Category Archives: Involvement

The Most Profound Form of Recognition

We have previously suggested that recognition is, at the most fundamental level, an acknowledgement of the worth of a human being. But how can we tell if someone really values us? What demonstrates their regard? What are its tangible, outward manifestations?

When asked this question in workshops, participants often say things like “they seek me out,” “they spend time with me,” “they share thoughts and ideas with me,” “they ask my opinions,” “they listen with real interest.”

The behaviors they describe shed light on a fundamental truth of human interaction: that involvement is perhaps the most profound form of recognition one human being can give another.

You can applaud your children’s intelligence or maturity, but if you do not involve them in decisions affecting the family—buying a new house, moving to a new city—that praise rings hollow.

You can tell your wife you love her, but if you never seek her thoughts or opinions, she will not feel valued. Involvement is one of the clearest and most immediate ways to acknowledge the worth of another human being.

Expressing appreciation for efforts and thanking people for the work they do is extremely important. But words alone can only go so far. Sharing information, discussing ideas, or soliciting input demonstrates regard in a way that few other leadership actions can.

Involvement communicates an appreciation for talents and contributions by actions, and not just words alone. It shows that you value people’s capacity to think, not just their capacity to work. And that is a message that can transform a workplace.

Involvement: Path to Increased Ownership

Countless leaders seek to strengthen ownership and personal responsibility for organizational initiatives in their workplace. What many don’t realize is that involving employees  in decision-making processes can be a powerful way to build such support. We once worked with a fire chief who had been budgeted money to buy a new truck. He was looking… Continue Reading

Involvement, Group Decision-Making, and the Path to Optimum Solutions

Involving employees in decisions that affect them and their work is crucial to capturing the human spirit in the workplace. Leaders, however, often resist involving employees in day-to-day affairs. Such reluctance stems in large part from leaders’ perceptions of both themselves and their employees. Because they were promoted into a position of leadership (and their… Continue Reading

Guest Blog: Involvement and the Thinking and Judgement of Others

I have recently been using the Hanging the Mirror: The Discipline of Reflective Leadership in my leadership coaching and consulting work. After reading the book at my suggestion, a leader in one of my client organizations had the self-awareness and courage to tell me that he believed he was doing a poor job in the… Continue Reading

Three Below-the-Line Obstacles to Involvement

Involving employees in workplace decisions has been associated with a wide range of operational benefits. And yet true involvement remains relatively rare in the workplace. Why? Many factors play a role, of course. But the unintended consequences of hierarchical systems of authority pose a particularly stubborn set of challenges. Common to virtually all modern organizations,… Continue Reading

Employee Involvement and Participation: Do We Really Want It?

The benefits of involving employees in decisions that affect them are clear. Victor Vroom, one of the seminal pioneers in areas of motivation and decision-making, once wrote: “Participative decision processes…can provide a training ground in which people can think through the implications of decisions. Participation can also perform a team building function, building positive relationships… Continue Reading

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