You are a dedicated supervisor, and you take the time to engage in conversation with your people on a regular basis. Great job! Yet you may not be having the right kind of discussions – the ones that build employee engagement.

Kristi Hedges, who wrote Four Conversations That Boost Employee Engagement for Forbes.com, says you should focus on the right repartee that builds connections, encourages positive behaviors and boosts enthusiasm. These four types are:

Open conversation. Expansive, perspective-widening talks that aren’t directed by you will unleash creativity, generate bold ideas and show that you’re keenly interested in what the other person is saying.

Potential conversation. Be specific about the strengths you see and how you believe the direct report can contribute in the future. People will rise to the occasion and even outmatch your expectations.

Energy conversation. Energy is a limited resource for everyone. Note the person’s energy level, acknowledging when it’s high and discussing ways to build energy when it’s flagging. This will help your direct report keep an even keel and do the right type of self-care required for ongoing commitment.

Purpose conversation. These interchanges focus on connecting their work to something that is meaningful to them. Hedges says that this type of dialogue helps the employee gain perspective on their work and honors them as human beings who want to do something that matters.

Transform your “how’s it going?” into engaging conversation by setting a goal to have one of these types of conversations with a different person each week.

Want to amp up your conversations? Or have a tried-and-true method for engaging with your people? Comment below or message us.


Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash.