Over the coming weeks, we will explore what supports the ability to “Expand Your Influence” and start a ripple through leadership. This follows our blog series on how to “Strengthen Your Core” as a foundation for leadership.
We believe influence starts with engagement. In work-world terms, engagement describes the level of enthusiasm and dedication someone feels toward their job. Organizations often view engagement as an outcome, and one that is externally driven by actions from managers, Human Resources, and so on. Here, we examine engagement as a process that is initiated from within each person, forming a basis for what gets created in their surroundings.
Here are some ways you can initiate engagement without words using:
- Motion: Lean forward, as if you’re reaching out with an offer.
- Sound: Tune into sounds around you, as if you are sure there’s something intriguing to be heard.
- Sight: Look for situations that widen your eyes in wonder, as if your eyes are keen explorers seeking out treasures.
- Sensation: Emit positive energy, as if you are being charged up for a worthy cause.
For those who love words—a modality used often in business—here are some tips for initiating engagement using voice:
- Write down a description of your voice. What do you love about it? What do you want to be different? How does your own voice keep you highly engaged? Do you hear what you’re saying, and would you be willing to listen?
- Show interest in people by acknowledging what they say before responding. Use this conversational improvision: “What I like about that is <fill in the blanks>” before responding with what you want to say.
- Ask those close to you whether you often use word fillers like um, so, and oh. Then, ask them to track the number of times you use the filler in conversations with them over the next week. Once you become aware of the frequency, practice some “recovery” mechanisms such as pausing with a breath before speaking.
- If you are dissatisfied with the current situation—be it a job that feels like a sinking ship or a team that isn’t aligned—ask yourself, “How do I want it to be?” The answer may reveal an untapped desire to pursue now or at some point. And, given the opportunity, be ready to share that.
Engagement starts with YOU and how you initiate it.
This Week: Try some of the above tips to ramp up your engagement wherever you want greater leadership impact. Write down what you notice – use it as a reference for more practice.
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