How To Engage With Others

What is your responsibility? YOU. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have everything you need to get a job done.

If you need tools, get them. If you need information, find it, or ask someone. Do not wait for tools and information to just come to you, and then blame others for not getting them. That is the act of a disengaged leader, not a highly effective leader.

Taking ownership of the team, and the results that the team produce is what a highly effective leader does. He/she will engage with others in the team, and be engaged enough to go the extra mile. In other words, they do more than the expectations of their boss, or the expectations of the organisation.

A highly effective leader will not rely on anybody else, either within their team, or from outside their team to take responsibility for the team’s results. If they did, they would not be highly effective.

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A highly effective leader will always share the information they have that the team need. They will not guard it, or wait for one of their teammates to come and ask them for it. They are engaged enough to know what the team needs, and then will engage with the team by providing what the team needs before they need it.

If a highly effective leader needs information themselves, they will engage with the people who have this information and ask them for it. They will not wait for someone to approach them to give them the information, and most of all they will not blame others for not providing the information they require.

A highly effective leader is very deliberate when seeking out information, and by engaging with the right people, they will get what they need.

1. What Is Your Level Of Engagement Right Now?

In the team you are currently in, who are the most engaged teammates? What level of engagement do you have with your teammates, and your organisation? If your leader had a team of highly effective, fully engaged leaders, imagine what you could achieve.

When a low performing leader has information that their team needs, they like to hold onto it and guard it. They do this because they think that by providing others with information that will help the team, will actually help others get ahead of them. It is a very paranoid mindset that they have in these cases.

Even if a teammate asks them for this information, it will be a strain for them to give it to them. However, when a low performing leader needs information that will help them, they expect a teammate to approach them to give it to them. They will not seek out the information for themselves.

By doing this, it gives them an excuse to blame others for not providing them with the information they required. They think by blaming others, it takes the bad light off them and onto the team. When actually, most people can see through their excuses. This is an extremely disengaged attitude of a low performing leader.

I have first-hand experience of being part of teams and leading teams of how disengaged teammates behave.

For example, you will hear low performing leaders saying things like, “Nobody told me, so how am I supposed to know?” “Didn’t you know that I needed to know that?” “You should have told me earlier, not today.” “I’m sorry, but that’s not my responsibility.”

You have probably heard similar statements to these yourself. You may have said these yourself. I know I used to say them before I started to work on myself.

2. Do You Go The Extra Mile?

One thing I have realised over the years, especially in the engineering industry, is that people are very reluctant to go the extra mile unless they are paid to. I have worked in engineering teams that worked shifts. By working shifts, it meant you would get paid overtime if you did extra hours.

So, whenever we were asked to stay on extra hours, we would gladly do it because we got paid time and a half, or sometimes double time. However, when we were taken off shift, and moved to just salary based, it meant there was no more overtime.

So, whenever we were asked to do extra hours, we ALWAYS said, “No way” because we were not being paid for it. That is a low performing team, and an extremely disengaged team.

If you hear one of your teammates say things like, “I’m only here to get paid.” Or, “I’m not doing that, it’s not my job or in my job description.” Then you will know they are low performing leaders, and are disengaged with what the team is trying to achieve.

It’s very sad to hear people who are on your team say things like that. They are basically admitting that they are happy to stand back and let the rest of the team do the tasks that they know they can perform.

They are admitting that they don’t care if the team achieves good results or not. They do not care about anybody else but themselves. Are you OK with having people like that on your team?

I ask that question because I am not OK with people on my team behaving this way. By being disengaged with the team, and what the organisation is trying to achieve, they are not helping anyone. Especially themselves. A low performing leader is never going to be offered any new opportunities, pay rises, or job promotions.

They actually think the reason they are not being offered these things is because of other people. So they blame others for their own shortcomings, which is completely wrong. The fact that they are still in their job after a number of years of behaving in such a way is a miracle in my eyes.

3. Do You Know Your Responsibilities?

As a highly effective leader it is your responsibility try to help the disengaged become more engaged into what the team is trying to achieve, why the team is trying to achieve it, and ultimately what the organisation is trying to achieve.

So, how do you do that? Well, we must try to understand why the disengaged person feels and behaves in such a way. What is it that is driving them to be like that? Why are they not engaging like we are as highly effective leaders?

Sit down with them and have that conversation with them. As a highly effective leader, you are a leader, so it is your job to listen to the person to understand what it is. Then react to what you now understand with some actions that you are going to take to help them.

Remember, it is about HELPING them to become more engaged. That could be taking them under your wing, and leading by example. Explaining why you are an engaged person, and why you want to achieve great results. Doing whatever we can to help them change their attitude.

4. What Happens When You Help Engagement?

I was once a disengaged person, and I used to blame anyone but myself for things that didn’t happen in my life, not only at work either. I was focussed on blame, and I did not take ownership for anything. I actually believed that anything negative that happened in my life was someone else’s fault.

That was until I started working on myself every day, and took ownership for my life. After all it is MY LIFE. That is what a low performing and disengaged leader needs to realise. And we need to help them realise that, and then offer more help so that they can become engaged.

I received help from my teammates and also my mentor Ron who you now know about. This is your opportunity to do the same with any negative, or disengaged people you know or work with.

When you can help a person to become more engaged, you will start to see differences in that person. They will stop blaming others, especially teammates. But, most of all, they will become more of a positive person, and will try to help others to become more engaged.

It is a snowball effect, and it is very addictive. I say that because when you see the differences in the person you have helped, you want to do it again and again.

Being a positive, highly effective leader is how it starts. Turning a negative attitude into a positive attitude is how it begins with becoming more engaged. If you can do that first, the rest is easy.

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When you help a person change, just watch to see how much they want to change things for the better. The person who would gladly stand back and watch the rest of the team do the work, is now on the front lines trying to be involved in everything.

The person who would not go the extra mile because they were not getting paid, is now going miles and miles whether they get paid or not.

The feeling when you see that change in a person because of your help is amazing. Do you want that feeling, and do want to see that change in your team?

A highly effective leader is a very productive person. Productive people are looked upon as leaders. How productive are you? Would you consider yourself a leader?

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

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All the best,

Tom (Lead, Grow, Influence)

20 thoughts on “How To Engage With Others

    1. Hi Mariella,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words.

      It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  1. Excellent article It blows up my mind. Sometimes I am this kind of disengaged person. I like to blame others just to make myself that my boss be proud of. But upon reading this my mind blows up. I am ashamed to myself i learned that this kind of attitude does not help to the team at all.

    Thank you for this amazing article. This not only helped me but for a lot of people.
    Worth sharing article.


    1. Hi Jerry,

      Thank you for your comment and thank you for being so honest. I’m really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      It must have been tough to read the article and realise that you’re attitude could have been better. I was exactly the same a number of years ago.

      Keep reading more articles, keep learning and put into action what you are learning.

      All the best,


  2. I don’t have much experience with leadership roles, but my last job that I had the management had the bad habit of trying to pawn their work onto the people they were managing while they went to lunch or took a break. That was the thing that got me kind of deflated because once I did what they asked they took the credit for what I did while I put my normal work off to the side to get theirs done. I learned my lesson that I have to be careful of what I say yes to because I never even got over time for it.

    1. Hi Tony,

      Thank you for your comment and thank you for sharing your story.

      If your boss is palming off his/her work on to you because they can’t be bothered, and are not even considering your other work then that is not leadership at all. They are just abusing their power and not even thinking about you, let a lone putting you first.

      I would definitely consider saying no next time and see how they react. If they react negatively then I would consider looking elsewhere. I know that sounds blunt, but if you are getting stressed over it then you cannot live like that.

      If you need any help or further advice then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,


  3. This is a fantastic article about leadership. Yes, I do agree that a responsible leader always takes the extra mile whether or not he/she gets paid. And, this is exactly what our present society needs.

    Just imagine how organized and auspicious our society would be if more such leaders are produced!

    Remember, when you’ve helped someone, there’s always a good vibe running down through you and there’s no greater happiness than the feeling of such a little virtue offered in charity.

    And I’m glad to tell you that you’ve gone the extra mile in depicting the qualities of a highly effective leader step by step.

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    1. Hi Phomrong,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. It feels amazing that you found the article valuable, and you believe in the principles.

      You are right, with a lot more highly effective leaders in the world, I can imagine a much stronger society. That is the kind of world I want to build. that is my cause for starting this site.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  4. What you are saying makes sense Tom. If you’re not engaged with your employees then they are not going be engaged with you or their job. You can’t be a leader if your employees aren’t engaged. If you’re not willing to go the extra mile then they are definitely not going to go the extra mile either. Thanks for sharing this valid points.

    1. Hi Justin,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you found the article valuable.

      You’re right, there is no way that our team will go the extra mile if we don’t go the extra mile first.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  5. Hi Tom,
    What an inspiring article! You really have convincing writing. Anybody who starts reading it will love to continue reading until the end. I really learned a lot of your pieces of advice. Everyone needs this information because it will help him to be successful in his work.
    I really liked what you said here: Being a positive, highly effective leader is how it starts. Turning a negative attitude into a positive attitude is how it begins with becoming more engaged. If you can do that first, the rest is easy. This is absolutely true
    All the best!

    1. Hi Rania,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. I’m so pleased that you found the article valuable.

      I hope a lot of people do read these articles and put into practice what they learn. I hope you are one of these people also.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  6. Great post about teamwork and leadership. I have definitely encountered these issues in the workplace with lazy managers not wanting to put the effort it.

    You’ve clearly explained that when every team member feels valued and engaged, the whole work place environment is better. This is true in any job.

    Very important and informative post, keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Sophie,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy that you found the article helpful.

      You’re right, the workplace environment definitely improves when everyone starts to feel valued and are engaging a lot more.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  7. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this perspective on leadership and how to engage with others.

    While I agree with you on the difficulties of working within disengaged teams, I feel its also important to acknowledge the role that more senior leadership can have on engagement culture of the business, and thus its effect on engagement.

    As an example, while working in a management position, my director within the finance department had concerns about the excessive staff turnover of other functions. As such he limited the availability of sensitive financial information, which, while necessary to protect the company, also created an undesired culture of information secrecy. This put me, and the other managers in very uncomfortable positions of not being able to freely provide the information to others.

    As a second perspective, I also feel it’s important to acknowledge that there is a fine line between having a positive “can do” attitude, and working in a culture that blatantly takes advantage of those willing to go the extra mile. I am extremely conscious of not taking advantage of my team; because while they are eligible for flexitime to allow for smoothing of their workload, there are rarely opportunities for them to take the time that has been accrued. While my team is well engaged, I’m conscious of the balancing act to keep them there and will actively lookout for opportunities to reprioritise their workload allowing them to use some of the accrued flex – however, this is outside the norm.

    Thanks again,

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your very thorough comment. I’m really pleased that the article has made you think.

      You have made some really good points when sharing your story of working in your management position.

      From what you have read and what you have learned in this article, what actions are you going to implement to try and improve things in your place of work?

      If you need any further help or advice then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  8. Great article Tom.

    One thing that annoys me is when leaders will just give an instruction rather than just explaining the reason behind the instruction.

    I feel like I am not a robot. I will learn better if I know the reason behind the instruction.

    Sounds to me from your article that this is a characteristic of a low performing leader.

    1. Hi Owain,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article helpful.

      Giving an instruction without the reasoning and what the expected outcome is, is definitely an act of a low performing leader.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


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