For some engaging with others come natural and easy. For others its harder going. Using a model can make it easier and more effective when engaging with others whether customers, colleges, suppliers or other stakeholders.
The most effective model is the one that works for you. We have looked at business engagement models and summarised some core elements that lead to effective engagement for mutual benefit.
Consider this: Can you tell if someone approaches you who is not clear to themselves about who they are and why they want to speak to you?
The Personal Business Engagement Model
Most people can. And some people can also spot a hidden agenda or ulterior motive. So before starting any engagement ask yourself a few personal questions:
What is my intention when engaging?
Being clear about your own intentions will help you engage. At the same time try ask yourself what may be a positive outcome for the other person. How can you make the interaction positive and beneficial for them. Ask yourself what you have to give.
What is the purpose of the engagement (Their Purpose and Mine)?
In every interaction the parties are trying to establish a purpose. By focusing not just on your own purpose but also on the the other persons, you will be curious and in a learning mode from the outset. If you have predetermined your purpose and outcome, the other person will soon switch off.
Am I in a listening mindset?
Being open and ready to listen is easy if you are curious about what you will hear. One of the most effective ways to engage people is just to hear out where the other person is coming from. If you already know what will be said then you will not come across as listening.
Is the environment and setting appropriate?
The environment may be the space, too cramped, too noisy, too busy. it could be the setting, wrong time of day, wrong time of the week. If you want to engage effectively, consider when and where to start the interaction. Pick the opportunity when the person you want to engage with is most comfortable.
The Practical Business Engagement Model
Let the fun begin. When you interact with others and the outcome is important to you, here are a few practical things you can remind yourself to do:
Be clear what purpose you have. Be IT, let your behaviour communicate IT
Listen to all there is to hear, be accepting
Consider the wider environment, what filters does it bring?
Probe with empathy, respect and curiosity to validate your understanding
Wait until asked, then share your views
Learn first – Be curious, what is their purpose?
Engaging with others can be as easy or hard as you make it. To be effective at business engagement following a simple model can help raise your game. People will respond to these simple steps because they help maintain an open, curious and considerate state of mind through interactions with others.
Want to learn more about business engagement skills: