The Key to Engaging Your Co-Workers

By Myriam Callegarin • May 16th, 2013

Why should your co-workers do what you ask them to do? Of course, you could expect them to do it simply because you are the boss. Or because your project is so important, and you assume that everyone sees it that way. Or because you ask so nicely, and think that no one can resist. How often have people said ‘yes’, but in the end did things half-heartedly, or not at all?

In this blog post you will learn:

  1. Why people do what they do
  2. The key to getting what you want from your co-workers
  3. How to turn theory into practice

1. Why people do what they

People do things for their own reasons, not your reasons. Think about it: whenever you do something, you do it primarily because it matters to you, either out of fear, or because you get something in return that is pleasant or valuable to you – even if it is just a smile.The same applies to your team members, your colleagues or your boss. The challenge arises when you want something that matters to you that, however, is insignificant to them.

So how do you go about it?

2. The key to getting what you want from your co-workers

The key to influencing people is to connect what you want with interests, reasons, values, beliefs and commitments that matter to him or her.

For example, if you want your colleague to join you for Thai food, and only talk about your craving for Thai food, you may end up eating alone. However, if you talk about things that matter to her, such as her passion for trying something new, her love for spicy food, or her desire to leave the office, you have much better chances of influencing her to join you.

Think about yourself. Do you remember a time in which you were enthusiastic about a project? Do you remember the energy and passion you felt for it? I bet you had no troubles motivating yourself to work on it. Well, the same applies to your staff. The more you connect the work of your team members to their passions, their goals and aspirations, the more likely you will be to engage them.

3. How to turn theory into practice

Understanding the other person is key. That’s why taking the time to get to know and understand the people you work with is so important. This is even more critical when you work with people from unfamiliar cultures: their beliefs, work habits, and sometimes even their work ethics may collide with your own beliefs and values, making it even more difficult for you to influence and engage them.

What makes YOU feel engaged in your work? When was the last time you took time to understand your reports, a colleague, or your boss? How did that help you?

If this blog post has helped you, please share your thoughts and comments below. Thank you!

P.S. Are you an Expat Executive or a Global Business Leader?

You can find a complete step-by-step process for engaging the global stakeholders who are key to your success in ‘The Insider’s Guide for Expat Executives’. Get your free copy here.

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A must read article for all those who need peaceful relationship in the work place.

Thank you Fasil!
Best regards from Italy,

Hello Myriam,

Excellent suggestions for people that are leading sales organizations. As a manager or team leader, we have to constantly be contemplating how we can engage people and find what will motivate people to be more productive in their business.

I have learned much from reading your blog posts and interacting with you on the internet!

Thank you for your positive feedback, I’m happy to learn that my work has been adding value to you!
All the best and keep up the great work,


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