There is a plethora of perspectives available on how to engage today’s workforce. Many talented individuals have spent time analyzing, summarizing, and publishing their findings. To say that today’s modern workforce, read millennials, are the most studied and analyzed group in recent memory is an understatement. I’m not finding fault with any efforts that are pointed towards understanding the modern workforce. Each piece of data could be used to help organizations become more responsive to their internal and external customers. Unfortunately, very little of this data is being applied in a meaningful way because one size does not fit all when leading people.
I’ve chosen to title this series of upcoming blogs “Navigating to Total Engagement” I’ve safely navigated U.S. Warships more times than I can remember through channels and into ports that presented many challenges such as shallow water, poor visibility, and heavy ship traffic. The fundamental seafaring tools that have been relied upon for centuries, by the Polynesians or Columbus, delivered the ships and Sailors that I was responsible for safely, time and time again.
From my perspective, the most basic tenet of leadership is Knowing Your People (KYP). The best way to know and engage them is through consistent, continuous, and creative communication, or C3.
C3 Communication…Consistent, Continuous and Creative…is the pathway to lasting and total engagement. Communicate using every facet available. It’s fair to say that we all know a great Communicator…someone who has a way with words, a way to express what most people can only frame in their minds. If you’re not a gifted communicator…don’t be discouraged. Bottom line is to Communicate, be YOU, be SINCERE. Look people in the eye, let them into YOU. Find time when there often is little. If you don’t know something, say so, and if you can’t say because of security or confidentiality reasons, say so. Openness will become comfortable with practice. I mentioned earlier about connecting with one’s heart…sincereity and integrity of your communications will do just that. And, you will find that your team’s loyalty will soon follow.
I have found from my 30+ years wearing the cloth of the United States Navy that the heart of an individual hasn’t changed. Connecting with one’s heart through genuine caring and commitment will tip one’s mind in your direction also. It is a far stretch to believe that you will be able to reasonably compete with the stimuli that are a fingertip away from the modern workforce. While walking around town or sitting down a restaurant take note of how many people are glancing down at their phones, reading email or blogs, or searching for the nearest Pokemon. Competing with the stimuli that are present at every turn is not realistic; however, learning to work alongside it, if you will, is realistic and absolutely necessary.
Copyright (c) 2016 Evoke Development LLC. All rights reserved. You may reprint this entire article – please include the copyright and the following info “Evoke Development provides learning and leadership development services with an Individualized focus that Optimizes talent and Energizes the Organization. Wally Lovely is a speaker, coach and consultant who recently retired after a 33-year career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy.”