1. Involve employees in assessing the problem, rather than just informing them of the problem or challenge.
2. Position communications from the employees perspective, always addressing the question “what’s in it for them?”
3. Be open and receptive to employee feedback. If you aren’t getting it, ask for it. “So John, what are your thoughts about this?”
4. Prompt others for their ideas and feedback before ever making decisions.
5. Purposefully inject yourselves into other peoples discussions, not to offer your thoughts, but to learn their perspectives and ideas.
6. Be aware of others receptivity to your views and ideas. If you sense someone disagrees of doesn’t support your ideas, meet with them outside of the group to understand their concerns. It only takes one person to derail engagement.
7. Spend more time listening and less time talking. We learn through listening.
8. Create cross functional teams for decision making purposes, to gain a broader perspective.
9. Abstain from speaking first and speaking last. Let others lead with their opinions or thoughts, and always end with others speaking in support of your ideas, even if you have to prompt them to do so.
10. Ask questions. If others don’t seem engaged you have to be forthright enough to ask “why.” Most importantly you have to keep asking (albeit in different ways) to get to the root of their concerns, allowing you to resolve or overcome.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.