Ah, Thanksgiving! A time when many people in the United States take a moment to reflect on what they are most thankful for.
As we consider what we are most thankful for in the world around us, it makes sense to extend this discovery process to the people we lead and work with on a daily basis.
When we find employees who do not exhibit or behave with a spirit of thanksgiving, it’s our job to help them find their own best selves, or bring back their spark.
I’ll suggest three strategies to help you do this:
- Consider why your employees are at your organization. It’s rarely just because it’s the only job that can be found, or that yours is the only place that will pay them. Find out why they chose your organization.
- Ask them questions (inquire! be curious!) that will help them (re)discover the spark that is alive in them. What’s best about them (their positive core)? Chances are they have not thought about this in a while, or no one has ever asked them.
- Talk with them about how this positive core aligns with the organization’s mission, how they can live and work more fully into both, and how you can help.
Before you do this, take time to consider what’s best about you, and how it impacts your performance. When you do this, you’ll better recognize the symptoms (inappropriate communication, ineffective communication, focus on the wrong things, misalignment with mission, not directly addressing challenges etc.,) in others of not activating their positive core at work.
A number of outcomes are likely because of the time you take to do this:
- You will learn something new about yourself and your employee
- You will surprise the person with the type of questions you ask and the interest you show
- You will encourage the person to focus on something they’ve not thought about in a while, if ever.
- Your employee’s engagement will increase
- Your employee’s performance will improve
- Your organization will benefit
- You will potentially have changed someone’s life. Seriously.
I’m thankful for simple strategies that work.
I’m thankful I can share what I know with you.
I’m thankful for many others things too, but it’s about time for pumpkin pie!