Okay, unless you have had your head in the sand for the past couple of years, you know that employee engagement is a major problem for today’s top leaders. You also know that engagement in the workplace is continuing to decrease; this problem is getting worse, not better. The experts in the field tell us that leaders need to create a stronger, better culture. That we, as leaders, need to do a better job of creating the type of environment that attracts the right talent and develops it, so that we can ultimately retain it. And while we do need to do a better job, that is really only half the battle. I mean why are we all sitting around waiting for someone else to inspire us and get us engaged? These are our lives, our careers. Why are we waiting on someone else? Why don’t we take the first steps and make the most of our opportunities?
For the past week I have been on a cycling trip in Spain, which was amazing in and of itself. The trip began and ended in Barcelona. Our last night in town, we headed out to see the Flamenco dancers before a late dinner. Now I had heard that these dancers were not to be missed, but I had no idea how profoundly they would impact me.
The Flamenco is an emotional dance, made up of three parts: the dancer (of course), the music, and the singer. Together they weave a beautiful and passionate dance that is so moving, that as an audience member you cannot help but to become invested, and to engage in the performance. I did not realize, until they shared the history, that while this dance has been around for centuries it is not a dance that is formally taught. Instead it is passed down through generations, each child eager to learn the story, the music, and the steps.
As I watched the dancers (signers, and musicians) perform, I was mesmerized by their energy and their expressions. They were so engaged with the dance and with each other. With each move they were taking responsibility to carry on tradition and adding to their culture, rather than waiting for someone else to create it for them.
So how does all of this apply to our daily lives? What do Flamenco dancers have to do with employee engagement? Well, a lot. There are three big lessons I learned while watching these men and women dance so passionately. I learned three big lessons that I want to adopt into my own life and career, and three big lessons I think you should adopt as well:
3 Wise Lessons Flamenco Dancers Can Teach You!
- Define Your Role – When you read the history of the Flamenco, it becomes crystal clear that this dance is not formally taught. Instead it is learned, with young people taking responsibility to learn and practice what they need to know so they can carry on this beautiful tradition. So why don’t we do that with our companies and our leaders? Why don’t we ask them where our company is headed, how we can get involved, and what our roles are? Next, we should ask what they need us to do to ensure that our company is successful and our customers are happy.
- Take Charge – While this is a traditional dance, the beauty of it is that the singers, the dancers, and the musicians infuse the dance with their own emotions and energy. In other words, they take the initiative to learn the dance, then they make it their own. Again, what are we waiting for? While our leaders can help us understand where our company is going, and what our role is, we need to take the steps and the responsibility to infuse our jobs with our own ideas and talents to take it another level.
- Support & Collaboration – The Flamenco is definitely a group effort, and you can’t help but be pulled into the beautiful support and connection among the dancers, the singers and the musicians. They understand the value each brings to the performance, and they intimately support one another’s part; allowing each partner the time to take center stage and celebrating one another’s time in the spotlight. A great lesson for all of us, the climb up any corporate ladder is far easier if you decide to go side-by-side with team members, and be more willing to invest in their success then you are even in your own.
So yes, maybe it would be nice if our leaders did a better job of creating cultures where we are all enticed to engage. But honestly why are we waiting for them? This is our life and our careers. Let’s follow the example of these passionate Flamenco dancers to take charge of your own career, take the initiative, and get engaged!
Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell, works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Click here for 3 Sure Fire Tips To Get Your Team To Instill Ownership At Every Level, To Get Profits At Every Turn! Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Winning In The Trust & Value Economy: a professionals guide to business and sales success. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail.http://meridithelliottpowell.com