If you come trick-or-treating at my house tonight, this is who will greet you at the door. I learned many years ago to engage my pups in the festivities – even though that means standing behind a gate. By allowing them to be a part of the process they are quite content with their supporting role but if I had tried to keep them in the other room the neighbors several houses away would have heard them expressing their displeasure every time the doorbell rang.

I think there are parallels with your employees. They don’t always need to have a voice or decision-making power but, like everyone, they want to be a part of what is going on. It’s fine to set boundaries and limit their engagement but avoid excluding them entirely.

Think about ways you can give your staff more access to the action. Are there ways to provide opportunities to at least observe what is going on even if they don’t participate? Can you create a role that provides them first-hand exposure to what will be talked about tomorrow? Is there a way to capitalize on “new eyes” experiencing your event and learn from that feedback?

It’s ok to put up a gate but don’t leave them out altogether.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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