FIRST THOUGHT: Employee Disengagement
When I attended a friend’s wedding this weekend, I noticed something. Everyone was nervous: The bridesmaids were tugging at their dresses. The bride’s brother was shaking a little as he gave a toast, while the other wedding guests apprehensively tried messy hors d’oeuvres. There was only one person totally unfazed by it all: the ringbearer. The four-year-old boy, held by his mother, slept as they walked down with the rings. He danced kookily to Bruno Mars and shamelessly scarfed down the cake.
We all have social moments that are full of anxiety. The next time you need to speak at a meeting or are invited to a get-together, introduce yourself to one stranger. Just one. That’s your homework, that’s your mission.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 32 Percent
Oftentimes, our anxious minds can stop us from really enjoying life, particularly work. Are there any coworkers at your past or current jobs that you wish you would’ve gotten to know better? Feeling like you’re part of a tight-knit workplace makes you feel more connected, thus more engaged. Getting to know your coworkers is worth doing because a Gallup poll shows that only 32 percent of employees feel engaged at work.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Heather Christie, Founder and President of Evolve Global
There’s one way to step outside of your comfort zone: give a speech. Are your palms sweating just hearing that? Today’s Woman to Watch, Heather Christie, is someone who would say giving a speech gets easier the more often you do it, and boy, does she make it look like a breeze.
Heather’s a keynote speaker. Through her company Evolve Global, Heather has talked to hundreds of businesses about what it takes to retain valuable employees. Her breakout sessions focus on reducing tension among employees and learning different work behaviors, while her coaching and training options dive into both the personal and professional.
Believe it or not, Heather didn’t graduate knowing she’d be a top executive coach. Initially, she only knew she wanted to work at a law firm. As part of being a former partner at a 100-attorney law firm and international lobbyist, Heather inadvertently developed the skills she’s known for today. Communication is key for someone who works in law, and that’s something Heather has fine-tuned over the last dozen years.
What might seem surprising to some is that you’re never too big, too famous or too successful to need advising. One CEO notes that Heather’s been coaching him for the past decade, crediting her for many quarters of his growth. There’s something he said that really got my attention: Heather makes him feel like her “only client,” even if it’s only for an hour-long session. That’s solid advice, no matter what biz you’re in.
According to Heather, one way to get employees more engaged is to do something called positioning, which is essentially distinguishing yourself or your company from the rest of the pack. Heather says the most sacred currency we have is time, so asking a person to show up to a conference or suggesting a company hear out your marketing pitch is asking people to give time.
Make that time worth it. Don’t leave people wishing they hadn’t wasted the last hour. One idea Heather gives for this concept of positioning is to straight-up ask the person what they want out of the time you’re giving them. Cutting through the BS helps you figure out how to use your time wisely.
QUITE THE QUOTE
I could listen to an Oprah quote every day, all day. Here’s one quote from her to send you off:
"I know for sure that what we dwell on is what we become."