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A Better Engagement

by Randall Craig on July 28, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: ,

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.  Yet, whenever we write a report, make a presentation, or write a blog post, we often feel challenged by people who voice different opinions.  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.

This week’s action plan:  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.

Post Script:  While Social Media is an obvious candidate as a venue for exploration and debate, opportunities to engage are often most effective in the real world:  team meetings, one-on-ones, lunch-and-learns, etc.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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