“I feel like I’m on an island.” And not the fun kind.
A team manager shared this comment with me as she described the lack of relationships and connectivity she was feeling with her team. It was clear that something had to change, but she wasn’t sure what.
A new team? A new job? No, that's not what we concluded.
What would it look like to bring others onto the “island”? This question led us to the types of conversations she was having with her team. She learned that making the simplest changes to her conversations could have the biggest impact. For her, it ultimately came down to empowering others - engaging them in the process, asking questions, not always being right, and bringing them onto the island to play a more active role on the team.
In my career, I’ve been a part of the some of the largest-scale organizational transformations, looking at them through the internal employees’ lens. I’ve helped merge, acquire, spin-off, reorganize and reinvigorate companies during intense times of change. I’ve created more toolkits than I’d like to count, and more strategic communications plans than I’ll ever be able to count. And I believe that all of these tools and interventions are necessary to build and evolve organizations.
Yet it has always stood out to me that no matter what cutting-edge recognition systems, change management frameworks or intranets you put in place, there is something much more critical for success than any of these things. The success of the business will always come down to the people - and at the most fundamental level, the conversations.
Hence my obsession with enabling managers to coach their teams and invest in the conversation. If you involve a team member in a conversation to chart the path from A to B, they will be more committed, creative and accountable. Then, when it's time to get to point C, they will more successfully find their own way - and you'll get a better outcome.
Ah-ha moments like that of the manager on the island, and so many others personal to me, have inspired my manager coaching training program, Empower Your Conversations (EYC) - and I'm excited to share it with you!