You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Hi, I’m Kevin Eikenberry, answering the questions that new and frontline leaders ask us. Actually, it’s our goal to help all leaders be more productive, successful, and confident. And this video series is just one way we do that.
Today, I’m asking the question. How do I get people to follow me? Are you ready for my answer? Let’s get started. It’s a great question, how do I get people to follow me because it frames a really important point?
It frames the point that it’s not about the fact that you have the title that people automatically follow you. Right? Here’s the big point. You can’t make someone follow you. This is not something that’s in our control, we can influence it.
But ultimately, if someone’s following, it’s because they choose. One of the first things we need to remember and recognize to be a more effective leader is to recognize that just because we have the position doesn’t mean they’re going to follow.
Just because we have the position of power doesn’t mean they’re going to listen. Ultimately, the question is, are they choosing or how will they choose? And so the rest of this video is going to think about and help us think about how people choose to follow us or not.
Right here it is very simply people naturally follow people that they know, like and trust. And we could go into a lot more detail about that idea. But let’s just unpack it a little bit with three questions. Let me say it again.
First, though, people naturally follow people that they know, like, and trust. If you would stop and think about that for yourself, I bet you’d say that’s true for me. The people that I follow now or have followed are people that I know, like and trust, so.
Three questions for you to consider
Question number one: Do they know you? Do your people know you beyond the nature of the work? Do they know a little bit about what you care about, what your passions are, what your values are?
Are you open enough? You don’t have to share everything about your private life, but you can share some things about your personal life to people. Know something about your background or they know about what you care about. Do they know you?
Second question, do they like you? Now some people say, Oh, are you saying, Kevin, it’s my job to make friends with the people that I lead. I am not saying that. I am not saying that we should try to make friends, but I am saying we should be friendly.
I’m not saying that we should try to get people to like us, but we should be like a ball. And if we’re likable, like the people generally want to hang around us, at least a little bit. I mean, I know we’re the boss and so we might get invited to every barbecue.
But if every time we walk into the room, are people looking for a way to leave? That might be a sign of what we don’t want.
Question number three is do they trust you? There’s a lot that we could unpack there, but let’s just go back to you as a follower.
Aren’t we far more likely to follow people that we trust? So the question is, do your people trust you? And the best thing that you can do to help them trust you is to be trustworthy, be consistent so they know what to expect from you and to offer trust to them.
Because when we let people know that we trust them, they begin to trust us reciprocally. How do you get people to follow us? How do we get people to follow us? We get people to follow us by helping people know us like us and trust us?
Let me close with today’s tweet: People don’t follow a position. They follow a person. If you want to be a more effective leader, strive to be someone people want to follow. I hope you liked my answer to this important question.
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