Greater Engagement Means Caring for Your People
Have you ever tried to lead a group of people, but the people did not want to follow? Did it seem like they didn’t see the benefits of getting on board with your goals and direction? I think it is human nature for leaders to strive to lead their people toward greater results. And I also think it is common for leaders to encounter some push-back from their people. Here’s the good news, there is an effective way to minimize this resistance and establish a high level of engagement in any team. And the solution is available to every leader! Learn today to get your team on board for greater engagement.
A little insight into human nature: People want to be heard and understood by their leader. A popular quote, often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and John Maxwell illustrates my point:
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
This basic truth of serving our community with spiritual, emotional, and physical needs not only serves the people we are called to shepherd but also the greater mission of the organization you seek to grow. This is a theme that we see in many places of the Bible including James 2:16. We see this need to care about the whole person not just what the person can achieve or what we get back in return. Relationships will help your community get on board for greater engagement because they see the weight behind your words, and know you care.
Now, this concept may seem elementary, but elementary truths offer the greatest gain while often hiding “in plain sight” of our current awareness. I started to understand this way of thinking during a leadership workshop by Jim Lundy. Jim encouraged the workshop attendees to maintain and enhance relationships as we drove for results. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was teaching a participative leadership style, an approach that I now call Engage2Lead™.
Clarity of Mission
My first action step from the workshop was to create a mission statement for our company. A few weeks later, I called a company-wide meeting to introduce our mission statement.
During the meeting, I explained to our people the meaning behind the statement and asked if they had any questions or suggestions to improve it. Since there were few questions and little discussion, I figured that they understood and agreed with the mission statement.
Next, I set out to find a printing company to design the layout and print copies to distribute throughout our company.
Advice to Engage the Team
A few days later, Jim, my friend, and a long-time mentor stopped by my office to see how I was doing on my action steps from the workshop. I shared with great excitement that I had completed my first one.
I showed Jim the mission statement that I’d created and explained how I had called a company-wide meeting to introduce it. Sharing the meaning behind it with our employees. There had been only a few questions and a little discussion, and I was going to have copies printed for everyone.
Jim was excited as well. However, he suggested that, before going to the printer, I go back to our people one more time. In order to answer any questions or suggestions to improve the mission statement.
I was surprised by his suggestion. I had already met with everyone, and it seemed too costly to bring everyone together again. He said he understood but again suggested going back to our team one more time. He had one of those “just trust me” looks on his face. So, I did.
Engage the Team to Bring Clarity
A few days later, we scheduled another company-wide meeting. This was so our people could review the mission statement and could ask questions and make suggestions for improvements.
During this second meeting, questions and suggestions all of a sudden came out of the woodwork. There was greater engagement and people had some very good suggestions. I walked out of the meeting feeling that everyone—and I mean everyone—truly understood our mission statement.
Greater Engagement Means Refinement
In fact, since the second meeting went so well, I called a third company-wide meeting after making the suggested changes to show them to the employees.
There was even more discussion for understanding, and a few more good suggestions were made. It was amazing how excited our people were over this. And I was excited to see everyone so engaged in the process.
This was the first time that I could say every employee company-wide was of one voice and on the same page. At that meeting, I finally understood the concept of participative leadership – what I call Engage2Lead™.
At first, I was only focusing on the results of having a mission statement so I could check it off my list of action steps. But Jim helped me understand the importance of maintaining and enhancing relationships between me and our people and between each of our people.
By encouraging our people to be actively involved in the decision, we built a peak performance TEAM that achieved the results we desired. We see that Greater Engagement leads to a team that is fully on board.
And if you want to build a TEAM that moves forward together toward your goals, understanding and implementing this concept of participative leadership – Engage2Lead™ – is a great start.
Questions to Ask
- Why do you think we tend to overestimate the value of the results and underestimate the value of the relationships we need to enhance to build a team?
- Can you identify one way that you can tap the power of participative leadership with your team today?
Are you struggling to improve retention, engagement, productivity, and ultimately the bottom line, all while earning the respect of your team? Hiring the right people and spurring growth has more to do with the culture of the organization than anything else. So, if you sense a shift is needed, you’re probably right! Take our FREE ASSESSMENT to evaluate your workplace culture and take the first step to a better work environment.
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