Are You Hands On?

“Can I help Dad?”  said Luca, my fourteen year old son.  I was just about to mow the lawn when he noticed what I was up to.  As we worked together with the weed trimmer and mower I noticed a big smile across my son’s face.  We were spending time together in a “hands on” project.  It was food for the soul.

So often people get too busy that they do not take this time to share an experience with their kids, family or loved ones.  We get so caught up in other activities that we forget how important these moments are.

And it is not just at home.  In the workplace we need to create meaningful ‘hands on’ touch-points that bring people together.  I recently worked with a client in the government sector that is currently going through a structural change.  Rather than going behind closed doors to map out the future framework and structure, the Director of the division invited all of his staff to participate in a series of workshops to share their ideas on the way forward.  

Rather than talk ‘at them’, the group were asked to get ‘hands on’.  Their ideas were captured and they ranked them to identify which were the most important areas to be further clarified and explored to move the organisation forward.  At the end of the sessions, the feedback was extremely positive (whereas before there was a lot of discussion, fear and concern).  More importantly the group was engaged in the process and the culture was strengthened because people had a chance to be involved.

There are a number of ways to increase your ‘hands on’ touch-points:

  1. Make Time.  One of the best strategies is to schedule time to be ‘hands on’ with others.  This can be a scheduled appointment learning a new skill with someone else, a brainstorming strategy session or a fun relationship building activity that allows everyone to get involved. Or you could go together to the Future of Leadership 1 Day Conference and learn together.  Click here for more info.
  2. Take Time.  Look for the opportunities to check in with people ‘on the fly’.  This is not having scheduled time, however it’s about taking moments in time to reconnect with others.  It could be participating in their meeting, having a hallway conversation to get them involved with something or creating a reversal teaching moment where you get them to teach you something. 
  3. Thank Time.  Everyone knows that giving others recognition can go a long way.  One of the biggest challenges I hear is that managers are so busy that they forget to thank people.  It may be for the effort that they put in or the extra hours that they came in early to help ensure a project deadline was met.  By thanking them and giving them little surprises (or gifts) you can increase your relationship and make the bond between you even stronger.  

Review your last week.  Did you create ‘hands on’ touch-points with others?  Did you actively find a way to connect with them in a meaningful way where both of you had a sense of achievement? 

If you would like to find out how I run my hand on interactive Compression Planning sessions for teams, click here.   And don’t forget to make this happen at home.