Superior leaders lead through effective communication. The “secret sauce” is engaging hearts and minds to inspire action.
Did you know that many of the so-called “rational” decisions we make – and the way we behave – are governed by our emotions, and that our emotions have projective power over our thoughts? Emotions act as filters to form our desires, furnish our capacities, and to a large extent, rule our immediate thoughts. As we encounter fresh situations, become faced with novel problems or grapple with new ideas, our emotional response to each of these sets in motion the initial allocation of our mental resources. In essence, our first “read” of a new situation is always centered in our emotions, feelings and attitudes. As such, our emotions are laying the groundwork for the thinking that is to come.
Creating a powerful connection and compelling your stakeholders to take action requires engaging both the head and the heart – the mind and emotions. And for employees, engaging heads and hearts delivers higher levels of business impact faster. Here are four tips for more effective employee engagement:
1. Tell your story. Explain your organization’s vision and strategy to inspire and motivate. How? Simplify the strategy or vision in a way that resonates with employees (is personal and meaningful).
2. Set expectations. Employees want and need to know, clearly and specifically, what is expected of them. This includes both job tasks and organizational culture behaviors.
3. Actively listen. Everyone wants to be heard. Show your leaders, peers and employees that what they have to say is important by really listening. Put down your phone, turn to face whoever is speaking, avoid distractions and summarize what is said to you. Remember to take action after the conversation is over, if necessary. Actively listening shows respect and builds trust.
4. Communicate effectively. Provide the tools and coaching to help leaders and managers effectively communicate, fostering more productive and engaging relationships within their teams.
Want more “secret sauce”? Schedule a Complimentary Clarity Call with me today to identify where to shine the light and spring clean, and what to amplify, so you can level-up your impact — and that of your team.
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for clues about how to live and lead better everywhere. And if children are part of your life in any way — they provide ample ways to test and grow our skills in both living and leading. Here are the top 6 skills I’ve learned from my nearly quarter-century of parenting.
1. Be open. Their perspectives and opinions are their own – and not always the same as mine. They provide me with a window to reflect upon other ways to think about things I always thought I understood comprehensively.
2. Listen. Really listen. When you listen deeply and intensely you will hear beneath the words and catch a glimpse of the drivers, fears, and motivations. That’s when you find out truly what’s going on.
(By the way, when you really listen, as I have done with many of coaching clients’ teams, you often discover surprising blind spots. Once addressed, these blind spots open the channel for much deeper #engagement and #productivity.)
3. Be flexible. Same parents, same upbringing, and yet such different personalities, interests and needs. This has required me to be agile in how I support, protect and encourage them as individuals, as well as how I maintain the cohesion of our family unit. Yes, they need some of the same things from me …and in addition, they each need something slightly different. (Think mass customization minus the AI!)
4. Be humble. It is unimaginable what they know that I don’t. From world history to biology to calculus to sports and contemporary music. I’d be so incredibly ill-informed if I thought I knew it all. They teach me at least as much as I have ever taught them, even (especially?) when we disagree. Which, not lying …can be really, really hard. The secret sauce for a great outcome for a heated inter-family disagreement: Both parties need to actively tame their ego. When that happens, a solidly researched disagreement can lead to major growth for all. For me, this one’s actually easier to muster at work than at home.
5. Let go and trust. The more I let go of them, the more magical they become; each a free-standing, unique young adult with skills, talents and aspirations that are theirs alone. And yet we three share a deep and fiercely loyal connection to each other. I daresay we are each other’s biggest fans. This really is what’s at the foundation of engaging hearts and minds, isn’t it?
6. Love. They have tested my patience, my boundaries, and my expectations. But they are my children and no matter what, I will always love them. Over the years, they have fed my wellspring of hope, compassion and empathy in equal measure. I have not loved everyone who has ever worked for me — but I have loved many of them. And still do. In the worlds of work and leadership, consider this one a bonus.
Schedule a Complimentary Clarity Call with me today explore what leadership lessons you have already discovered in your personal life that you can repurpose and amplify at work.
One person can change the world. Just look at inventors, politicians, political activists, religious figures, business leaders… History is full of people that have made a difference – for better or worse. What do these people have in common? Is there a formula for their success?
While many people may have wonderful ideas that could change the world, there is a core set of characteristics that define successful change makers. They are:
Curious and Creative Problem Solvers: Change makers become passionate about solving a problem (or problems). Inherently, they ask questions and look for creative ways to find solutions.
Risk Takers with Confidence and Courage: Instinct and intuition as their guide, change makers trust in themselves and preserver into new frontiers or against popular opinion.
Open-minded with a Positive Perspective: In order to succeed, change makers are optimistic about their results and success, and are open to different and new perspectives. This positivity and openness is what helps them see the solutions that lead to great change.
Engaging communicators: By the nature of a change maker’s passion for the change they seek, they must be able to inspire and motivate audiences for support. Change makers are storytellers that inspire action.
Doers with Ambition and Drive: Because of their passion for results, successful change makers will roll up their sleeves and dig into the work. They set up lofty goals and are willing to put in the hours until they reach them, very committed to success.
Who is your favorite change maker and what should we learn from him or her?
One of the most practical, highest return on investment activities is communicating to engage. A Dale Carnegie infographic on employee engagement states that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The infographic goes on to list tips for employee engagement and each tip is directly related to leader and manager communication.
“People leave managers, not companies,” writes authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. The best leaders understand that engaging people’s hearts and minds is the only way to compel them to action. Your employees – and your customers – will thank you for it. Here are four tips to help you engage your employees through more meaningful communication. For more information on Communicating to Engage, email me at email@example.com.