Businesses today are focused on “engagement” whether they know it or not. Every business wants its customers/clients to be involved in very special and successful ways. Every business wants customers to keep that business top of mind and to appreciate the value-adds that the business brings to the table. In essence, whether through an overt or a less focused approach, businesses want good relationships with customers. They want them engaged.
The same goes for the team members, and rightfully so. Gallup has identified that disengaged and marginally involved personnel cost the American business community between $400 and $500 billion annually. Something like 70% of the workforce is not totally engaged with the business. That’s almost a built-in inefficiency factor. And that means that engagement has to be item #1 or #2 on any business’s strategic to-do list.
This is where the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools can almost immediately add value. Why? Because the Tools themselves are engaging. First, they help us to engage ourselves. If and when we use them, they automatically engage us in the process before we engage others. This is important because as businesspeople, as thought leaders, and as mission-focused individuals, we all must be truly engaged before we try to engage others. All of us must walk our talk. In fact, one reason engagement is an issue with team members is that it is a challenge for owners, managers, and supervisors.
So, you might ask, are the Tools only for bosses and business owners? Not at all! We see everyone in an organization as a leader, a contributor, a value-added resource. Each of us has a purpose, a job description, and accountability. Each of us can only fully perform our role if we are fully engaged. The Tools are for everyone because everyone matters. When everyone is important, engagement is not a concept to struggle with, but rather an integral component of how we all are tied together.
The S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools and the concepts that surround them empower us to engage individually and with one another. They can and will be true catalysts for building and maintaining a healthy environment for success and engagement.
We have been committed to engagement and interpersonal interaction with and for clients for more than 30 years. “Finding out what happened and what’s happening” has been a mantra for us from the beginning. For instance, from 1981 to 1984 we produced and presented two-day workshops for the CA CPA Education Foundation called “Computer Consulting: A Cooperative Approach.” The workshops’ focus was to blend consulting, IT, and communication technologies so that the relationships between the client company, its advisors, and technology vendors were true “collaborative events.”
We wanted everyone to be on the same page and working for the success of the company, its informational technologies, and resources effectiveness. These workshops were clearly focused on engagement as we sought to create a way for all players to add value and practice collaboration all around.
We believe that this blending of client needs, advisory support, vendor involvement, and communication skills was a first of its kind. Years later, former participants would come up to us at other events to tell us how valuable our two days together had been to them.
These engagement-oriented workshops took place in our pre-S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools days, but our experiences with them and with our collaborative-based consulting projects inspired and motivated us to develop an even more effective process—the Tools. In 1984, I discovered, after 4 years of research, that there were critical stages of conversation and interaction that could be identified and built upon to enhance collaboration, help people to get and stay on the same page, and increase success and effectiveness by engaging others in a respectful and honest way.
We hope that you, too, can use the Tools to experience collaboration and interaction as valuable forces for you and the companies you work with. We are eager to learn about your experiences with these most valuable resources.