IF YOU want to be a more effective frontline leader, then you need to develop your “E factor”. The E stands for engaging. We know from research by the Gallup Organisation and others that the best leaders are those people who can engage their team members.

In other words, they can get them to willingly bring not only their hands and their heads to work but also their hearts — so they care about what they do.

So how do you engage people? Well, there are certain characteristics that have been recognised as essential to engagement. Everyone gives them slightly different names to make it easier for frontline leaders to remember them, I have come up with 10 words all starting with E to define them.

Now each of these E factors on their own are important but when you combine them together they can have an amazing impact on the performance of your team:




Engaging leaders show passion for their team through their energetic style, lifting the spirits of everyone around them.




By always asking questions and wanting to know what is going on, the engaging leader helps to analyse situations and make people think.




Engaging leaders strive to understand themselves and others. They seek to be enlightened on the needs of others, which helps them grow into better leaders.




While the engaging leader knows everyone likes to be treated differently, he also knows that everyone wants to be treated fairly.




Rather than simply give instructions, engaging leaders see their role as helping other people to reach their potential. They do this by enabling them to use their strengths and giving them opportunities to grow.




Patience is a virtue the engaging leader has mastered. He knows the best results come from consistent effort.




Engaging leaders are always looking for new ideas. They enjoy exploring their world and other worlds to learn about better ways of doing things.




Helping his team to learn and grow is a goal of the engaging leader. He likes to educate people in a way that is respectful and encouraging.




The engaging leader is someone who seeks to act without ego, knowing this is the way to true engagement.




The engaging leader realises the key to creating a confident team is clear communication. He is able to express his ideas effectively in all situations.


So how do you rate against the 10 E factors? If you naturally do some of these things, then congratulations. If not, what could you be doing this week to work on improving in just one area?

Even a small change to your behaviour can result in a large change to the behaviour of your team. I believe if every frontline leader worked on his E factor, the organisation would be a much better place to work.


Article by Karen Schmidt, an award-winning speaker, workshop leader and facilitator with Training Edge International. She helps frontline managers grow into frontline leaders using her workplace gardening philosophy. For more information, e-mail karen.schmidt@trainingedgeasia.com or visit www.trainingedgeasia.com