Feeling connected emotionally is intrinsically rewarding to the brain.
Have you noticed that in dangerous jobs, good bosses tend to have deep bonds with their workers? Whether it's a captain and crew on a crab fishing boat in the Bering Sea, a platoon commander and his troops in Afghanistan, or a tree-cutting foreman and his team in the forest — people in dangerous working conditions sense they need to trust each other and their boss to survive.
As a manager, you may not be working on a fishing boat or in armed combat. But you need to motivate your people to get things done. Do you have that kind of bond? Or have you been taught to manage by objectives and metrics to monitor performance, and that bonding with your team members will be seen as a distraction at best or weakness at worst? Many have. Perhaps that's why a recent survey found that more workers would trust a total stranger more than their own boss.
At the Neuroleadership Summit in New York City this October we jointly presented research and findings explaining why leaders should develop the capacity to build secure attachments and personal relationships. The productive manager in a complex, global workplace should be less like a football coach with a whistle around his neck and more like a belayer helping climbers reach the next goal. While it is true that companies with abundant resources can afford to use fear as a motivator and absorb the cost of more frequent hirings and firings, this approach frequently ends up being memorialized in case studies of failed leaders and shuttered businesses....