“Who touched me?' Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you'" - Luke 8:45.
Even though people were pressing Him on every side, Jesus knew when someone with a special need touched Him. Effective leaders are in touch with the people around them, both emotionally and physically. They're not hesitant to connect with people through appropriate physical contact like a pat on the back or a handshake, but they also 'read' people to recognize when someone is distressed, has a question, or is anxious to speak. Then they discern how to help address that need. The study of this awareness has taken on the name emotional intelligence, and in many situations is considered more important than practical knowledge or technical skills when working with other people.
LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to practice staying in touch with people in the coming week. Your assignment is to watch people at work or home and try to determine what they're feeling at different times. When appropriate, tell them you noticed something and ask them to confirm what they were feeling or sensing at that moment. See how accurate you can be by reading the subtle physical signs they're using to communicate.