Eye-I for Engagement
The following 7 internal “I” statements were inspired by my work with Crucial Conversations. To me, they are the essence of a strong foundation for interpersonal connection that builds relationships and achieves results. Crucial Conversations is designed for situations of high stakes, differing opinions, and strong emotions. These statements can form the underpinning of most engaging interactions. I was honored to first present these ideas at Shared Visions Community Day of Practice for Crucial Conversations.
1. I care about you. We only fully engage with other people we care about. Caring does not meaning liking but caring for the other person creates the foundation of respect. Without caring, skills can become manipulation and crucial conversations can quickly slide into creepy conversations. Ensure there is care in your approach to others.
2. I care about what you are interested in. In so many conversations we seem to talk about our self but statement two encourages us to move beyond our self to a focus on the other person and their intentions. In conversations, do you ask as much as advocate and is there a strong focus on the other person and what they want and intend?
3. I see you. How attentive are you to others at work? How well do you pay attention to what they do? It is very powerful to be really seen by another who cares about you and also cares about what you are interested in and fully pays attention to you and your actions. I believe that in employee engagement anonymous surveys unintentionally communicate that people at work are invisible. In the age of engage we show up and mindfully attend to what we see going on.
4. I hear you. Do you stop to fully listen, not just waiting for the other person to finish so that you can start talking? When we see and hear we gather a foundation of facts for a safe conversation or fuller engagement with another person. In powerful engagement not only do we hear but we retain and communicate the significant elements of what we hear.
5. I think about you. People who powerfully engage with others take time to be reflective about other people’s actions and intentions. We seldom stay neutral on facts and quickly create stories to understand what is going on. The problem is that our stories can create their own problems. If our actions are based on caring we are also careful of the stories and thoughts we have while being open to letting others know that we are thinking of them as we extend an invitation to engage rather than voice an inquisition of interrogation.
6. I invite you. How well do you invite other people into conversations and interactions. In the age of engage we need to quickly go beyond caring, seeing, and thinking to asking and inviting others into interactions so that we can both learn, grow, and develop through being together.
7. I am changed by you. So many of us are so busy trying to change others that we forget that the other person is only half of the equation while we are the other half and that our engagement with them should have an equally probability of changing us. Here are two quick questions to test your ability to be changed or altered:
- When was the last time you were changed because of a conversation with another person?
- Do you enter interactions ready, willing, and able to be changed?
Engage. Live the approaches of caring, showing up, reflecting, inviting, and changing to bring more engagement to your interactions and to engage authentically in building relationships while achieving results.
An earlier version of this post appear at the Shared Visions Website.
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David Zinger, M.Ed., helps organizations and individuals increase employee engagement. He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant. David founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network. He is committed to increasing employee engagement 20% by 2020. Contact David today to improve engagement where you work (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone 204 254 2130 / Website: www.davidzinger.com).