Leader Engagement: How to Engage Your Leader!
Consultants like myself write a great deal about how leaders can better engage employees. Most leaders know it’s critical to tapping the talent that they have hired.
As I read William Powell’s wonderful post on Leadership Adviser blog Employee Engagement is a Result of Leader Engagement, I also thought about the other side of this equation.
How can you better engage your leader?
Complement and complete your boss.
After all, success is a cooperative effort!
No one can do it all alone.
3 Essentials for Leader Engagement
To engage your leader, you need three very important things:
- Desire. It is the single greatest determinant of success. Do you want to engage and help your boss? Or do you believe that it’s your boss’s job to engage and help you?
- Emotional Intelligence. Understanding what someone else needs is the mechanism to successful engagement.
- Initiative and Self-Regulation. Knowing when to initiate, when to mediate, and when to wait prevents your enthusiasm from running over your boss.
The Confusion That Blocks Leader Engagement
- Confusing leader engagement with schmoozing (or worse). Leader engagement is not about complimenting your boss. It’s about complementing — completing — your boss.
What are you good at that your boss isn’t? What do you like doing that your boss doesn’t like to do? This is where leader engagement comes to life and contributes the most to the organization. You engage your boss with uplifting substantive contributions not shallow praise and empty compliments.
- Believing that leader engagement is quid pro quo. You don’t engage leaders only if they promote you. Can you picture yourself saying to your boss, “I can take on many of the things you don’t like to do if you promote me?” That attitude is anything but promotable. Contribute your passion, talents, and strengths. The proof is in the doing. The leader’s trust and gratitude grows and so does your portfolio and opportunities.
- Confusing contribution with imposition. Contributing your special talents to engage your leader doesn’t mean you do all your boss’s work. People who engage others well are not people pleasing doormats. They simply spot others’ needs quickly and fill the void with will and skill.
- Inventory your attitudes. What do you think of others who don’t have your specific talents? If your attitude is negative — impatience or derision — you won’t engage well. If you believe that combining different talents is exciting and positive, you’re on your way.
- Inventory your leader’s attitudes. Work with those attitudes. Don’t try to change them. For example, if your boss is a driver personality type and you’re an analytic, don’t deliver slow paced presentations because it feels good to you. Offer to pour over the details in advance — something drivers don’t like to do — and then summarize and present the key points. BAM – you engage by removing the pain and delivering possible gain.
- Scope out all your talents. Many people have a vague sense of what they do well. To engage your leader, dig deeper inside yourself and inventory all the things you do well. Here’s a list to get you started, 25 Incredibly Valuable Talents to Share At Work. Create the list that uniquely describes you.
Think this is a silly exercise? It isn’t! When you bring this into focus, it actually triggers your ability to spot others needs for those talents. Else it’s human nature to assume that everyone has those same abilities.
People engagement skills turn occupational skills into winning connections. Spot what others need and generously contribute. Just remember to respect them; don’t try to change them.
Build your career using your talents for your leader, your teammates, and your customers too. It’s a great feeling for you. It’s the thrill of just-in-time help for them. It’s the magic of diversity in action.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!