Join Charlene Li for an in-depth discussion in this video Engagement best practices - put controls in place, part of Charlene Li on Digital Leadership.
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- A concern that you may have about engagement is that you're gonna be out of control. After all, you may begin a dialog with somebody, but you have no idea what the other person is going to say. And for you in particular becoming a leader in this digital space, that can be very disconcerting. A very insecure place to be. Well, there are a couple best practices that I would suggest to create some more structure for you to be able to enter into this space, so that you can make sure that the engagements that you have, especially early on, are ones that really help you advance as a leader.
The first best practice I would say is to set expectations around the type of engagement you want to have. There could be a leader like David Thodey, the CEO of Telstra, who is a natural, outgoing, gregarious person would wants to get right into the thick of things, get his hands dirty, listen to everybody, and engage with whoever he can, but you may also be someone very different. You could be like Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM. And where she is going to be much more reserved in terms of where and when and she was going to choose when she engages.
Or you could be somebody like Bruce Broussard, the CEO of Humana, who is somewhere in between, who wants to engage with people on very large scales through these large events and Q and A that happens, and also in the back end through some poignant conversations in discussion groups. Whichever way it is you have to figure out how you want to engage, the places and ways that you want to be able to engage and meet those expectations that you have set for yourself.
The second thing you can do is to set limits. Be very clear about what you will and won't do and to actually write it down. Write it down into a playbook that has the topics, the venues, and the time frames of when you will engage with people. And then be very clear to share that playbook with your team. Whoever it is that you're working with to support you. And that playbook becomes a way for you to understand what you will do and won't do, and clearly communicate it to the people who may be working with you.
A third area is to figure out when you can bring other people in and to delegate. David Thodey, who I mentioned before, has a communications team, but he only publishes when he is ready to and he's the only person who can push that send button and publish button. Other people may be available to write out the words, but the point of view, the tone, the content, really needs to be set by you as that leader. Other people may be able to put words to those ideas and you may be able to leave the mechanics to somebody else, but the only person who can set that leadership agenda is you.
And so be very clear about what that tone is going to be, what the topics are going to be, and be able and willing to let other people come in to help you with that process. And then finally, I think the best and most important best practice is to ask yourself again what kind of relationship do you want? What are the outcomes you want to achieve? And importantly, how can delegation help or hurt your ability to achieve those results and those kinds of relationships? You can imagine that if the way that you can truly authentic is if you feel like you have put your voice and your energy into a particular video, a photo, or a post.
And that if you let somebody else do that it just wouldn't be authentically you. Other times you may feel like, look, this is the best way that we can scale that engagement, because we want to be able reach more people, more frequently with the type of engagement that can be only possible if a team stands behind it. So there's no right answer in terms of when you need to bring in help, when you can delegate, and again, you have to be able to let that type of relationship, the relationship you want to create guide you in that decision.
In this course, she explains the three steps for extending leadership into the digital space: listening, sharing, and engaging. With her tips, you can transform your professional relationships with employees, peers, and influencers. At the end of each chapter, she provides a list of questions to help you get started on your next step.
- Listening at scale
- Scanning your environment
- Choosing the right type of engagement
- Cultivating followers