displaying empathy and connecting with your teams

Being prepared and present has always been at the core of good leadership. As some of us return to the office while others continue to work from home, it’s important to not only be an organized manager but to ensure you make an emotional connection.

How do we switch gears to foster relationships equally across your entire team? The key is to leverage best practices of communication that work for in-person and remote teams simultaneously.

heard it all before

The biggest mistake you can make during a meeting is to multitask, assuming you know what people are going to say because you’ve “heard it all before.” Take the time to be present, don’t assume or judge. Showing genuine interest and participating will naturally connect you with the team and lead to productive discussions.

Tip: Don’t assume or judge – remember to be present and participate.


Never underestimate the power of positivity. It’s amazing to see how a “can do,” “we got this,” and “how can I help?” attitude motivates people and turns around a stressful situation. Positive energy is not only reflected in what you say but in your expressions, tone, and body language. Remember to smile and lean in towards your speaker – even if your conversation is over the phone. Just doing these physical acts will increase your positive energy. There’s nothing more disheartening than to see or “sense” our colleague’s disapproval or frown on video or at the other end of the line.

Tip: Remember to smile with open and friendly body language. 

get it right

Make sure you walk away with accurate information after a meeting. Not getting things right after people take the time to communicate wastes time and creates frustration. If needed, reach out to recap what you heard. It builds trust when people know that you care. 

Tip: Get the information right after a meeting. 

Following best practices for communicating with teams in the office or remotely helps build strong emotional connections. Always treat people with empathy and be respectful of the boundaries between work and life. Making yourself present and communicating without judgment will position you as a trusted leader on the team.


Mary Poluikis
Group Program Director