Picture this: it's Monday morning, and you're shuffling into the office after a fantastic weekend. You're barely awake, clutching your coffee, and desperately trying to remember what you do for a living. Suddenly, you hear it - the overly enthusiastic and inauthentic, "Good morning! How was your weekend?" from your manager.
Ah, yes, the art of fake engagement. It's an epidemic in offices across the globe, and it's time to address the (awkwardly grinning) elephant in the room. Let's dive into the world of ridiculous managers and leaders and uncover the best practices to build authentic relationships, rapport, and engagement.
1. The Mandatory Fun Club We've all been there - the dreaded team-building exercise. Managers think that forcing employees to participate in icebreakers or group activities will foster camaraderie, but it often ends up feeling like a scene from "The Office." To avoid the awkwardness, consider hosting voluntary social events or offering genuine opportunities for employees to bond - like a simple Friday happy hour.
2. The Emoji Overload In an attempt to connect with the younger workforce, some managers have embraced the emoji as their primary form of communication. But be warned: there's a fine line between using emojis to add a touch of personality and turning your work messages into a tween's text conversation. Embrace the power of words and use emojis sparingly for maximum impact.
3. The "Open Door" Policy The classic "open door" policy, where managers insist their door is always open for employees to share their thoughts and concerns, can sometimes come across as insincere. Instead of making grand gestures, create an environment that fosters open communication by actively soliciting feedback and encouraging dialogue in regular one-on-ones and team meetings.
4. The Buzzword Bonanza Some managers love to throw around buzzwords like "synergy" and "disruptive innovation" in an effort to sound cutting-edge. But let's be real: nobody knows what those words actually mean. Keep it simple, communicate clearly, and save the jargon for your next game of buzzword bingo.
5. The "Tell Me Your Whole Life Story" Approach There's nothing quite as cringe-worthy as a manager trying to force personal connections by asking invasive questions. Instead of interrogating employees about their life outside of work, focus on building rapport through shared experiences and common interests. And remember: it's okay to keep some boundaries between work and personal life.
6. The "I'm One of You" Charade Leaders who attempt to prove they're just like their employees by engaging in excessive small talk or oversharing personal details can come across as disingenuous. It's important to remember that you don't have to be everyone's best friend. Focus on being a supportive, approachable leader who is genuinely interested in the well-being and success of their team.
Let's face it, the key to fostering authentic relationships, rapport, and engagement in the workplace is to keep it real. Ditch the gimmicks and focus on creating an environment that values open communication, mutual respect, and genuine connections. After all, nobody wants to work for a manager who's more Michael Scott than Michelle Obama.
Now, go forth and engage - but, you know, authentically. 😉
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.