Is Connection a Key to Engagement?

Hands-connectionMy editor is a connector. With a virtual team of writers that have never met each other, we feel connected to him and to each other. It’s a good feeling. It makes me want to provide really good content for his publication, and I now have relationships with people across the globe that I never would have known. I can reach out to them, and they can reach out to me.

Dare I make the analogy….this connected “workforce” is also an engaged workforce? I believe I can make that case.

What is it he actually does to be a connector?

He introduces every new writer that musters the courage to write their inaugural article. In doing so, he invites those of us on the cadre to welcome the new writer.  Simple. Effective.

He shares content that is relevant to me. Each of us in the cadre have a different expertise and experience, so much of the content is not relevant. But when it is, I am invited to comment. And those of us who write know how important it is to get feedback.

He makes a point to get to know each of us, in the real world. Because of the geographic dispersion, a telephone is the only option but it puts a real person behind the e-signature.

He keeps us up-to-date on the business of his publication, after all, how the publication is faring is highly meaningful to all of us.

He engages the general public in the content. Those who don’t write articles, but have something to say in the way of comments, become part of the team. Our editor makes sure we see the comments, and encourages us to respond, thus creating dialogue and ultimately, learning. I learn as much from people’s comments as I do from research.

He believed in me. Three years ago, I was ready to go public, and he encouraged me and gave me a platform.

What is the result of this effort to connect? 

I am engaged. I feel welcome, connected and committed to providing content. I suspect I’m not alone.

Is it really that simple? Just keep people connected to each other through mutual interests, provide regular feedback and encouragement and provide the tools and resources to do the job well?

Actually, it’s hard work and takes time; time that many of us don’t have these days with so much demanding our attention. I’m just not sure that it is possible to gain commitment and engagement without connection.

I’d love to hear what you think….

And Don’t Forget to Breathe

dandelion-wallpaper-21991-22547-hd-wallpapersMy Yoga teacher has to remind me to breathe. I chuckle because breathing is pretty fundamental; how the heck do I keep forgetting to do something that has become an instinct? When I am contorted in a pose, trying to remember all of the “corrections” so that my body doesn’t recoil or get hurt, I obviously lose sight of the basics.  It’s all too much to remember.

I am new to Yoga. The teacher assures me that, as I practice, I will build “muscle memory,” and my body will begin to remember more and more of the basics, so that I can move on to more complicated poses. Continue reading And Don’t Forget to Breathe

5 easy steps to “fix” your organization’s performance management program

performanceYou don’t like your company’s performance management plan?  Join the crowd! Everyone’s getting into the act these days, bashing a process that has become ridiculously bureaucratic and totally unhelpful.

Managers complain and drag their heels or scratch the surface of the program by doing a bare minimum and, because of their lack of commitment, what they do makes the process unpopular and ineffective.  HR spends their time chasing after compliance rather than partnering on really improving performance.

Some organizations have recognized the need for a systematic change at the organizational level, and are making that happen. But if it’s not changing where you’re at, why are you waiting around for the organization to change the program?

You are bright, intelligent leaders who have achieved a position of responsibility for your team, right? Why not take the program you’re given and make it work for you? After all, it’s pretty simple: set good expectations, provide regular and honest feedback, and ideally improve overall performance. You don’t need a fancy system to do that. It’s Leadership 101. Continue reading 5 easy steps to “fix” your organization’s performance management program


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