Primers for Engaging ConversationsWelcome from David ZingerIn the age of engage I believe conversations become one of our key tools to cre-ate engagement. How do we prime engaging conversations?. Our various authorsoffer an eclectic collection of good questions and strong phrases to prime engage-ment. We only excerpted the key statement or question from each author. Manyof our authors had more to say than we could put in this book so I encourage youto visit http://employeeengagement.ning.com/forum/topics/primers-for-engagingto learn more about the context and contribution from each author or to directlylink to go to the each contributor’s personal pages on the network.Thanks to all the contributing authors from the Employee Engagement Network,to Craig Althof for editing and suggesting the e-book, and to John Junson for hisstellar design work. The Employee EngagementDavid Zinger NetworkFounder of the Employee Engagement Networkwww.davidzinger.comwww.employeeengagement.ning.com 2
Primers for Engaging ConversationsIntroduction from Craig AlthofQuestions Anyone?Aren’t questions intriguing? That subtle rising inflection in the voice opens amagical door, prompting others to think. Does that make questions more essentialthan the answers they evoke?Questions may engage others, gently nudging them toward that magical state weare committed to pursuing. This e-book set out to capture some of those engagingquestions.A question intended to ask of others may also be engaging introspectively. Whynot ask yourself some of the questions that follow? I tried it, and it works! Behonest, give the question the consideration it deserves and see where it leads you. The Employee EngagementHere’s an intriguing question….does asking engaging questions of others serve to Networkmore fully engage the questioner? Or is that a question for another time? 3
Primers for Engaging ConversationsA question is just a bunch of words followed by a funny-looking punctuation mark,until it is asked with sincerity. And, as my senior leader reminded me the day beforeI set out to finish organizing our e-book’s contributions…if you ask a bear to danceyou’d better be ready to keep dancing until the bear wants to stop.Are you ready to dance with the bear?David said that after viewing the contributions for this project through the eyes of aneditor, I would gain a much deeper appreciation for the individual and collective con-tributions. He was right. I am honored to have been involved with this project.Thank you! TheCraig Althof Employee Engagement Network 4
Primers for Engaging Conversations David Marklew What do you think? Julie Lynch Tell me more. The Employee Engagement OK team, this is going to be a tough Network year ahead. To get through it, weTerrence Seamon need everyone’s ideas. All input is welcome. What are your thoughts on ways we can weather this crisis? 5
Primers for Engaging Conversations Doug Shaw How much do you feel a part of this community? Is the work you are doing aligned with your Marc Michaelson core values? The Employee Engagement Imagine it is December 2011 and Network we are celebrating our great suc-Debora McLaughlin cess, we achieved more than we ever envisioned: what happened 6 that brought us here?
Primers for Engaging ConversationsDr. Scott Simmerman What are some of our Square Wheels? If you were a well-respected consultant in Sybil F. Stershic our industry, what advice would you give this company? The Employee Engagement Network What have you done in the last Phil Gerbyshak month that’s excited you the most? 7
Primers for Engaging Conversations I want to understand every roadblock in John Hallonquist the way of making you successful.Jeannette Paladino How can I help you achieve your professional goals? The Employee Engagement Network How well do you feel you are adapting to changes taking Roberta Monville place within your role, team, and/or the organization? 8
Primers for Engaging Conversations If you could make one improvement to the Les Hudson way we work, what would it be?Marjorie Munroe I would like to better understand your perspective on this. The Employee Engagement Network What disincentives to taking ini- Karl Edwards tiative would a visitor observe in our company? 9
Primers for Engaging Conversations Kathy Legg How can I help you today? How can we do unto our employeesJulia Benbow as we would have them do unto our customers? The Employee Engagement Network If you were king (or queen) ofRandi Sandlin this company, what would you do here? 10
Primers for Engaging Conversations What three things can we do as individ- Ashim uals and as a team, to ensure we meet our professional aspirations? As leaders in this organization what inno- vative initiatives could we develop together Naomi Caietti to foster growth of high performing teams and delivery of competitive services in the marketplace? The Employee Team, now that we have turned the Engagement corner and are starting to hire again, Network what are your ideas for shaking offTerrence Seamon the gloom of the past couple years and getting everyone engaged, en- 11 thused, and energized again?
Primers for Engaging Conversations Is the work that you are doing giving Kanupriya you a sense of satisfaction? John W. Hall What’s the best thing we can do for our customers today? The Employee Engagement Network What is it that you and yourDick Friedman team are doing well that we should be recognizing you for? 12
Primers for Engaging Conversations What are you going to do today to help Roy Saunderson at least one person thrive? Suzanne Mitten What can I do to be a beneficial presence at work? The Employee Engagement Network What part of the current situationLaura Huckabee-Jennings do you own, and what can you per- sonally do to encourage a change? 13
Primers for Engaging Conversations What do you as a person and in your roleKatharina Schmidt want to contribute to our collective dream? What 3 things do you see are in the way of Skip Weisman our team performing at higher levels, and what would you suggest we do about them that would make the biggest difference? The Tell me how we might incorporate Employee Engagement elements from your most fulfilling Network professional experience you’ve everMichelle M. Smith had to enrich your role, add value to the organization, and help you thrive personally. 14
Primers for Engaging Conversations In what ways do you recognize your Bonnie Mattick employees for good work? Craig Althof What’s your “One Thing”? The Employee Engagement Network Many of us have one “To Do” on our list which keeps getting de-pri-Susan Costante oritized, what is stopping you from accomplishing that item today? 15
Primers for Engaging Conversations Help me learn more about you. What areRosemarie McGuire your thoughts and feelings about your work, your goals, what’s working, and what would you like to change? What are the barriers, hurdles, or obstacles Jeremiah Soucie that prevent you from being in the present moment? The Employee Engagement Network On this blank piece of paper, write your “contrarian” perspective about Maggie Chicoine the issue we’re discussing, starting with the words “Ya But...” 16
Primers for Engaging Conversations How could you personally make theMichelle M. Smith greatest contribution to what needs to be done in the organization? How can I help you achieve even David Marklew more today? The Employee If each one of us is an enterprise, Engagement what are the changes that we will Network bring to our enterprise for the great- Sayeda Homam er good of our company: what are some of the things that you would 17 stop doing right away if you could?
Primers for Engaging Conversations If you were in charge what’s the first Anja Schuetz thing you would change, and with what intention? What should we stop doing, start Dorothy Matthew doing and continue to do, to make sure 2011 is our best year yet?! The Employee Engagement Network One of the things that I love about what we do here is that it’s not justGlain Roberts-McCabe about putting money on the bottom line; we’re changing our clients 18 lives.
Primers for Engaging Conversations Would you team with me to changeNed K. Kaloub paradigms, look to future with a much wider and brighter outlook and harvest the goodies of being out of the box? Do we have an engagement strategy Carl Bonura that truly supports the company’s mission, vision, values and goals? The Employee Engagement Network Tell me about your favorite thing to do outside of work: what is it, what Kristin Reed specifically are you doing, and how does it make you feel? 19
Primers for Engaging Conversations This organizations’ mission and initia- Gordon Schmidt tives are a collaboration. Only together can we come up with the best way to build our future. Where do you think we should be going next? You and your ideas and input are Scott H. Span valued in this organization, so please share. The Employee Engagement Network Let’s talk about how we’re going toGlain Roberts-McCabe raise the bar for ourselves this year. 20
Primers for Engaging Conversations Ray Baumruk What really worked for you today and what was frustrating for you today? If business success is a reflection on howRudolf Peter Lanc we all wish to develop ourselves to be a success, what would you do to try your best for all around you as well as yourself? The Employee Engagement Network If you need to run something by me, Kevin Burns I’m here for you. You can do this. I have faith in you. 21
Primers for Engaging Conversations Tell me about a time when time stood still Bill Scott for you, and what specifically contributed to that sense for you? Do you feel that you have any influenceWarrick Glynn over the big decisions that affect your work? The Employee Engagement What is the one thing you can do Network right now to enhance your own David Zinger engagement or the engagement of another person in our organiza- tion? 22
Primers for Engaging Conversations What ideas would you suggest we exploreNels Pedersen about our core values, business processes, projects or products and services to help move our team from average to great? Help me help you to succeed in helpingScott H. Span us help our customers succeed. The Employee Engagement Network If you were managing you, whatSteve Laswell would you be sure to do, and not do? 23
Primers for Engaging Conversations Think about a time when you were the re- cipient of extraordinary customer service, Bill Scott and a time when you believe you delivered extraordinary service…what words and actions resulted in these situations being seared in your memory banks? We’re already good, we might even beJoe McCauley great. So what can we do to get better? The Employee Engagement Network If you have a few minutes, I’d likeMichael J Hart your thoughts and ideas about an important matter. 24
Primers for Engaging Conversations When do you feel appreciated theSteve Laswell most, here at work? What is the most important achievementJacob Schneid you’d like to make here? The Employee Engagement Network What are the top three ingredients Lisa Sibley you need to be fully engaged? 25
Primers for Engaging Conversations In what ways does your work contributeStephen J. Gill to achieving our strategic goals? OK, I know you have heard a lot of patronising claptrap about ‘staff engagement’, and I know you are Jon Harvey not exactly convinced by all this ‘hippy’, fuzzy stuff about empow- erment, listening & goal alignment etc but let me ask you one question: if not this stuff then what? The Employee Engagement Network If you could wave the magic wand, Julie Lynch what one change would make the biggest positive difference? 26
Primers for Engaging Conversations This service thing really brings everyone Johnson Ikube to the same page; the challenge however is how to so define or describe it that it takes on a profound meaning to all, individually and collectively: what do you think? Joe McCauley What can I do to make you better? The Employee Engagement Network Why Do We Live? What is thatVijay Kumar Shrotryia which drives us to work? What is it that we ultimately aspire to in life as well as at work? 27
Primers for Engaging ConversationsIt is time to stop reading and start talking. How are you going to prime your next engaging conversation? The Employee To learn more about employee engagement Engagement Network and to jump into conversation visit or join the Employee Engagement Network. 28