When I meet with HR partners and talk about advocating for the employee, I can see them start to squirm or giggle nervously. It makes sense. Companies are uncomfortable paying for training that will give employees the tools to make demands or even leave the organization. The thing is that while this belief feels right on paper, it’s inside out.
Think of the team member who is disengaged or resistant, maybe has a chip on their shoulder. Most often it’s a lack of confidence in disguise. Most often this employee doesn’t really know their value and doesn’t know how to influence their environment. That leads to feeling put upon or defensive, and can lead to negative talk with others.
On the other hand, when a team member knows what they are good at and how that contributes, their confidence soars. And when that person has tools for diplomatically managing their environment, they feel heard and self-manage better. They are more wiling to take the “good” risk and speak up, which leads to better collaboration and innovation. They are also more willing to hear and incorporate constructive feedback that will grow them as leaders. It’s Stephen Covey’s interdependence in action. With more employees taking this approach retention goes up, which reduces cost. Engagement and collaboration go up, which leads to cost reducing efficiency and revenue generating innovation. That’s good for the organization.
I offer two sessions that are enormously popular with teams: Creating Your Own Engagement and Influence Using Social Style.