We all know the feeling. It’s crunch time and we really need to get an answer to our question. It’s the main thing standing in the way of getting sign-off. Problem is, we can’t get access to the person that’s got the answer. We’ve tried emailing, calling them - both landline and mobile - and short of stalking them, we’ve tried it all. We can’t get through.
This common scenario articulates something important: it’s not time that’s the problem, it’s people. The great thing is, though, while people are the problem, they are also the solution.
Like everyone, we are crunched for time, so we can’t afford to have conversations for the sake of it. When we engage only when we need something, our relationships are limited to being TRANSACTIONAL. We fall into a pattern whereby conversations are only had during meetings and are task focused. This pattern is what contributes to our relationships being transactional.
The problem with transactional relationships is that they are shallow. When you need, or I need, we talk, otherwise no dice. When we engage purely in a transactional way, we have no leverage, no ability to influence and so in that very common situation above, we can’t deliver.
Engagement is a process, not an event
Did you know that engagement is a process, not a single event? Engagement is about relationships.
When we are proactive in our relationships at work, we can leverage, we can influence. So when we are under the pump or are asked to move mountains, we can have the conversation that's needed to drive the right outcome.
You’ve got to meet on a regular basis with your key stakeholders and contributors especially when it’s not crunch time. But each conversation needs to be empathetic and purposeful so that you can demonstrate value - they’ve got to get something out of it.
We need to engage for depth not detail
When we engage for depth, our relationships become IMPACTFUL. Due to the empathy, respect, trust and value we have consistently demonstrated we can leverage. We have the ability to influence timing, decision making and actions. We have the ability to make things happen and get results.
They pick up the phone.
Make engagement impactful, not transactional
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About Alena: Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people. She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on firstname.lastname@example.org