Several weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal there was an interesting article titled “She’s One Step Ahead.”
It told the story of a factory leader, Elizabeth Kaplan, and how she decided to join her employees on a strenuous set of Los Angeles stairs during lunch. She believed that sharing a workout with her team would create a stronger connection with them.
I love leaders like her! She was only one of three women on her team of 60, and as a boss, she was finding it difficult to connect.
When she found out that many of the men on her large team were exercising during lunch, she decided to join them. And because of her lead she motivated a number of others on her team to join as well. Every lunch hour they climb the “Culver City Stairs,” 282 steps that form a steep climb.
Her team that is joining her is not only building personal connections, but also enjoying greater health and more energy. One worker said, “Now that I started doing the stairs, I feel healthier and have a lot more energy. And when Elizabeth joins us we all seem to laugh a lot more.”
What are you doing to create opportunities for you and your team to spend time together?
When teammates get to know each other (including the leader), they start caring more about each other. As they start caring more about each other, they start becoming more vulnerable. As a result of greater vulnerability, trust increases which leads to stronger communication and better teamwork.
If you want a greater connection with your team, I would suggest finding a trail and taking your team for a walk or jog. Or at the very least find something you can all do together that is away from work.
Teams that spend time together, stay together.
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