Listen to Your Followers’ Problems and Help Them.
I once had an employee who was initially very upset that I took over as leader of the department. She thought that she deserved to be promoted and become the leader. She had more experience than me. She was very cold to me and resisted any initiatives that I proposed. Shortly thereafter, her mother became very sick and it got to the point that she needed caregivers. I gave her as much time of as I could and was very flexible with her work duties and responsibilities. She finally requested family leave for eight weeks and it was granted. While she was gone, I attempted to do as much of her work as possible and got a very good understanding of her duties, systems and techniques. I stayed late many nights and weekends working at both my job and hers.
When she came back from family leave, she expected piles of work awaiting her and very hectic weeks. She was surprised that I had kept up and completed almost all of the work. She came into my office and started to cry and I thought that something had happened to her mother. Instead she was grateful for what I had done and thanked me, informing me that no boss had ever done anything so kind. I then suggested that we make a request to our information technology department to upgrade some for the systems that she used, and I was now familiar with by doing her job. We jointly filled out the request that day and it was installed in three weeks.
Her attitude towards me completely turned around. Whenever there was a tough project, she volunteered for it. She became the most loyal employee to me in the department and a friend. As a leader, if someone has a problem and needs help, especially when it is personal or family related, go out of your way to help them. Listen to your followers’ problems and help them.
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