How do you get people engaged so they willingly get involved and do what needs to be done, even going the extra mile and producing results beyond your expectations?
Much like a chess master, a leader needs to think about the people involved, what their worldview is and what the forces are at play. They need to think about how people are likely to respond to a range of moves and then have a range of response ready for each likely scenario. Leaders have the added advantage of being able to recruit other people as sources of intelligence and influence.
In any situation where you want to engage people there are a range of questions you need to be able to answer before you set about enrolling them.
- What is the outcome you want to achieve?
- Who are the players?
- What is going on for them contextually?
- What is their relationship with the outcome and the process of achieving it?
- What are potential barriers for them? How significant are they?
- What is required to remove or neutralize them?
- How will they benefit? How could it compromise them?
- How can you eliminate or minimize it compromising them?
- What’s your existing relationship with them?
- What can you do to influence them?
Answering these questions frankly enables you to connect with their worldview. Try it. This understanding informs you how to ask and what you need to attend to in the asking. Mostly we just ask from our point of view and expect that to be enough. It rarely is.
Leading people to achieve is as important as conceiving what needs to be achieved. If you fail to achieve the results you intended, you have not been an effective leader. The challenge for leaders is to own the responsibility for the outcome, rather than blaming people for not being co-operative.
Most people want to do a good job. They come to work to express their ability and get recognition for it. Real leaders know this and enable them to do so.
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Published: December 2015