We are inspired and driven to action by someone that engages with us and connects with us on an emotional level.

To be effective as a leader, you must never sit in your ivory tower and give out a list of instructions to your followers. You must strive to get your team to know, like and trust you as a leader and to connect with them on an emotional level. When you reach out and first touch their hearts, they will be more than willing to offer you their hands in support. We are driven by our emotions and we use our emotions to make most, if not all of our decisions in life.

You can never move people to action where they consistently give their best, unless you connect with them on an emotional level first. Yes you can force or coerce them with threats and drive them to action with negative emotions, such as fear, but this will only work in the short term. People will eventually become demotivated and deliver the bare minimum, so that they can avoid the consequences of your threats. If you want to really inspire your teams to consistently deliver their best, you must really connect with them using positive emotions. When people are inspired by positive emotions, they have an increased drive to explore, expand and discover.

When our followers feel any negative emotions their perspective narrows, they withdraw and simply work to protect their position. On the other hand, when we inspire our teams, using positive emotions, they engage in active discovery, exploration and expansion. Negative emotions contract and positive emotions expand. Any leader who wants to become effective understands the power of inspiring their teams with positive emotions. They understand that when their teams experience negative emotions they focus on what is wrong instead of what is right and they simply strive to make things right again, they do not deliver their best. When teams are inspired to action using positive emotions, they become constructive, generous and open to seeing possibilities thereby giving their best every day.

John C Maxwell said it so well, when he said “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” The stronger the relationship and connection any leader can develop with any of their followers, the more likely their followers will want to help them. A leader builds credibility with his or her team, when he or she, really connects with them and shows them that they care for and only want the best for their teams. When team members feel connection with their leader, they are more than willing to work with the leader and give their best.

The secret for any leader to become effective is to strive to connect with everyone on an individual level. It is difficult to connect with a group of people, but it is easy to connect and to relate to them as individuals. When I speak to an audience of several hundred people, I am not speaking to a hundreds of people; I am speaking to and connecting with one person. The same is true for a leader, communicate with and work to relate to each individual and every one of those people will be inspired to give their best.

When you are striving to inspire your team to action, you must always be certain and have confidence in yourself and your message. People will never head the call of an uncertain trumpet. Project an air of confidence, be authentic and believe in yourself and your message and your followers will feel the same. Nothing can be more inspiring to a team member than sincere, accurate praise and nothing more damaging than a meaningless cookie cutter compliment. Always strive to be confident and authentic with your followers and they will project the same back to you.

Nothing communicates a message better to a team than the behaviour and practices of the leader. When a leader exemplifies all the qualities he or she expects from their followers and practices what they preach. Their followers will see this consistency and are more than willing to deliver their best and act in the same way.

Remember that the responsibility for building connection with your team is the leader’s responsibility. Have the foresight to meet your team where they are and work to connect with each one of them as individuals and you will become an effective leader. Make sure that you focus on them and not yourself and your needs. See the value in each individual in your teams and show them you care and they will connect with you and deliver their best every day.

Author's Bio: 

I am an international professional speaker, very successful entrepreneur, expert and master teacher on leadership. I am the author of The Leadership Toolkit and Wot the (Bleep) Now. I also hosts a weekly TV series called the Empower Half Hour on DSTV. I am an expert that speaks and teaches business professionals how to become great leaders, helping them to mobilise every asset and resource at their disposal for the benefit of all stakeholders. Using my extensive business background I inspires business professionals to greatness. His purpose is to empower exceptional people, winning teams and authentic leaders, inspiring them to shift their behaviour and attitude, thereby encouraging sustainable and on-going development. Andrew will act as the catalyst for success within any organisation.