Written by Diane Vaccaro
I recently observed a leader who, in doing the simplest of behaviors, was able to communicate value to those he leads. He simply sat in a chair. Well, maybe that's not all. He also leaned back like he was going to stay for a bit. This was how he entered an office to answer a question.
Often, as leaders, we are in a hurry. We have a lot to do and places to be. When someone manages to stop us en route, we lean into the office and say "yes?" We hold onto the door jam as if our body is already down the hall and we can barely keep our ears in the doorway. It is body language the screams, "I'm not really even stopping so be quick." But not so for this leader. He whooshes by office doors, but when someone shouts out his name, he stops, enters the office, sits down and even leans his back against the chair. Imagine the different message that his body language communicates.
"I have time for you."
"I am interested is helping you."
"You are worthy of my time."
Part of our Lead With Purpose seminar focuses on being present. Being present with people you work with communicates that you value them. Giving someone your full attention matters. Put your phone down. Close your laptop. Turn away from your computer. Sit down in someone else's office and give them your full attention, being fully present. It matters to those you lead.
Take a seat. Not a barely-sitting-on-the-front-of-the-chair seat, but a fully-sitting-using-the-back-of-the-chair seat. People will notice and be grateful.