As a leader, do you notice the people in your team?  I don’t mean just know when they’re in the office, but really notice them? 

I reckon you should know exactly how each person in your team is feeling most of the time.  Eg. right now, is Sally happy/sad/stressed/excited? How about Cyril, is he engaged/distracted/overworked/not challenged?  If you don’t know how each person is feeling, I don’t think you’re leading them well enough.

A secret that I use is to very quickly establish what is ‘the baseline’ for each team member. ‘The baseline’ is how that person looks, speaks, acts and even sits when they’re happy. This baseline is the standard that I’ll be trying to help them achieve for as many minutes of every day that I can.

When I notice that one of the people in my team is either above or below their baseline, I’ll mention it.  Eg. if Sally looks excited, I’ll say something like “Hey Sal, you look really happy this morning.  What’s so exciting?” And it’s likely that Sally will be rapt I mentioned it and will burst into something exciting that happened outside of work. On the other hand, if Cyril looks distracted I’ll sensitively (and privately) ask if everything is OK.  In this case, it’s likely that I’ll hear about something that’s not working out so well for Cyril. And hopefully I can help or support him through his challenge.

People’s happiness at work and at home fluctuates all the time.  If you don’t notice these changes in each person, acknowledge them and work with them it’s doubtful your team is functioning anywhere near 100% of it’s potential (let alone 110%!).

To get more out of your team, establish the baseline for each person and start noticing them.

*110% is not possible, I know that!