“My team just has too much connection!”

Throughout my years of coaching and advising manufacturing leaders, this isn’t a statement I often hear. In fact, it’s usually the exact opposite. When there is a disconnect between leaders and their teams, it leads to communication challenges, poor culture, halted productivity, and a lack of trust throughout the entire organization.

Authenticity – Not Just a Buzz Word!

So how can you build connection and trust in your organization? The first step is authenticity. This may sound like a simple process or just another buzzword. However, authenticity is key to forging connections. To show your authentic self, take time to understand how you feel. Learn where your emotions come from and why you behave in certain ways, especially in times of tension or stress. Once you’ve processed and examined your own emotions, the next step in growing authenticity is to learn how to better express and articulate those emotions to others.

My Own Experience with Authenticity

Authenticity was a skill that was not on my radar for a long time. Now, I know it’s the foundation of a strong relationship. Understanding authenticity also helped me in recent conversations with my parents about our family business, the Blondeel Nursery tree farm. The business was a booming place in the 80s and when thing’s got busy, there were a lot of emotions that could arise. But even when there were stressful times or disagreements, there was never any disrespect. No matter who you were or where you came from, everyone was treated with care. People didn’t swear at each other or tear each other down, even in heated moments.

Instead, my parents acted as their authentic selves to help solve problems. If a job was taking too long, my dad would pick up a spade and head into the field to join the team, which helped him understand any issues impacting their productivity. Or if someone was behaving like something was wrong, my mom would step in to have a deeper conversation with them. Watching them display authenticity and core values helped me become who I am today, and has helped me stay grounded in my own difficult times.

Using Dialogue to Combat Disconnect

Once you’ve taken the steps to embrace authenticity, dialogue is the next foundation of a successful relationship. Talking about emotions with others can often be uncomfortable or make you feel vulnerable, but talking with others is the best way to find actionable solutions. By being able to engage in a dialogue about your own feelings, you’re more likely to find connection with others. If you avoid conversations, you can miss out on opportunities for better relationships, great solutions, and personal growth.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.

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