Positive engagement.

It can feel like an oxymoron at times.

“How did they engage with what you were saying?”
“Oh, you know, positively. In the sense that they at least turned up and sat in the room”

Thursday was different. Thursday was about my CEO (and me, as sidekick) introducing a new process to a team who absolutely, positively knew that they wanted to engage. They had to challenge the way things were.

It also helps when someone, in this case Rachel, stands in front of them with an assured presence. A knowledgeable, comforting, “been there – bought the whole shop, let alone the t-shirts” way about them. Rachel really has. For when the group we were working with at the Royal Opera House used the word unique, Rachel simply scanned through her mental rolodex of unique situations she has been in before, and brought out the commonality in every one of those cases.

Likewise for me. I have worked in lots of unique places. Unique in the sense that we all felt that our problems, were ours alone.

So Rachel introduced the Wardley Mapping technique – which helps you to identify your value chains (I know, I know – get a work blog, Chris) and areas to develop, buy or simply “get from the wall” to meet the demands of your customers. In a way that even I understood.

And you know what. They all got it. They all positively engaged with what we were saying. No one sighed at a flip chart as we mentioned a “group exercise”. Post-its were grabbed. No one took a step back. No one shied away from the challenges they had to deal with. This was a transformative group, working in the open – with answers, not grumbles.

Here’s to engaging further. Hopefully the positivity will be infectious with others, if we do.

Chris Written by:

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