Mandy Amanda Team Building for Entrepreneurs | Get organized, grow your team | Enjoy Success
Team Building for Entrepreneurs | Get organized, grow your team | Enjoy Success

Create a Connection

“People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses”

We’ve all heard that one before but instead of thinking

“bad-boss” = micromanager (or perfectionist, or unreasonable, or…)

Think lack of personal regard.  Bigger picture by far.

Have you ever left a bad boss?  What was really so bad about them?  I had one that, to this day, cannot remember which of my two children is which.  Talk about not connecting to me as a person…

It is a real thing.  People want you to care about them.  If you do, they can tolerate your bad business decision; your periodic unreasonable ask; they’ll even give you honest feedback…

The key – build trust by creating a personal connection.

Professional negotiators do this as a course of business.  Successful business people are constantly networking, meeting people, working for charities.

It sounds so obvious, yet so many people in leadership roles forget about it or let it fall by the wayside when work is intense.  Making a connection should be your TOP business priority.

Every. Day.


When I hired an assistant on the other side of the world, I knew it would be a challenge to connect with her on a personal level.  Our cultures are different, our time zones are different – how was I ever going to create a space of trust in an authentic way?  Seriously, she is awake and working when I am asleep – how would I ever connect with her?

It turns out that it is the same way you create trust with anyone – you invest time in learning about them and you share about yourself.

To make the connection happen, we created a “Random” channel in our messaging board where we could put … yep… random stuff.

We started with a picture and a funny note, and now we have a great running dialog, watercooler style, about life as it is for each of us.  I know about her passion for martial arts and painting and we both agree that swimming in the ocean is a no-no.

To get the conversation started (and to keep it fresh) I periodically post a question for her to answer.  Simple questions like: What was your favorite present ever?  Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Fun questions like those helped keep the “random” conversation going and helped us create a space to become connected. After a few weeks, I stopped asking them so regularly.  It seemed silly to me to keep pestering her…

Imagine my reaction when she brought them up in our 6-week check in, when she mentioned that those questions helped create trust.

And I had stopped asking them.


The fact that she was willing to even tell me I had dropped the “connection” ball took a lot of trust.  If I had not already built some, she’d have moved on to another position, hoping for a better working relationship and I would have had to start over.  She’s way to valuable an asset on my team to let that happen.

So now I am back at it.  I have promised to work to keep that connection healthy.  I put a monthly task on my calendar to spend 20 minutes brainstorming questions for the next few weeks and have created a “bank” of things to ask her about.

You know, conversation starters.

To honor her, I’d like to share them with you.

A few of our favorites are listed below and if you follow us on the Gram (@im.mandyamanda), we will post a new #CreateConnections every day.  Use these as a reminder to connect with your team; to ask genuine questions about their “not work” time and space; to build trust.

If you’d rather get them by email, just jump on our email list (scroll down to the bottom of this page to sign up) and we’ll send you a weekly primer with a bit of management advice and a few prompts for the week, so you can start creating the connection with your team.

Remember – it’s not just about asking the open question.

listen, absorb, learn