Yes or No?

A few weeks ago, at Conscious Capitalism 2015, I had the opportunity to meet Tony Schwartz, founder and CEO of The Energy Project. Tony is an author whose books include The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance. He also writes a regular column for The New York Times called “Life@Work.”

I first read one of Tony’s columns a few weeks ago, when he wrote about energizing your team members. His writing reflected much of what Barry-Wehmiller believes about offering our team members meaningful work within a caring environment. “What companies really need to measureAre you a leader who starts with no or yes? Click To Tweet is not how engaged their employees are, but rather how consistently energized they feel,” he said. “That means focusing not just on inspiring them and giving them opportunities to truly add value in the world, but also on caring for them and providing sufficient time to rest and refuel.”

Tony recently wrote another column that resonated with our core beliefs. In this installment, “Starting With Yes,” he talks about creating an environment of positivity to encourage the people you lead and to help them unleash their full potential.

“When a leader starts with ‘no,’ he shuts down others,” Tony writes. “At an emotional level, the word ‘no’ translates as ‘I don’t value what you’re saying,’ and ‘I don’t trust you.’ Fear, anger or resignation set in, all of which kill creativity, increase distrust and discourage engagement.”

As leaders, we want the lives in our care to feel valued. We need to create environments in which they can flourish. That means listening to them, giving them the responsible freedom to make decisions and believing in them.

Are you a leader who starts with no or yes? Read Tony’s article and think about it.

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $2+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 11,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.

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