Engaged people are those who are interested enough to do something. Engagement means movement. Action.
What makes people act? A desire to act usually comes from a desire to reach something greater than where they are either because of discomfort with the current situation or a vision of what’s possible beyond the current reality.
What does that mean for you in trying to get team members, peers, associates, and employees engaged? Create an Invitation and find Common Ground.
Create an Invitation: I’ve heard it often said that people will act because someone asked them to. Will you help someone who asks? Will you get involved because someone you trust invites you to? Will you respond when someone explains what they need you to do?
Too often, people may not get engaged in a process, in planning, in executing and in implementing because it is easier not to. Easier not to put themselves out on a limb, extend beyond their level of confidence, assume their help or involvement is not needed or assume what they are currently doing is enough. If you see possibility beyond where your team is currently operating, invite others to see what you see, and ask them for their specific participation.
“You’ve put a lot of time and effort into this. I appreciate all you’ve done. I can’t help thinking that we could make it even better if we… Will you help me by …?”
Find Common Ground: People act because there is something in it for them. I don’t mean people are self-centered and selfish. I mean that each of us operates from our own point of view and when something is exciting, important and valuable to us, we tend to get involved.
Have you ever learned something new or gained more in depth knowledge about a cause, a problem or a challenge, and then decided to get (more) involved?
Finding Common Ground requires that we have a conversation with whomever we are trying to get more engaged. It means we share some of our passion, and let them respond and determine for themselves what it is they are excited about. There are often many facets of a project, problem or situation and the specific reason we get excited may not be the same as another person, and yet we both can become avid workers towards the end goal.
“I was thinking about the reason we started working on this project and how exciting it will be when we achieve the goal of… What is it that you are most excited about?”
Who on your team needs to be more engaged? Who do you wish would be of more help to you in what you are trying to accomplish? Have you issued the Invitation and do they see the Common Ground?