nexus point | Leadership Development ~ Talent Management ~ Realising Potential

Generating Engagement

These notes outline the key, magic ingredients in generating engagement.

GENERATING ENGAGEMENT

SOURCE:  Block, P. (2000).  Flawless Consulting. 2nd Edn.  Pfeiffer.  San Francisco, CA.

For engagement:

  • People need to know that their voice counts.
  • Collaboration occurs when people connect with each other.
  • People are involved in developing creative, integrated solutions.
  • People choose to commit based on feelings, emotion, intuition, trust.  How can you influence these?  Eg – look to see what’s missing and what can be done about it.  Eg if trust is missing, is there something to restore, or at least just acknowledge?
  • How you set the physical environment of the room can make a lot of difference to people’s willingness to engage, and to their intentionality.
    • Eg – the act of sitting and listening to a speech actively has people switch off from engaging themselves!!  They can still be sitting in a room, with a person at the front, but you’ll need to tell them that this is a dialogue, and that their participation / input is both expected and welcomed…or something like that!
  • You want to strike a balance between presentation and participation.   A presentation looks like it’s all decided.  Participation gives them room for their own ownership.
  • How are you going to invite them to the meeting? (if there is a meeting for this!)  Maybe tell them what to expect so they know what they’re walking in to?!  (start the engagement with the invitation!)
  • If this is going to be launched as a meeting, how will you deal with people who were not at ‘the’ meeting?

 

CRITICAL ASPECTS FOR GENERATING ENGAGEMENT

1.  STATE THE PURPOSE UP-FRONT*.

  • Declare that this is a NEW system being introduced.
  • Say WHAT it is.
  • WHY it’s being introduced?
    • What does it make available?
    • What does it prevent?
  • Include stating any weaknesses in the system – including your own doubts (this gives them room to have and express their own!  This is one way of providing leadership!).
  • What are their choices within this new system?
  • Don’t try to motivate them or hype it and try to make it more than it is – just deliver the intention straight.
  • Also don’t try to excuse it.

*Right from the beginning, extend goodwill!  This is not a feeling, this is an intention!  This new initiative is to contribute to their success!

 

2.  SAY WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM THEM.

  • Eg to be upfront in their communication.
  • That they and you will work together to design how this is going to work best.

 

3.  CREATE A PLATFORM FOR DOUBT.

  • This is for them to express their concerns, reservations.
    • What’s the personal impact of this on them?
  • Has anyone here already started working this way?  What’s it been like?  What’s working? What’s not working, or not working as well as they’d like it to?
  • People need space to do this.  How can you promote this openness?  (May be in the setting of the room, may be in how you invite them to the meeting?
  • JUST HEAR THEM – maybe note them on a board?  Maybe not?
  • Also make sure that people know this is not for voting on concerns, colluding on concerns etc!  It is more like brainstorming, when you just get people’s communications and don’t change, embellish or dismiss them!
  • THIS conversation provides the opportunity to build trust and rapport early in the piece, and you deal with the issues up-front rather than find out later!


4.  WHAT DO WE WANT TO CREATE TOGETHER?

This is the pivotal question!  Just ask the question, and let them grapple with it!  You just have to manage that is stays within the bounds of the project!  Listen for that thet are coming up with what’s going to forward the project!

  • What do you  (the staff) want?
  • What do you (the staff) need?
  • How do you (the staff) feel about taking this on?
    • Imply forthcoming satisfaction!!!
  • WHAT ARE THEIR CHOICES?
    • You need to be clear on this so you can provide the guidelines.
  • What’s the impact of not doing this?  The consequences??  You might not have to address this – but be ready to just in case.

 

5.  START TO BUILD THE NEW CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THIS AREA/PROJECT

  • You want to change the conversations – down to the level of the ‘water-cooler’ conversations.
  • This is where you start to brainstorm ideas about WHAT there is to accomplish, WHY do it this way (what’s in it for them, the school, the students maybe…), and possible pathways into HOW it can be done!

 

6.  NOW WHAT?

  • Negotiations, alignment, next actions (yours, theirs), time-lines etc.

 

7.  THANK YOU, AND CLOSE THE MEETING.

Find it!

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