On Peer and Senior Engagement in the Perilous Realm 

The corporate world.  Convoluted labyrinth governed by peculiar laws.  Inhabited by formidable heroes, fearsome monsters and enigmatic deities.  To win allies, aspiring adventurer, go boldly, tread carefully and – most of all – do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

Close the gap

Don’t wait for them to come to you.  You.  Go.  To.  Them.  And not electronic communication.  Trying to engage via email is like throwing a penny into a well.  You might hear it land, you might not.  Either way, your wish is unlikely to come true.  And you’ve lost a penny.  Communicate in person.  Make yourself available.  Don’t assume anyone will automatically understand or care.  Always go the extra mile to help them to help you.

Be the engagement (you want to see)

Regardless of any misgivings you may feel, show your colleagues something positive.  Something they might actually want to be a part of.  Dragging yourself around like you wish you were dead will signal that you’re spiralling down into Hell and looking to take others with you.  If you want them to step willingly aboard and lend strength, transmit confidence, enthusiasm and determination.  You may even convince yourself.

Total transparency

No, not an invisibility cloak.  Quite the opposite, if you want to win sustainable engagement.  When it comes to the details, share everything.  Hide nothing.  Disguise nothing.  Be open.  Be honest.  Be clear.  They need to know what and who.  They need to know how and when.  Most of all: why.  The beginning, the middle and the end.  Where have you come from, where are you going.  Help them make an informed and enduring decision.

Damn Good Reason

Your task is important.  To you.  Everyone else is busy carrying their own burdens.  Like bees in a hive they crawl around, over and under each other.  Occupied to the exclusion of all else.  Staggering in front of someone gasping, “Help…me…” might win a shoulder to cry on, but genuine assistance requires a well thought out and well-articulated proposal.  Tell them exactly what you want them to do, why it has to be them and what their benefit will be.

This article has been produced as part of Work Wise Week.

Oliver Blackwell, copywriter and E4S volunteer, www.linkedin.com/in/oliverblackwell

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