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Learn Their Names May 29, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership.
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This may seem like a small thing, but I think it’s extremely important in establishing an emotional connection with your team. Managers should make a special effort to learn the names of their subordinates and partners, as quickly as possible. I’ve had the opportunity to assume leadership of an existing team several times in my career, and I’ve always made a point of scheduling a short, introductory meeting with each person in the department, regardless of level.

It’s a small investment of time, but the payoff is huge. It gives you the chance to begin to communicate your expectations for the team and your philosophy as a manager. It gives each person the chance to introduce themselves and describe what’s important to them. Once the team begins to see you as a real person with real interest in their contribution, they become more receptive to your leadership. You reinforce that relationship by learning their names and greeting them by name when you pass them in the corridors.

Here’s another small thing. Whenever I left the office on Friday afternoon I made a point of walking through the building and wishing each person a good weekend. Again, a small investment of time that helps people feel connected to the department and the success of the business.

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