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As a young leader, I spent many hours waiting for my yearly employee engagement survey results.

What were the scores?
Were they above average or better than last year?
Did I hit the mark as a leader?
Were people happy to work in my teams?

These thoughts inhabited me, and although all valid concerns, they were all about meand not focused on truly understanding the needs of my team.It was like waiting for my yearly report card and instead of inspiring curiosity and concern it created performance angst and a mindset focused on holes, gaps and things that needed to be “fixed”.

This type of thinking creates an environment where employees do not feel encouraged to be open and honest in fear that their leaders will come back and ask for explanations. Open dialogue and curiosity go out the window and what is truly important to the team is never uncovered.

What if we were to adopt a growth mindset in using engagement survey data?

What I later learned with experience and solidified with my coaching practice, is that the yearly engagement survey scores are NOT a report card and should NOT be feared. In fact, using Carol S. Dwecks’ work on mindsets, if we adopt a growth mindset we can see the scores as an opportunity to learn, keeping us on a path of improvement, moving away from the fixed mindset that keeps us centered on fixing problems.  Through questioning, curiosity allows for creativity and enhanced ability to spot root causes and make good use of the wealth of information the survey provides.

If we were to jump to questions (and not conclusions), as proposed by our Guest Coach Blogger Jeff Smith, Founder & CEO of SupportingLinesTM, we can move away from performance angst and make the digging deeper process one of true collaboration. This learning and moving forward approach requires courage as it is not the habitual reaction of many leaders but from it will stem stronger leaders and solid teams.

Coaches, I ask you…

The next time a client comes into your individual session with an employee engagement issue to “FIX”, how can your approach help create awareness of the opportunities available instead of the problem to fix?

To learn more about Connie Pacifico or to book a session with her, please click here.