5 Ways to Get Engaged at Work


By Dr. Sylvia Lafair

While some of us really do meet the love of our life at work, this is not about that. This is about an engineering type of being engaged; like the gears in a machine that fit together and make things run smoothly.

Lots of recent articles I’ve seen on various blogs have been about friends working together. The big question is: is it better for friends to work together or be in separate areas of the company?

What a funny question. The real question is: how can we get work colleagues to engage with each other in helpful and meaningful ways?

And now to the five ways to make this happen:

1. Have a meeting. That’s simple enough. A meeting; you have them all the time, you say. Good, this one needs to be in the afternoon, either a pizza or salad lunch or early afternoon tea break.

2. Talk about each other. No, I did not say gossip. I said talk about what you want and need from each other. This needs to be set up by the leader as a clarification meeting. The big question is how we can help each other succeed.

3. Talk about yourself. Please remember, work is not a rehab facility! So, this is not a time of full disclosure. It is about work, about your hopes and passions. It is a time to talk about stuff like how you found the job you are in, what special skills and talents you can offer to share with your colleagues.

4. Take a test. Not a graded one to put in your file, a fun one to see how you learn, how you think. And then share this with others. There are tons of quizzes that are worthwhile. You can find out why you prefer a certain color, or what makes you like certain animals better than others. You can go to www.sylvialafair.com and check out your predominant patterns of behavior you bring into the workplace. Share with the group. Just remember to keep it light!

5. Develop a passion statement. Not that kind! I mean a statement about what gives you the mojo to leave a day of work knowing you have contributed to the benefit of your team, your company and in spite of all the petty annoyances that come along you had some laughs, some fun.

When you become real human beings with each other at work, once you engage on an emotional level an amazing thing happens; most of the time these colleagues become your friends.