Engaging Managers/Managing Engagement
Excerpt from an interview with Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, was conducted, edited and condensed by Adam Bryant. This is from the Corner Office series at the New York Times.
Before you start telling people where you’re coming from and what you’re about and what you’re going to do, listen first to what’s going on here, how do they feel about it, what are their views, what’s their input, what are their personal goals, and take note of all that they have to say, and then put together your version of “here’s where I’m coming from.” So, “listen and learn first” is a consistent piece of advice.
Q. So what advice do you give to new managers?
A. I would talk to a young manager about who they are, what they really believe in, and find the foundation or platform, if you will, to communicate consistently to the people you work with so they know what you stand for and what you believe in. And when they experience that from you, they understand the place that it’s coming from. Otherwise, they fill in their own blanks.
Q. What other advice do you give them when they become new managers?
A. I coach them to do a lot of listening. Listen first. I generally tell them that the best and most effective thing you can do is have both some group-listening environments, where you have employee meetings or department meetings with different groups of people, and one-on-ones and work your way through the entire team that you’re responsible for.
What advice would you give new managers to ensure they are engaged and engaging?
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David Zinger, M.Ed., helps organizations and individuals improve engagement. He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant who founded the 2700 member Employee Engagement Network. David’s website offers you 1100 posts/articles on the engagement reaching over 1,000,000 page views in the first 4 months of 2010.
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