How engaged are you with those you lead? When you are the leader, engagement with those you lead is very important because it shows people you care about them, their success, and their future growth. You show that through engagement.
The How-To Of Engagement
So what exactly is engagement and what does it mean to be engaged with those you lead? The following four points explain what engagement means to me.
1. Listen to those you lead.
Bryant H. McGill said, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” When you listen to those you lead it helps them feel like you value them and their work is appreciated. They will also feel like their concerns are heard and that you care for them.
2. Care about what they are doing.
Have you ever had a leader that kept complete distance from you and never tried to know what you were doing, how it was going for you, or anything else about your work assignments? Then, when you went to talk to them, they always had something else more important to work on so they wouldn’t give you the time of day? That is not the leader you want to be.
In addition to listening to those you lead, it is important to care about what they are doing. Show them you care by finding out what they are working on, their challenges, and what they are learning. When they feel like you care, they will trust you enough to tell you about the important aspects of what they are working on so that you won’t have any surprises later on.
3. Be amongst those you lead regularly.
Many leaders have the ivory tower syndrome. They sit in their office all day long and never get out to be with those they lead. These leaders often get completely consumed by their own work and forget about the work of those they lead. They feel like what they are doing is most important and only come out of their office when they need something from others.
It is probably an extreme case where the leader is never amongst those they lead, but when it happens it is the sign of an ineffective leader. Good leaders get out amongst those they lead. They are often seen amongst the people they lead.
4. Set the example.
When you lead by example, you not only tell people what to do, you show them by your own actions. I heard someone say, “YOU’RE ACTIONS SPEAK SO LOUD, I CAN’T HEAR A WORD YOU ARE SAYING!!!” I put it in all caps because they were shouting it out. You can speak until you are blue in the face, but if your actions don’t fall in line with your words, your words will be meaningless.
When you make it a point to have engagement with those you lead, it will make a big difference in how you are perceived as a leader. You will gain their respect and you will have a greater ability to lead effectively.
How do you engage with those you lead? What benefit have you seen because of your engagement with those you lead? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!