Now that many of us are coming back into their communities, folks are wondering how to be more socially engaged now. The quality of social interaction and the ability to control ‘fully engaged’ time is the promise for the future. Make it enjoyable and rewarding. To fully engage in renewing interactions with others, think about:

  • Individuals and their communities can re-evaluate previous resources into a creative space where no flawless solutions are presented. Think how our everyday world would be without WD-40. Norm Larsen originally designed it to repel water (water displacement) and prevent corrosion. Later it was found to have numerous households uses. Larsen was attempting to create a formula to prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles, by displacing standing water. Its name came from the first 39 formulas that were failures.
  • Communities should review the previous rules for eliminating distractions such as, distributing toys for tots or food to the needy. They often review the goals of the project before they begin the work at hand and reach agreement on how they will maintain concentration. Agreement can also include how emergencies or family incidents will be handled during the work period.
  • Working teams do not allow others to drain energy from their targeted goals. They recognize that collective negative moods can be ‘catching’; and they do not allow themselves to become passive victims of negative moods. Also, they do not participate in adversarial conversations. They know that dialogues such as these only cause others to become defensive, crushing further explorative processes.
  • It is not uncommon for teams to not hold back their emotional connectedness to any project. People become energized by the vital force each of them presents and what they will risk to realize final success.
  • Don’t hesitate to study past failures. With each failure teams gain priceless knowledge that will help them reassess what tools, delivery vehicles, or advisors that were not correct for the project in the past. Even the industry giant, Kraft Foods, is changing their powdered Kool-Aid mix to liquid form, keeping Kool-Aid as a viable contender in the marketplace. According to Paul J. H. Schoemaker, CEO of Decision Strategies International Inc., “People may fear failure, but they fear the consequences of it even more. The performance culture really is in deep conflict with the learning culture. It’s an unusual leader who can balance these.” Be that leader for your team.
  • Let yourself, and team leaders, listen, not just ‘hear’ the speculation in others. True listening gives others permission to question options, challenge opinions; and turn dilemmas into opportunities. When the fair practice of listening is in place, it is unsurprising that you will hear the heartfelt values of others.
How to be Fully Socially Engaged