Don’t just say, “hello”

People are difficult to lead. Good leaders know that they have to develop relationships with the people around them. Great leaders practice systematic techniques to develop those relationships.


Your eyes are the window of your soul. Think about that saying. You can look through windows. But, you can also be seen through windows. I’m talking about two way communication. Let’s dig in deeper.

Notice people as they approach you. Are they looking down? This might indicate that they have a great deal on their mind. They might be tired or depressed. Are they looking up? Maybe they’re feeling upbeat today. Are they smiling or frowning? Is there a general look of irritation on their face. Do you care? You had better care if you want them to work well with you.


You can get a good idea of how people are doing by listening to their tone of voice. Keep your ears open to not only what they are saying, but also to the tone of their voice as they say it.

Again, is their voice going up or down when they speak? Are they using words like, “whatever” or, “it is what it is”. Don’t ignore these comments. People don’t really mean that they are resigned to whatever is bothering them. They want you to care. You don’t have to be their counselor. We’re talking about identifying that they’re troubled.


Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”. Gathering information by looking and listening begins the process of convincing people that you care. Here are some tips to help you.

Make eye contact when possible. But, don’t stare into people’s eyes for long periods. When you look around people or through people they’ll get the message you’re sending. “I’m busy and you don’t matter.”.

Evaluate their body language. Are they slouched over or standing tall? Compare today with the other days you’ve seen them. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey you seem tired today.”. Or, “You seem pumped up today.”. Use the word ‘seem’ because you don’t really know how they feel, you’re just commenting on how they appear to feel.

Use your ears and listen. Repeat back their last few words as a question. If they look tired but they say, “I’m fine.”. Repeat, “You’re fine?”. Be aware. If they say, yes then it is time to back off. But, be prepared because they may give you more info. This is your big chance. They’re testing you to see if you care. Stop, listen and care.

I really don’t care

If you’ve read this far and are thinking that this stuff doesn’t matter then I have a suggestion for you. Don’t work with people. You are going to cause a great deal of damage and you will be a living nightmare for the people that are forced to work with you.

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