BK Blog Post
Posted by Julie Winkle Giulioni, Learning Strategist/Author/Speaker, DesignArounds.
Learning strategist, speaker and author of the Amazon bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.
In the 1980s, MBWA was the rage. It involved the radical notion that leaders could drive better results by stepping out of their offices and engaging with employees and the work flow in a less formal, more impromptu fashion. “Management by walking around” changed the cadence of business — in large part through greater leadership involvement and presence.
Fast forward three decades, and just “being there” has become table stakes. Now leaders must really leverage those moments with others, and the most natural and effective tool for accomplishing this is conversation.
A quick Amazon search reveals that thousands of books are published each year on the subject, teaching readers how to engage in conversations that span from crucial to courageous, passionate to powerful, fierce to focused, and authentic to action-oriented. Advice focuses on the importance of small talk and big ideas, listening and messaging, as well as on the art and science of the act.
Conversation, in its range of flavors and forms, is recognized as a powerful feature of the business landscape. But the value of talk goes beyond the words and information transmitted. The investment of even a few moments in conversation conveys messages about respect, importance, and value — messages that can have far-reaching implications for people and the business.
The obvious, first-level benefits of management by talking around, or MBTA, are greater understanding and learning that flows in two directions — from leaders to employees and from employees to leaders. Current data. Better insights. Improved context.
But these fundamental business outcomes are just the beginning and act as a trigger for subtler but equally powerful human outcomes. Connection and cohesion. Trust. Engagement. Culture building. Loyalty and commitment. Alignment. Reflection and action. Development.
Small conversational moments can yield disproportionate results for leaders who know how to leverage them. Four tips can help optimize your MBTA effort:
When you think about it, all successful deals, solutions, improvements, results and business begin with conversation. Conversation is the currency of business. Spend it generously and regularly and you’ll likely realize an unbeatable return on your investment.
What about you? How valuable is conversation in your organization? How can leaders do a better job of managing by talking around?
Image courtesy of Boykung at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This post originally appeared at SmartBrief.com.