Leaders, Want Engaged Employees? Focus on Contentment.

Contentment: It’s Not an Endpoint!

Contentment is defined as satisfaction and ease of mind. Yet there are leaders who have redefined it to mean lack of ambition and laziness. Recently I heard two such leaders proclaim, “When people are content they stop trying. Contentment means you don’t want to achieve anything else.” How wrong they are. How risky their view.

What do you see? Contentment, potential, both?

Contentment is Not Endpoint. Image is churning water that look like clouds.

Leaders, Want Engaged Employees? Focus on Contentment. Image by indi.ca.

Image by Indi.ca via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leaders, if you mislabel contentment as the end of ambition you are likely to:

  • Create constant churn that tires vs. inspires
  • Create change for change sake
  • Keep employees busy being busy
  • Rob the team of the inspiration that comes from celebrating achievement and completion
  • Miss valuable opportunities to engage employees with appreciation

Contentment is gratitude for the present moment that doesn’t stop the future.

Contentment: The Appreciative Road to Employee Engagement

Leaders, have you found yourself wondering if showing appreciation to employees will take away their initiative and work ethic? Perhaps you were mentored by leaders who were trapped in that fear.

How can you escape this trap?

  1. See true contentment as pride in a job well done that inspires employees to ask “What’s next?”
  2. Honor employees with specific feedback that highlights their wisdom, initiative, endurance, persistence, and commitment.
  3. Appreciate and recognize effort.
  4. Highlight how their talents are making a difference. Let them feel the glow of this praise.
  5. Celebrate milestones as well as achievements and results. These interim moments of contentment re-energize everyone.

Contentment is not the opposite nor the enemy of ambition. It’s not surrender to the status quo. It’s gratitude and appreciation that rejuvenates the desire and will to do more. Inner contentment is essential to resilience.

Contentment is not an end point. It is moments of mindfulness that say “Wow, look how far we’ve come.” If you rob employees of these celebratory reflections, where will they find the spirit to overcome the next set of hurdles?

Your turn!

What has contentment done for you and where can it take you and those you lead?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Engagement Posts:
25 Incredible Talents to Recognize & Appreciate
Leadership, Breed Accountability Not Blame
12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement

©2014 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 info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. 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.



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