Engage Your People!
Straight up. Your people should be engaging the real issues, the elephant in the room. It’s good for their development, your company’s performance and it’s what virtually every culture desperately needs.
Engage places a premium on competence, not courage. Sure, courage is part of it. But, when people build skill, they build confidence. This is what enables them to take smart risks and make a real difference—without getting themselves into a career limiting jam.
Keep in mind, engage is a lot more than people having a critical conversation. A conversation here and there when things become a problem is fine, but that’s different than a mindset where people are looking for opportunities to face tough issues and collaborate with others to produce breakthrough results.
Engage is a mindset of personal responsibility and empowerment. Engage leaders see themselves as having a real role to play in making a bigger difference. They understand that the world has moved beyond big leaders and polite followers. The world needs everyone to exercise leadership when and where it’s needed.
This takes real empowerment. While empowerment can and should be fostered in every organization, the onus to act still rests with people. They have to make the shift away from playing it too safe and over depending on leaders above. Deep down we all want to be someone who makes a difference and does more than follow along. Yet developmentally there is inner conflict. The pull to play it safe, and the pull to step up. Here’s how you can help—
Challenge Your People to Engage. Here’s Why…
- It helps them make the shift from over-dependence to real empowerment. This raises their engagement and builds self-confidence. Nobody wants to spend their lives following along and feeling they don’t really matter.
- People have plenty of challenges to face, right where they are. Too many people think the next challenge is a promotion, when there are plenty of tough issues they are avoiding right where they are at.
- It turns them into real leaders. Real leadership is not a position. It is a function available to anyone willing to learn to engage and step up. People who do this feel they make a difference and move from checked-out to checked-in.