Meet Brian. He is in his mid 40′s and walks very slowly with a cane. It takes time for him to do stuff, especially when he is working out at the local gym in North Vancouver. Brian had a serious stroke six years ago, so bad that his left arm does not have any functionality yet and his one leg moves at a much slower rate than the other.
Brian needs help from time to time to get set up on an exercise machine. The regulars are not so busy with their own routines that they miss what he is trying to do. They always interupt their programs and help him out. This week I overhead a burly man in his 60′s who is still playing rugby [I know because we chat every so often] walk up to Brian and say to him, “You’re my hero, keep it up.”
I noticed that Brian’s whole demeanor and body language seemed more energized. Then I heard him respond, “That’s awesome, that’s awesome, thank you so much”.
I’ve heard Brian say those words a few times as well when I’ve noticed him looking despondent and when I too have encouraged him.
I struck up a conversation with him this week as he was pulling a weight down with both hands, his good arm forcing his other arm to get with the program. He told me that he had a stroke six years ago and lay in hospital for a full year before he could go home and continue recovering. It hit me as Brian was speaking that his speech was less slurred and he was stringing longer sentences together. I told him what I was noticing.
Brian immediatley lit up and said, “That’s awesome, that’s awesome, thank you so much”.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that when we take the time to engage with someone and genuinely share our truth, we create a new destiny together. A motivational moment is energizing, inspirational and changes a destiny because it’s lifegiving.
My experience in the workplace suggests that those moments are far too sparse and most often never occur between leaders and their teams and between peers. What often happens is a far more costly exercise; people get sent on teambuilding exercises and workshops that last a few days and then reality sets in. An Authentic Culture of Engagement – the ACE in the organizational pack is never played. Playing your organization’s only ACE is counterintuitive, because it’s not high risk. It’s a very low cost exercise. The hidden cost is courage, yet the Return On Engagement [ROE] and productivity is immense.
Just to hear Brian say, “That’s awesome, that’s awesome, thank you so much,” is an inspiration for me. A motivational moment like this always returns, like a boomerang, and gives me a tremendous jolt as well.
We can achieve so much more in the workplace, get better results and increase our success and competitive advantage when we notice what’s going on around us with our colleagues and customers and act on it.
Conversations That Count is a compilation of stories of authentic interaction with peers, employees, colleagues and customers. When we get engaged, we get results - a real return on engagement.