Create Hope to Drive Engagement

Published on 2015-12-18

Source: Steve Rhodes @ Flickr
YOU ARE IN A POSITION TO INFLUENCE both positively and negatively. One such way of positivity affecting a team is through the use of ‘hope’. Hope is often seen as an abstract or an emotion that one feels – something that is invisible to others. But positive psychologists, Snyder and Allen, define hope as a dynamic and powerful pervasive cognitive process that can actually be observed.
Take my time as a manager for an IT company for example. Our CEO was able to provide us with a glimpse of what was to come for the company, and this was visible within the team. The hope he instilled in the management team enabled us to come up with practical and creative ideas on how we could improve our software and service for our clients and the end users. The talk was so inspiring that the management team actually spent the night and the next day in the office working on solutions and products. This is observable. An effective leader can really inspire their team with no money or promise of immediate promotions. All it took in our case was just a sincere and deep ‘pep talk’ with the management team.
For each of the teams, we were able to understand the bigger picture as to how each of our teams could support and develop to meet these goals. This enabled our team to get ISO certified for each of the departments in the company, resulting in creating a positive focus within the company and creating stringent requirements which we believe assisted us to hire great team members that were hard working and loyal. In short, hope created better performance.
Dr. Shane J. Lopez, Senior Scientist at Gallup, leading researcher on hope agrees that hope is critical to a team’s morale. In his book, ‘Making Hope Happen’, Lopez says, “By emphasising hope, we can improve our teams productivity, happiness, health and reduce absenteeism in the workplace. Deborah Mills-Scofield, concurs. In her Harvard Business Review blog titled, ‘Hope Is a Strategy (Well, Sort Of)’, Mills-Scofield clearly articulates, “Hope is a critical part of achieving a strategy when based on what is possible; perhaps not highly probable, but possible.”
So as you can see, without hope, a leader is seriously handicapped in motivating their team, building synergies and reaching their goals. So, what hopes do you have for your team in 2016? And how can we help?

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