by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen TipsheetTagged as: Diversity, Engagement
There is no question that people think differently from each other. Proof points abound: people wear different clothes, choose different hairstyles, hold different jobs, and prefer different foods. And whenever we write a report, make a presentation, or write a blog post, we often feel challenged by people who voice different opinions. People think differently.
Some companies are so concerned about this, that they turn off the ability for others to post comments, “vote” on the post quality, or interact in any way.
Typically, this (relatively cowardly) attitude is a result of past momentum, where a command-and-control authority would proclaim, and all others would scurry to comply. Or it is a result of stiff corporate communication policies that seek to foster “group think” under the guise of standard corporate messaging. Allowing different thinking opens the possibility for respectful, constructive, and open debate. And this results in a more refined – and creative – end result. More importantly, it results in engagement.
Choose an engagement that is most important to you: employee engagement, customer engagement, volunteer engagement, or donor engagement. Then find a way to open up the debate on something that matters to them. Not only will you learn something through the exchange, but you’ll eventually prove that engagement delivers results.
Postscript: If I feel so strongly about this, then why have I turned off comments on this blog post? The sad state of affairs is that despite using great filtering technology, I still receive 100+ “spam” comments, vs 2-3 “real” comments. And I also get a ton of emails from interested readers on each post. I have no idea why people have preferred to email me their feedback and ideas, rather than posting them, but they do. So I made the decision to use my finite time to reply to each individual email, than wading through 100+ spam posts looking for the 2-3 comments: I turned off the ability to comment. I may eventually change this approach, but since I don’t outsource “content” to a team – I do it all personally – it was a simple question of resource constraints.
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