Many leaders report feelings of loneliness, with more than half believing being lonely at the top hinders their performance, as cited in several studies. Whether they are a boss, team leader, or executive, the traditional design of leadership keeps them apart from their teams.
But given the challenges in business today, it’s time for today’s leaders to minimize this unspoken issue of loneliness and get connected. If they don’t, they will negatively impact results! Leaders need to learn how to connect and communicate with others in a new way. Otherwise, essential cues about upcoming business and people changes will be missed.
How to Minimize Loneliness as a Leader
Number 1! Set Aside Your Ego. You’re not the only leader feeling lonely, and your challenges are not unique to you. Reach out and connect with others without your ego running the show. People will stop ghosting you when you connect and start telling you what you need to hear.
Stop Favoring Top Performers. Although every leader loves their top performers, they often ignore the rest of the team. Focus on each and every team member by meeting 1:1 and acknowledging the small and big successes, individually and as a group. Don’t forget to include your remote team members. This will keep you from being lonely and excite you about new possibilities.
Develop a Strong Team. Strong teams don’t happen by themselves. It requires you to be involved, hire the right people, and encourage everyone to speak up while listening and coaching all team members to deliver the intended results. The process frees you from the office and removes you from putting out all the small fires.
Be Present. When interacting with the team, be present. That requires you, during all conversations, to put away your electronics or stop thinking about other concerns. Being present makes others feel valued and respected while encouraging a robust discussion. This is key to not feeling lonely.
Live a Life Outside of Work. Life is not 100% work. Yet, many leaders have an unhealthy relationship between living to work and working to live. It’s a mindset! Cultivate a healthy one since healthy pursuits eliminate loneliness.
Join Professional, Trade, and Industry Groups. Participate and make long-lasting connections. This is a great way to build a strong network with other leaders dealing with similar issues.
Create or Join a Management Group. Sharing your challenges with colleagues, either within your company or not, is valuable. Remember confidentiality.
Be Part of a Community Group. Join one that touches your heart (e.g., cancer, Alzheimer’s). It’s a great way to expand your social network.
Take Part in Family Events. Be sure to attend your kids’ events … you won’t get another chance. Keep in mind that other leaders will be there too.
Make Friends Outside of Work. Having friends outside of work When the only other people a leader interacts with are work-related, it limits their conversations. And can create problems. Expand your horizons.
Hire a Coach. Feeling lonely is believing no one else understands your challenges. Hire an executive coach (all successful leaders have one) to share your challenges and successes freely. Usually, talking out loud with a committed listener has you focus on what’s next and feel you’re not alone.
©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She’s celebrating 30 years as an award-winning international executive consultant, speaker, and coach. Her clients value the listening and positive difference she brings to any conversation. Feel stuck in a sticky situation or in challenging relationships? Want straightforward counsel to blast through it? Contact Jeannette for a confidential discussion. PS: She’s also a two-time Amazon International Best-Selling Author!
A note from Jeannette about being lonely at the top: This applies to bosses, team leaders, and executives everywhere! Today’s leaders cannot risk being lonely at the top. Instead, they need to minimize this phenomenon and learn how to connect in new ways. Not sure where to begin? Contact me for a confidential conversation.
Many leaders feel isolated from others due to blind spots in their management style. It’s essential for you, as a leader, to uncover them now. Otherwise, you’ll lose important connections with your team, customers, and industry and company leaders.