3 Effective ways to ENGAGE your team
One of the things you may have noticed in your role as a leader, coach, trainer, influencer, or facilitator is the challenge of getting your people to share ideas and open up. Despite employing the usual methods like meetings, workshops, and surveys to encourage their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, you might have found that these efforts often fall flat. This was certainly my experience when I was leading teams and divisional areas. However, I want to share with you a concept from adult learning theory and engagement that helped me overcome this challenge and improve my team’s overall enthusiasm for work and our team culture.
Now I am sure that if you are reading this article, you already understand the value of fostering a culture and environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and likely get some traction with the team you have. Not to mention know that it leads to increased innovation, better problem-solving, and enhanced employee gratification.
But how do you do that well and in a way that is better than the usual tried and tested methods?
Well, the simple solution is to create a consistent focus on experiences and expressions in every interaction you have. I call this the E & E Approach and the basic guidelines for it are this:
Ensure Active participation
Provide opportunities for hands-on experiences, collaborative activities, and interactive discussions. Rather than set up your meetings, workshops, or sessions in a way that your people have to passively consume information, structure them in a way that makes them take an active role. This is step one to encouraging engagement and expression.
Ensure Personal Connection
Your people are more likely to open up and share their thoughts and experiences when they feel a personal connection to the subject matter. When you provide them with an opportunity to express an outcome they might like to get or share how it will relate to their experiences, aspirations, work, and life, you will get buy in and engagement in your topic and the likelihood of more sharing and idea generation.
Ensure meaningful Engagement.
Human beings are great at sniffing out B******t, so don’t introduce fluffy and superficial techniques to get them on board. Keep it real and be open and transparent about where things are at. Use real life examples, case studies or metaphors or simulations to get them onboard. If your team or company vision, purpose, and values are a living and breathing thing, they can be helpful to use too. If they are not, using them is likely to come across as a superficial, tick the box thing and will not encourage engagement and honest and authentic expression.
These principles are simple and will initially take some preparation and planning, especially if your meetings, trainings, workshops, and communication is usually filled with lots of information sharing, PowerPoint slides and you doing most of the talking.
Much like coaching, taking a facilitative approach such as the E & E method will ensure you create an environment of inclusivity and collaboration which will lead to greater engagement, idea sharing, improved performance, accountability and the emotional commitment and dedication I am sure you are wanting more of.
The E & E method along with many other practices I have acquired and created over the years has been helpful to hundreds and hundreds of leaders, coaches, trainers and businesses and I am confident will help you too.
If you would like to learn more about this approach and discover experiential techniques and ways to enhance your communication forums , I would love to help!
Just email me email@example.com or book in a time for a discovery call.