Making sense of employee engagement is as easy listening. When employees are treated like partners a high trust environment ensues. I happened upon a program tonight where the organization’s president asked if the layoffs were in order. The disappointed supervisor responsible for said layoffs assuaged her leadership for being disingenuous. The president confirmed all employees had signed “At Will” employment contracts. Why is this important? I think you know. Jim
“With the release of his latest book, “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”, the theme of Dan Pink’s presentation was on getting us to rethink our understanding of selling and with it, the recognition that this is now a function of everyone’s job in this age of “information parity”.
What was particularly noteworthy about Dan’s talk was his discussion on perspective taking – where “you get out of your own head and see the perspective of others”. Although Dan’s focus was on how this can help us to do a better job selling an idea, product or service, this concept also plays a key role in how we show up in those interactions with those we lead.
For example, Dan shared research findings which has shown that the correlation between power and perspective taking is inversely related. In other words, the more power we have, the less we look out to see and understand the perspective of others.
Additionally, researchers have also found that when someone is made to feel more powerful by getting them to focus on themselves – on their accomplishments and/or their responsibilities – their perspective taking is significantly lowered. Experiments have shown that all it takes is 90 seconds of increasing someone’s perception of their own power to dramatically reduce their ability to take into consideration the perspective of others.
So with this in mind, how can leaders ensure that in these conversation moments, they’re not only focusing on their perspective, but that they’re being open to seeing the perspectives of those they lead? Ironically, one of the ways leaders can increase their effectiveness in perspective taking is by reducing their power.
Specifically, you can increase your perspective taking capability by decreasing your feelings of power – by not going into the conversation saying ‘We don’t have time to discuss this. I just need you to get this done’. Instead, you need to involve your employees in the process, asking them for their insights to reveal what they will gain from the action, instead of simply looking at it in terms of what you will gain.
Indeed, another research finding Dan shared was how negotiators who kept in mind the thoughts and interests of the other party ended up with a much better, mutually beneficial deal than those who didn’t.” […]
via How Leaders Can Better Engage And Empower Their Employees – Human Capital Institute.
Jim Woods is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.