It’s how we connect with others. It’s how we nurture trust. It’s the heart — both ours and theirs — that makes people want to follow us and throw everything they’ve got into making something successful. People follow leaders who show compassion, competence and warmth with their head and heart. A growing body of evidence suggests we should always begin with the heart.
1. Go after your vision.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else. The heart-centered leader’s mission is divining the organization’s culture, and then perceiving a vision of what path the organization and its members should take to achieve its goals. Vision and mission bring the “meaning” to the heart-centered organization.
2. Listen with your heart.
Great organizations are built on a foundation of strong relationships–both inside and out. Two-way communication within an organization–opening up a true dialogue with colleagues–is critical. Worker accessibility to top management is more common today than ever before. The best leaders encourage an openess of ideas throughout the organization. They seek to break down the walls that separate employees from one another whenever and wherever they find them.
3. Encourage employee involvement that’s heartfelt.
No one of us is as smart as all of us–every employee is a source of unlimited ideas on how to improve his or her organization’s work processes, and systems. Effective employee participation works only in an environment of complete and unconditional trust. You can encourage employee participation at work by continuing to build bridges of trust.
4. Change the organization–one person at a time: Relationships.
Putting people first is the key to unleashing the full power and creativity of employee teams. One person can make all the difference in the world! So, whether it’s at work, at home, or in any other part of our the world around us, we can reawaken our hearts–and the hearts of those around us–by putting people first in all that we do.