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2 keys to building interaction

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Have you ever taken the time to think about what the perfect workplace would look like?

A few years ago I had the privilege of working with a lot of leaders who wanted to focus on the topic engagement. I started our time together by asking them to write – in pictures, words, sentences or paragraphs – what their team would look like if all its members were very involved.

This exercise has become a struggle for most leaders. First, shared by many, they wanted to write what they were told looked like a very active team. However, most of them stopped because the belching was not real and it did not match what they wanted for their team.

The exercise took a little longer than I expected, but we made real progress. Many leaders shared that they spent a lot of time talking about interactions just before and immediately after the annual engagement survey, but they didn’t really spend time thinking about them. After they went through the exercise, each leader spent time thinking about the feedback they received from their team members, the questions they asked them regularly, and how these two things related to what they put down on paper.

The two common parts were predominant themes, and these themes arose in many of the organizations I worked with. They needed clearer expectations and a desire for more timely feedback.

1. Increased expectations

People want to know what is expected of them. It’s part of their measurement process: am I doing what I need to do? Is the result what it should be? Is this what the organization was hoping for?

Dedicated team members ask themselves these questions because they care about their work and how it affects their team and organization. When their leader has not clarified expectations, they feel insecure, insecure and often unfulfilled.

Lack of clear expectations also creates an environment in which responsibility is difficult to see. Expectations not only provide markers that helped team members search opportunities for growth, use these opportunities and talk about them with each other. Clear expectations also enable others a step towards responsibility. When expectations are clear, it is easy for one team member to eliminate a flaw or celebrate success with another team member.

How do you provide clarity of expectations from your team? How do you create a shared process with your team members for this? Is there a clearly discussed, available next step if expectations are not clear? There are communication flexible enough to connect to all types of communicators?

Leaders have the opportunity to create a ground for expectations by asking the right questions and inviting team members to join them on stage to produce together and collaborate with experiences.

2. Make “Honest Conversations” a cultural norm

Have you ever said to a team member, “This is a great review! I would like you to share with me sooner ”?

I both said something similar and told me. I also often contacted over the years with leaders who were nervous to have an important conversation with someone on their team. When I ask them why they are nervous, the most common answer is, “It’s going to be a tough conversation. This person probably won’t like what I have to share, but this issue has been going on long enough. “

I then ask how long the problem has been, trying to understand and help. Most leaders say it lasts six to 18 months, and add that if they had done it when it started, it would have been less of a problem. Why are so many leaders waiting to have a conversation to close a gap or eliminate a lack of performance?

To break this cycle, leaders can introduce “sincere conversations” into your team: offer a problem with direct and positive intentions, don’t express opinions, stick to the facts, and try to make connections.

This process sounds great, but such conversations require work, and in order to make them comfortable, you need to practice. Leaders need to start with trying – and realizing that it may not go perfectly, and it’s about progress. They enable team members to believe that they will hear about something in a timely manner and with useful intent. As leaders continue to simulate candid conversations, they open the door for other team members to practice the same type of communication. The process helps trust grow and develop strong roots in the team.

All leaders have the opportunity to assess how they set expectations and have honest conversations. They have the opportunity to talk to their team about what works well and where there is room for improvement. These conversations can be difficult at first, but if they happen more consistently, they will build trust and create new ways for team members to be more involved.

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