Engagement is the state of being engaged. To engage is to hold attention and induce participation. Too often, we think of engaging as garnering attention without real participation. Participation is the act of participating… and participating is the taking part in something; the place of meeting.
Most recently, I shared on Clarity on Purpose. In it, and among other things, I offered “Purpose resonates in our cells when it is activated. We feel more than “good”. We feel filled; fulfilled.” I would suggest that there is a purpose to engagement and engaging and that we know when we truly feel engaged.
Engagement, the noun, only serves to encapsulate the sum total action of engaging. Calling ourselves engaging means nothing. People will know whether they feel engaged or not. Calling a process that calls for formal submissions for consideration is not engaging… it is soliciting. Getting people in a room in person or online and having real dialogue, conversation and exchange; this is engaging.
As Dale Carnegie once said … becoming genuinely interested in other people is engaging. We often forget the genuine part. Going through the motions is not genuine. Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s is not genuine. True engaging is sincere.
Sincerity is foundational to the real engage; the epic engage, if you will. It is why we chose the name, truthfully. It builds Trust and Trustworthiness… two priceless assets upon which to build real, constructive and even patient consultation and change. And, it seeks out the diversity of perspectives to find the most wise decisions.
Let me ask a question, if I may. In your experience, which of these 118 strengths of character do you believe are also necessary to foster genuine engagement. Which of these is necessary for a culture of engaging that is real and meaningful?
Let’s call it. Engagement and engaging are words that are tossed around almost lightly these days. Still, each of us knows when we truly feel engaged. What are the virtues of such?
What do they look like in practice?
If we are to sincerely engage, we must find ways that move beyond process and protocol. Structure is important, but a genuine interest and energy and spirit is vital. Without it, we are going through those motions at home, school, work, business and community; such a waste of time, energy and capacity. To find our best solutions we need to engage all at the table, and it had better be real.
Imagine a problem that needs us all at the table… all the key participants… in a classroom, at work, or in a community. Imagine the character of true engagement. Name the virtues. Claim them. Own them. Enact them. Manifest them into practice. Therein we find our best critical thinking, cooperative consultation and effective problem solving.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln