For years I have been promoting the power of silence. If you’ve heard me speak on the topic of How to Get Others to WILLINGLY Do What Needs to be Done, then you are familiar with the following guidance: “Once you ask a question, STOP TALKING!!!”
I came across this article that gives you even more reasons to master the art of silence.
This election is over. Throughout the trials and tribulations we continually heard, “Why can’t we talk to each other rather than at each other?
We all crave dialogue. We resist monologue. Let me rephrase that – we resist the monologues of others but love the sound of our own voices.
It’s easier to see the lack of dialogue in the extreme rhetoric of what’s happening politically. It’s more difficult to see that we all engage in some version of this in our own lives.
Because my work is focused on Employee Engagement, I see it most clearly in the work environment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s leaders or front-line workers, we are making more declarative statements than we are asking questions.
The formula for dialogue is simple:
Questions = dialogue
Statements = monologue
In workplace situations, there are great questions to ask that can stimulate some eye-opening dialogue:
These questions have something in common: they can’t be answered “yes” or “no” and so open up a dialogue.
A monologue can feel like an assault. A dialogue is an invitation to participate.
If you’re bone-tired of the divisiveness we’re being subjected to, why not take on the task of improving your corner of the world? Encourage dialogue at work. Heck! Why not try it at home, as well?
Like the old joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time.”
How do you get people to talk with each other? One question at a time.
“Humility is even more pleasing in people in whom arrogance would be understandable.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Two interesting pieces of information came across my computer screen today:
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, humility is defined as follows: freedom from pride or arrogance.
It would be difficult to view an arrogant boss as a partner. We’re more likely to view him/her as someone to fear, or steer clear of. Neither encourages happiness or teamwork.
On the other hand, someone who is free from pride or arrogance is often what we term “approachable” or easy to be around. Each of us carries within us a desire to feel like our boss likes us and is “one of us;” that can only be fulfilled by someone who is humble.
Here are a few clues that your team sees you as someone to fear:
If you’re interested in improving your likability, the best book I know is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
If you’re not interested, consider this: A study conducted by economic researchers at the University of Warwick discovered happiness resulted in a 12% increase in productivity. On the other hand, unhappy workers were 10% less productive.
Besides, not wanting to improve your likebility is pretty arrogant, don’t you think?
9/11/2018 – Today, along with millions of Americans, I have been watching footage of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Recurring themes include heroism, people’s inherent kindness to others during times of duress, and going the extra mile.
These attributes are why I have never despaired, “What will become of us?” I know that, deep down we are all connected and want the best for each other, for our country, and for the world.
What does this have to do with employee engagement? Simply this: you needn’t wait for a crisis to practice kindness. You have opportunities all day long, both at work and in your personal life.
At work, striving for an environment where employees look forward to coming to work each day is one of the kindest things you can do for your co-workers, and yourself. Caring enough to ask, “How are you doing? How can I support you?” goes a long way toward allaying any underlying fears your team may have. Fears like: “Am I alone? Does anyone care that I’m struggling? Does my work even matter?”
A sense of belonging is also one of the themes of the 9/11 aftermath. We bonded together as Americans.
We all want to belong. If you doubt this, think back to your High School days.
Work is a place where the opportunity to experience a sense of being included is present every day. More than anything, creating an environment where everyone strongly feels they are an important part of the team ensures a culture of engagement.
While we are remembering 9/11, we also have an eye on Hurricane Florence, scheduled to hit the East Coast soon.
It is comforting to know that neighbors will help neighbors even if they live in different states far away.
Having said that, please don’t wait for a crisis to help your neighbors at work. You don’t know who on your team may be suffering now and need a kind word, a confidence-boosting assignment, or some feedback that will help them to grow.
“Make a difference, not just a living.” – Anonymous
Let’s strive to be every day heroes. No one will make a documentary about it but to those around you, it can make all the difference between an existence of simply marking time or work they look forward to each day.