Radical change doesn’t just happen. It takes a wise leader leveraging their power to build a strong team.
Here are 7 questions that might just make the difference between a disengaged team and one that consistently does what seemed impossible
#1: What percentage of my workforce is engaged?
Do you realize who votes in presidential elections? But there is even a more serious problem. What would happen if only a third of your workers under the age of 35 showed up? In 2012, only 38% of voters 18-24 cast a vote. Just under half the voters between 25 and 45 voted. That meant that it was up to those 45-65 to vote, and they did. Almost 70% voted. Even those over 65 saw 63% vote. That means that young are choosing not to vote on issues that will impact them the most.
Meanwhile, Gallup reports that approximately 72% of workers are disengaged to some degree. In other words, only about 28% are fully engaged. Interestingly enough, when interviewing leaders, every one believes those numbers do not represent their team. They are all convinced they have very few that are disengaged. I’m guessing they are not looking closely enough and are surprised when the truth comes out.
Who is doing the work on your team?
#2: Which employees are engaged?
It doesn’t take a graduate research class to identify which employees are engaged. Step back and watch. Listen to what is said and, maybe more telling, what is not said. Listen to those that are not talking or volunteering.
I have found that many employees are not engaged because the leader doesn’t value their voice.
Who is quiet? Who is absent? Try listening to their voice instead of your own.
#3: What value do they provide?
Engagement is a huge discussion within management and human resources professionals as they try to figure out how to get the millennials involved. I have seen many presentations and read many articles about different tactics to get employees engaged but one stands above the rest. Find a way to help them share what they love. This is the value they provide. This is where they find their voice. Don’t try to push them to do what they hate but rather hire good people and let them play to their strengths.
What do they do best?
#4: What potential do you see that they don’t?
Once leaders start listening, an amazing thing happens – employees start building their confidence and offering suggestions. It is then that leaders realize the potential in their followers. But even more important, that is when employees leverage their power to become leaders, embracing the potential they never realized they had.
What potential do you see when you stop talking, start listening and letting them leverage their power?
#5: What observations do they have?
Power is changing as well as leadership. Where once we expected the leader to talk and communicate down the organizational chart, now the leader finds more power in facilitating the team’s potential. Listening becomes far more important.
What does your team see, hear and think?
#6: How would they interpret your observations?
One of the keys to the facilitation of an aspiring leader’s power is to ask them what they think of your interpretations. This scares many traditional leaders but the disruptive leader welcomes that feedback. Ask their opinion and listen carefully to their answers. You might be surprised at the value you find.
What do they think of your ideas? Do you dare to ask?
#7: What actions do they recommend?
The Sharing Economy thrives on grass roots ideas. Uber, Zillow and Airbnb all operate with disruptive philosophies that allows the individual to bring their resources to make money and shape their future. The organization doesn’t have to control the situation but rather facilitate it.
In the same way, disruptive leaders often thrive when employees share their ideas. But to do this, the leader must facilitate a safe and trusting environment. The aspiring leader must believe the situation is fair . Violate that trusting relationship and you have a disengaged employee instead of a collaborative leader.
How free do your employees feel about sharing their ideas?
Become the Disruptive Leader
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I develop disruptive leaders . If you are looking for more options as either an aspiring leader or a leader emerging in the Connection Economy, contact me today.
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2016