What’s the most important habit you can cultivate to increase your staff’s engagement?
When things are moving fast and time is tight, it can seem efficient to make a quick decision to fix a problem and move on. Then the issue reappears, wasting time and frustrating you and your employees. Frustration creates apathy or anger.
Rely on this one effective habit: Be curious. Slow down. Take a moment to investigate what led to the problem.
Ask what, not why questions.
“What was going on before your action?” generates more accurate information than “Why did you do that?” Why provokes rationalization and defense. What welcomes discussion and understanding.
Try empathy. A variation of curiosity, empathy is understanding another’s viewpoint. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or change procedures. It means avoiding snap judgments on the problem until you investigate what’s behind their actions or statements. If you’re not sure of the difference, read this Inc.com article.
‘Wearing’ another person’s experience helps you see a broader picture of ways to improve your reactions, decisions and methods.
Smart bosses and great leaders know taking a few minutes to explore what occurred and how people feel increases morale, productivity and builds skills. Your staff will appreciate that extra step.