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4 Keys to Authentic Engagement

Engagement leads to the possibility of  creating relationship.  Relationship leads to a myriad of opportunities. (Learning, growth, sales, etc.)

Authentic engagement creates opportunity.  In fact, it leads to endless opportunities regardless of whether those are in the classroom, the teacher's lounge, the CEO's office, the workspace, or the sales floor.  Opportunities become available with authentic engagement.

4 Keys to Authentic Engagement:
  • Be present. Focus undivided attention to the people - and/or - tasks at hand. If multiple people or things are present, share the attention.
  • Be honest. Honesty is freedom of deception.  Honesty is more than truthfulness.  People can be truthful while intentionally omitting important details, data, events, times, and other factors.  Honesty is maintaining the truth - and - providing the entire story.  Honesty requires freedom from deception. No tricks, no gimmicks - transparency is the "name of the game!"
  • Be real. Vulnerability does not communicate weakness, it communicates humanity.  Facing and dealing with emotions in a genuine manner leads to authenticity.  Again, vulnerability does not communicate weakness, it communicates humanity and strength.
  • Be trustworthy. Trust, describes something that can be relied upon.  Worthy, describes something deserving respect.  Someone or something that be relied upon and worthy of respect is - in a practical sense - trustworthy.  Being a "confidant" is only a small part of the picture. 
When the "4 Keys to Authentic Engagement" are turning, the locks are opening:
  • Being present activates the human desire to engage. Being present communicates a sense of respect and that sense of respect may lead to pure, raw engagement.  This skill - and it is a skill - is missing is absent in many, if not most engagement transactions.  Hence, when a "person with presence" is encountered, it is remembered.
  • Being honest is being free of deceit. When honesty is present, trusting in the truth, the whole truth, becomes expected.  Further, it creates dependability.  Being honest will draw others toward the thoughts and opinions of those who are honest.  The result is trust, increased value of presence, and opportunities to be "at the table" more often.
  • Being real communicates humanity. People have issues, people have triggers, people have... Being real does not mean that an environment of griping and moaning is supported; it means that issues are not "swept under the rug" and are dealt with appropriately.  It means learning the art empathy and possessing a sympathetic view - when needed.  It means sharing in joy, understanding anger and allowing others to do so - safely - in your presence.  It means discussing and sharing real life experiences in meaningful - safe - ways.
  • Being trustworthy builds worth.  Being known as dependable to tell the truth, to be honest, to paint the full picture, to be counted upon - builds worth.  These are the traits of being trustworthy.  On a side note - yet important to say - trustworthiness is not about "keeping secrets. When "worth" is established it will draw others toward the thoughts and opinions of those who have it.  The result of worth is identical to that of trust - increased worth provides opportunities to be "at the table" more often.

When the "4 Keys to Authentic Engagement" are not turning:
  • Being absent communicates irrelevance. Being absent communicates the other party does not matter.  This is disrespectful to others.  Further, it demonstrates a disregard of value. People desire value.
  • Being dishonest destroys trust. Trust is a key ingredient to relationship that leads to engagement.  If trust is destroyed, it may never be regained and may cause permanent damage to relationship. People seek honesty.
  • Being disingenuous causes doubt. Being disingenuous points to lack of integrity.  Most people can spot disingenuous behavior.  Once doubt sets in, all the pretending in the world cannot remove it. People want to be around "real" people.
  • Being untrustworthy destroys relationships. Lack of trustworthiness destroys relationships instantaneously, painfully, and often permanently.  Being untrustworthy mean that reliance on "what" is brought to the table is not dependable. People need trustworthy forces.

Failing to understand authentic engagement and its overall impact on "what" you do may slow both personal and organizational success and growth.

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


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