Leadership insight #2 / 2022: Reconnecting with your team as the year gets underway
16 February 2022
It’s a leadership task that can easily fall by the wayside, as other pressures and tasks will usually trump it. But reconnecting with your staff, with your team, is a good way to start the year – with a reset if needed, a reminder of what’s important about what you achieve together and some expectations and reminders of ‘how we work together’.
An intentional reconnection does several things:
- Strengthens professional social connection and relationships – this is engaging and motivating; strong and trusting interpersonal relationships are the basis on which honest conversations can be had and difficult feedback given.
- A chance to reset the team culture and practices – remind team members of how you work together and set expectations around valuing everyone’s input and the importance of speaking up, sharing information, asking questions and giving feedback.
- Share a bit of yourself and ‘where you’re at’ – this provides an invitation that they too are welcome to share a bit of themselves at work and reinforces that you value strong professional relationships. After two very difficult years, we are all much clearer now on how what’s happening to us and our loved ones in our personal and home life, impacts on how we are at work.
- A first intentional check-in provides a time to talk about when and how often you will meet through the year; including team meetings, one-on-one meetings and performance reviews/assessment.
Much of our collaborative work is done through interpersonal conversations and team discussion in meetings. Practising these skills with your team and doing the preparatory reflective thinking in advance of leading these conversations and meetings counts.
You could prepare by thinking about when and how often you will meet with you team and meet individually with those who you work with/report to you. What day and what time will work best for you and for the team and its work? How much time is needed for this meeting to be effective? And how often do you think it would be helpful to meet with your staff one-to-one this year?
Reflecting on these leadership tasks and the way you want to lead this collaborative work is the first step. Speaking and acting clearly and in line with your values, and commitment to the work depends on being clear about it for yourself, first. Self-awareness is fundamental for effective leadership.
The second step is talking about this openly with your team, that is talking about your reflections on and ideas about why, when and how you meet and work collaboratively. In doing so you are sharing that connecting with people is important. You are sharing that you are thoughtful about the ‘when, where and how’ of connecting and are stating that ‘yes’ I am accessible, however not all the time. Setting clear expectations regarding your availability and managing time boundaries supports this and avoids any confusion.
Dr Anna Clark (PhD)
AMAV Leadership development consultant, coach & educator
Dr Anna Clark is AMAVs Leadership consultant, coach and educator, currently offering individual coaching for doctors and directing the AMA’s professional development programs in leadership, the Emerging Leader Program and Middle Leader Program.