16 | The Jewelry Business Magazine If you are the leader of the team, in order to have a team that is engaged, YOU have to be in the engagement business. This requires identifying that your team is your FIRST customer. How are you engaging them? Even if you are not the leader, this requirement is still the same: The team is your FIRST customer. How are you engaging the other members of the team, including the leader? Consider this—the simple way that you are communicating with your individual team members may be a cause of their disengagement. Understanding WHO is on your team and being able to speak, direct, create, invite, and share in a manner that is specific to that person may be the one thing that flips that switch from disengaged to engaged. Ask yourself these questions to help identify if this could be a part of your team’s disengagement: • Do you get frustrated when your staff or team mate doesn’t take initiative, and has to be led or directed with specific instructions? • Do you find that your communications are met with defensiveness or negativity? • Do you hesitate to even talk to a specific person on your team because you KNOW it’s not going to be received well, and they will find a way to argue or disagree with you? • Are certain people on your team unwilling to interact, and just want to be left alone, with their head down doing tasks? You may be making a basic mistake when dealing with your team and applying a ‘one-size fits all’ approach—expecting everyone to be like you. People are complicated. In their Everything DiSC® assessment tool, Wiley identifies four quadrants that personalities fall into. Learning to communicate across lines can solve a LOT of problems in the workplace. People vary on two general spectrums: the speed at which they operate (action versus stability) and the interactions that they prefer (independent challenge or collaboration). No one style is better than another. They are simply different. Awareness of these differences allows the members of a team to capitalize on the strengths of the individuals. It also minimizes the perceptions that may be leading to disengagement. Think: “So and so doesn’t like me, and I can’t seem to do anything right”. This may be as simple as a person with a strong D style (fast paced, action oriented, results driven) not recognizing that the person with a strong S style (collaborative, harmony seeking, cautious) needs to be reinforced and communicated with in a less directive or blunt way. Learning to communicate more effectively with others on your team may result in their being more engaged. How much better would YOU operate if others were able to communicate with YOU more appropriately? While there are many reasons for disengagement, more often than not it comes down to how valuable the person feels. If they feel useless, powerless, disrespected or demeaned in any way, engagement falls. While you have no control over how another person chooses to act, you certainly have control over how YOU act. Understand that you may not have all the information necessary to impact your team members in the best way. Consider that they may have a different style than yours and drive engagement. If you are the leader, consider what actions you have taken to drive engagement. In the end however, the ultimate questions must be asked: If a team member falls into the disengaged category, how much are they costing your business? Is it time to get rid of the disease that is infecting your team? If you are the team member, with the holiday season looming large, ask yourself, am I in the dis-engagement business, or the engagement business? Check your attitude. Take ownership of your behaviors and make a choice to engage yourself, your team mates, and your customers! Drive business results, rather than driving business away. Susan Arlin Susan Arlin is a staff and leadership development specialist in the jewelry industry. With over 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Behavior, her specialty lies in developing groups of individuals into high-performance teams. Her company, Brilliant Performance Group, LLC™ https://www. brilliantgrp.com is dedicated maximizing the return from your most important asset—your team. To contact Susan directly to discuss how your team can improve, email her at email@example.com. ARE YOU IN THE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR TEAM DIS-ENGAGEMENT BUSINESS?