Keep People From Feeling Left Out
Social rejection is hard in any setting, including at the office. When people feel excluded, they can’t be productive, innovative, or collaborative. As a manager you need to create a work environment that discourages rejection. Here’s how:
- Prime the room for trust. To downplay hierarchies, start meetings by stating that all viewpoints are welcomed, desired and valued. This will ease fear of rejection and put people into a more collaborative and giving state of mind.
- Start with a shared reality. Send agenda items out before a meeting or give team members an article to read – and ask them for input. This signals that you care about what they think.
- Encourage candor and caring. Use open, non-judgmental language and listen with respect in all conversations. Thank people for sharing, and make sure that there are no negative repercussions for doing so.
- Do something with their input. Provide feedback regarding the value and benefit of the input suggested or the lack thereof because it doesn’t align with business need. Ask for suggestions about how to best implement or act on their input or ideas. Encourage them to be involved with the execution or planning for the input.
- Measure progress. Create a graph, timeline, milestone chart or some form of metric for tracking progress on ideas and projects. This reflects your interest for implementation and sustainability. If it is important for the business, it is important enough to follow.
The more you care about and demonstrate your interest in receiving input and support from your workgroup or team, the more they will respond as a partner and collaborate with you.
Let us know if you would like additional coaching with how to engage people in the workplace.