Have you noticed that many leaders have a bias toward action? So often they devise a plan and want to charge ahead, believing that their teams will simply fall in line and execute the plan… then they are surprised when the initiative stalls out. Put simply authentic leadership, trust and work engagement are deeply intertwined.
Begin With Facilitating An Open & Trusting Environment
So often leaders don’t take the necessary steps up front to procure buy in and alignment from their people. This is achieved by forgoing direct action at the beginning of an initiative, and engaging team members instead.
This is a very crucial step to take – because when a leader springs forward into action before engaging their team members, many employees will agree verbally, or appear to go along with such and such initiative…
… but the truth is that many people in their professional lives have been presented with idealistic initiatives that turn out to be lip service. It is normal for people to not trust at the beginning of a new initiative.
However, they go along with it so they can continue to be employed and support their families.
To truly engage your people and begin forging a company where high performance is the normal state of affairs, begin the initiative by facilitating an open and trusting environment.
How To Facilitate and Open & Trusting Environment
Get people talking.
If you find it is best to structure a few activities to draw people out, consider a few conversation prompts. Have people go around the room sharing with the larger group:
- Hi my name is ____, and here at the company, my job is ______.
- Something you may not know about me is _______.
You can also do this in pairs, and have people exchange answers with different partners over several minute time blocks.
The great thing about this is that when people share, they can share things about themselves which relate to their experience in the workplace – so that their co-workers know them better and can communicate more effectively with them in times of stress.
Now you know: definitely do not spring forward into the action until you know your people are at your shoulder, and each person independently willing (and hopefully excited) to be part of the team on the adventure.
That’s it for today! Thanks for tuning in and see you next week,
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