TODAY just a short list, but powerful.  You can start doing these things today (or reaffirm if they’re already a part of your modus operandi), and you’ll see immediate results.

1.  Listen.  Really listen.  Don’t talk.  Look the speaker in the eye, hear and acknowledge what they say, and think about what they tell you.  Put yourself in their shoes.

2.  Smile.  Be the one spreading good will in your organization.  Morale is top down.  If you’re in a good mood, it’ll catch on.  You don’t need to walk around like the Cheshire Cat, just be nice.

3.  Spend time on the line.  Most c-suite execs rarely visit the trenches.  When they do, employees are on “best behavior” and probably nervous.  Become a familiar face on the coal-face and you’ll be surprised what you see and learn.

4.  Let subordinates make decisions.  Nothing builds confidence in a team member like hearing from the boss these words:  “Your call”.   Think about how many things you currently decide on that could relatively easily be made by one of your reports.

5.  Question back.  When someone comes to you with a “What do we do?”, hand it back to them.  Push your people to think things through and plan their own actions.  Sure, they can look to you for advice, but if you want them to engage, they need to be challenged.

Related reading:

Challenge to Engage   (5 minute read)

How to make your people think and why you should   (2 minute read)

Delegation – When, why, and how   (10 minute read)