Skip to main content

Meaningful Engagement : Behavior Matters

Trust me - this post is about engagement - stay with me for a minute!

Let me start by saying that I hope you read my post from 8/30/17 - Meaningful Engagement.  If not, I want to invite you to do so by clicking here.

I intentionally subtitled it "focusing on what matters" as I believe too often educators, leaders, and others charged with similar responsibilities for "people care" focus on variety of topics that simply do not matter.

Further, I also believe those same folks make many of their important and/or critical decisions based on metrics or measurements instead of addressing focusing on "what" creates those metrics.

Please do not hear me say that metrics are not important.  In my mind, metrics are "a thing" and not necessarily "the thing."

Please note the diagram below:



This diagram is representative of research conducted by H.W. Heinrich.  The pyramid is structured - from top to bottom - with numbers of 1 - 30 - 300 - 3000.  Heinrich contended that for every (1) critical and measurable failure, there were 30 near misses of that same type, and 300 minor and uncorrected - or - ignored failures.  Further, research told him that at the base of the 1 - 30 - 300 - there were 3000 behaviors that either fostered or led to the the 300 that led to the 30 that allowed the 1 critical and measurable failure to occur.

At the onset, this make sense.  Most, if not all seasoned professionals might agree with his findings. This then begs the question;  With this understanding, on "what" does leadership focus?

My experience is that leadership - in most any organization - focuses on the top of the pyramid.  The focus seems to most always be on the single most critical and measurable failure.  This is true in business as much as it is in education.

I contend - as did Heinrich - that the focus - at the most basic level - needs to be on the 3000 behaviors at the bottom of the pyramid as those 3000 behaviors drive to either success or failure.

Conceptually, if 1) organizational behaviors that generate success are the baseline - and - are non negotiable - organizational expectations for all organizational participants and 2) those expected behaviors are well researched and well thought out, and 3) participants are guided to create success within those expected behaviors,  then the frequency of failure will diminish thus increasing the frequency of success.

So - what is my point?

In my mind "what" matters is behavior.  

Emotionally and physically safe behavior creates engagement.

Engagement drives success!

Lack of engagement drives failure.

Engagement is a result of behavior.

Applicability: This understanding can be applied to a first grade classroom, a front line employee, a middle manager or the CEO of a fortune 500 company.

The key is behavior - because - behavior drives engagement.

The entire focus - by any organization or individual - solely on metrics - without the realization that engagement is created by behavior - and the results of behavior creates metrics - is a fallacy of leadership.

In business - a credit card does not swipe itself - it requires the human behaviors of choice, value assignment, and action. (ENGAGEMENT).

Yes, metrics matter, and, so does engagement.

As always – if you would like to learn more about this topic or book me to speak or with your organization, operators are standing by!

#DocentUS #Engagement #Path2Excellence #Reach2Teach #CategoryCreators

Comments

Unknown said…
Ron, I'm enjoying this blog. I have been doing presentations on maximizing student engagement in fine arts, and we think alike in so many ways. But your blog is especially helpful at many levels, including the parallels with education and the corporate world. I'm borrowing some of your analogies (with credit given) for future sessions. I especially like the What, Why, Who aspects of your analysis. I'm also a Simon Sinek and Growth Mindset fan! Keep up the good work. Maybe we can get together for a conversation soon.
morrrgm said…
Thank you! I appreciate the credit. I would love to help you - I am pretty good with fine arts!

Popular posts from this blog

4 Results of Encouragement

Encouragement and engagement go hand in hand. Encouragement creates the opportunity to engage. While encouragement may begin as a “one-way” or “outbound” affirmation of another person, it has an unseen, yet powerful transformative ability.

Encouragement can tear down well built and emotionally rationalized, invisible walls. It can also open tightly sealed and emotionally rationalized, invisible doors. What often begins as one way affirmation can quickly lead to a two-way relationship building transaction of significant value.
The unseen force. Encouragement, when genuinely offered to another:
Serves as an affirmation that raises self-awareness.Creates an opportunity to accept increased risk taking.Communicates a strong sense of value.Creates and allows for emotional connectivity. When people are affirmed, and they believe they have value, the likelihood of increased emotionally connectivity and meaningful engagement grows exponentially.
Simply put, encouragement leads to engagement…

5 Keys to Engagement

I am frequently asked "what are a few things I can do to ensure that I am doing my part in the the engagement process?"  I respond with these "5 Simple Keys to Engagement Success."

5 Keys to Engagement:
Make eye contact.  Eye contact is an art form. For many, it is awkward and uncomfortable. To reduce the fear associated with eye contact, practice it.  Practicing creates an opportunity to work through the awkwardness.Be appropriately physical.  Formal greetings, handshakes, high-fives, etc. allow for the opportunity to create physical communication. Appropriate human-to-human contact communicates a value of importance to all "humans" involved in an engagement transaction.Be present.  Focus undivided attention to the human directly in front of you.  If multiple humans are present, share the attention.Be the active listener.  Truly listen. Other humans know when attention is cursory and inauthentic.Respond appropriately. While responding, make eye contact…

3 Keys to Meaningful and Effective Praise

Praise-based feedback is a "tremendous and significant" driver in the engagement process. Praise-based feedback, when meaningfully and effectively delivered, can open the doors to engagement that might otherwise be closed or remain closed.

Delivering meaningful and effective praise based feedback communicates "value" to the person receiving recognition, "awareness" of the positive attributes of their actions, and "gratitude" for what is being done.

The result of meaningful and effective praise based feedback is encouragement that opens the doors
to engagement.

In order to meaningfully and effectively deliver encouraging praise based feedback, the following three keys must be in place: Observation. Effective and meaningful praise is built strictly from observation. When praise is delivered, cite a specific example or series of examples that have been observed. (Example: "I appreciate how kind you are to our guests. Specifically, I saw you…