Focus – How Engaged Are You?

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Are you engaged or disengaged with your work?

If you admit to feeling disengaged, you’re not alone. Studies show that a whopping 71% of the US workforce is not engaged in their work. While it’s good to know that we’re not alone, it makes me wonder how the 29% who feel engaged are accomplishing this. How do they do it?

What would it be like to wake up energized and enthusiastic about going to work every day?

What would it be like to be the CEO chief engagement officer – of your work and your life? How can we change our energy about the work we do each day?

Here are 5 simple strategies I’ve found to increase your level of engagement:

Communicate– Unplug and have real face time conversations as much as possible. Create a genuine connection by talking about more than just work. Showing interest in someone as an individual goes a long way towards creating a lasting impression. You will become a model of good communication and inspire others as you cultivate real connections.

Listen and learn – to your staff, co-workers, and customers. They all have something valuable to say, and when you listen attentively you will learn what is most important to them. The simple act of listening sends a message to them that you are interested in who they are and what they have to say.

Care – Give your full attention to the people you interact with every day. Being thoughtful goes a long way towards creating positive energy. It often sparks mutual caring among teammates and colleagues and builds constructive relationships.

Atmosphere – Create a positive atmosphere. Choose to smile and make eye contact. Energy is contagious. When you opt to be positive it will ripple out to others in your circle of influence.

Praise – Catch people doing things right and tell them how great they are. People strive to do better when their efforts are noticed and appreciated.

Whether you manage a team or work independently, your level of engagement affects not only how you feel but also the bottom line. You will lower lost productivity, absenteeism, and disgruntled behavior by connecting with those around you.

Try using these two approaches to affirm others and increase positive connections at work, and at home:

1-      Focus on what’s right by identifying your own and your co-workers strengths. In a world where we tend to focus on what’s wrong and what needs fixing, it can be refreshingly positive to instead focus on what is working. How do each person’s strengths benefit the team’s efforts and lead to greater success? What would happen if you developed those strengths further and empowered each person to do their best, and to be their best? What would be the impact on the bottom line if each individual was encouraged to use their strengths fully?

2-      Focus on a theme.  Use the One Word approach to expand your awareness and center your attention over an entire year to promote your growth and success.  Teams and organizations that are using this approach organize individuals collectively behind a common purpose and hold a vision before them for mutual success.

These two approaches for greater Focus develop the character of those who use them.

That character development impacts the actions that they take.

Those actions have an influence on their level of engagement and the success of the company… well as other activities they give their attention to.

What is one step you’re willing to take today to engage more with others?


Carol deLaski is a certified leadership coach and speaker. She will be leading a Breakthrough Workshop for Women: Stay Focused, Stay Motivated with One Word on February 19th from 9-10:30 am.  Click here for more details and to pre-register.