2 min read – Leadership Skills: Engaged Employees

Don’t get mad…

Frustrated with your team? Things aren’t happening. Accountability is deflected and the buck stops with you? And, you’ve probably been making it worse.

How to make it better?
First of all, choose, yes, choose to not get angry. Next, realize and accept that anger is a secondary emotion, a byproduct of fear, with the natural human reaction being “fight or flight.”

    Any form of fear is a fear of loss.

Just try this little test: Say “I feel angry and it is because I’m afraid that [blank] will or will not happen.”

Loss of what you have or of what you will not get. It doesn’t matter what you put in the blank. Everything put there is a fear of someone else’s behavior. A fear that someone else will judge/condemn, not validate, or they’ll not conform. And, ultimately, an undesirable disconnection will occur. It is everyone’s fear, whether team member or leader.

So, how do we lead? How do we enlist, engage, and motivate others?

There can be much discussion around this concept, which is extremely helpful. Nevertheless, we’ll ultimately end up here: The motivation to anger is the fear of disconnection. Conversely, and you’ve probably already said it, the motivation to success is connection!

Consider where your team members have come from: We humans have been nurtured with the threat of disconnection.     first-grade-teacher

“Go to your room.”           “Sit in the corner.”

“Stay in from recess”

These threats are powerful tools used to induce conformity.

We’ve all seen the threat of disconnection used in ignorance or with malicious intent. For example, the first grade teacher needs to be judged as competent by the principal and staff evaluations so he gets conforming behavior by threatening little Johnny with no recess.

Upset Teenage Girl With Friends Gossiping In Background

Malicious intention is often used among classmates in middle school. Perhaps the leader of a clique of girls threatens to ostracize and gossip about Sally, unless Sally agrees to conform to the desired behavior of the clique’s leader.

When these things occur, Johnny and Sally have no experience with it and perhaps no mentor to support them in learning and understanding what is going on. If they don’t understand that it is simply a tool of manipulation being plied by a fearful, insecure person, Sally and Johnny can become resentful. Resentment is the foundation of hatred. Sadly, each of us know a Johnny or a Sally who, years or even decades later, harbors deep-seated hatred for that teacher or classmate.

The unpleasant experience is emotionally imprinted on memory and can unconsciously affect behavior years later in the workplace. And if your co-workers sense anger, they’ll disconnect.

This awareness enables you to be an effective leader.

From now on, when things aren’t progressing: Avoid the anger emotion. Avoid the temptation to disconnect or even the threat of disconnection to your team members. In fact, the best leaders do just the opposite. The best leaders will connect at an even deeper level, as described in my training:

Three Keys to Leading Engaged Employees:

Connect.    Value.    Empower.

Personally connect, meaning engage personally with him or her about the things which are important to his/her life. With NO electronic devices around,

Two business partners sitting together and discussing contract documents. Business executives going through papers in lobby.

1) Ask: Ask about her/him, personally.
2) Actively listen
3) Then, ask for her/his thoughts about work stuff
4) Actively listen
5) Enjoy Success!

For more on these three keys, leading Engaged Employees and other leadership skills, call me: 208-851-3325

Enjoy Your Weekend!