Finding the door

One early morning, I met up with a group of colleagues at a coffee shop and I couldn’t find the door to go inside.

I could see the people inside. I saw many closed doors. I just couldn’t find the one that I was supposed to open.

This is perhaps similar to how some managers feel when they struggle to access their staff emotionally and intellectually. They can see the connections happening inside their team’s circle but they just don’t seem to find the right words or the right connectors to find the door that will open up engagement.

How did I get inside the coffee shop? I made eye contact with my colleagues inside and then started to make hand and shoulder gestures to indicate that I needed help. One colleague inside made a’push gesture’, but I still didn’t get it. Then he got up and as he approached the door, I figured it out and found the opening .

As a manager:

How are you signalling to your staff that you want to ‘come inside’ their circle?

Are you searching for a way in or just standing outside?

Who is ‘getting up’ and approaching you to bring you inside? Are you noticing the effort your team is making?

Be bold…find the door and push it open.