Of course you are not a talking head. But are you – or any members of your team – in danger of becoming one or being seen as one?
A talking head is defined as “A person, especially a news reporter, an interviewer, an expert, etc., who appears on television in a close-up, hence essentially as a bodiless head.” Unless you are a regular on the screen this might not seem to apply to you! Yet, as we all get so busy and obsessed with targets, deadlines and performance measures, heads start ruling hearts and we risk becoming metaphorical talking heads. This is not good.
Human beings are governed as much by emotion as intellect. That is why emotional intelligence is now more widely recognised and assessed. When you fail to consider people’s emotions you are effectively regarding them as no more than ‘hired hands.’ This diminishes their identity – and your own – and their sense of self-worth. You can never inspire employee engagement if you have people who feel unfulfilled, unappreciated and unvalued. (Even the word “feel” here alludes to the innate emotional need: it is not something you can quantify or measure.)
That is why I was interested in an article that came my way this week – 5 Ways to be a Leader who Turns Heads. I loved the photograph caption/headline, “Power goes up when people talk around the table rather than to the head of the table,” and the idea that leadership is about turning heads towards each other.
The articles goes on to give some very simple, but practical, tips for doing this, which you would do well to put into practice. Unfortunately though, at the end of the day they are just a list. They will, on their own, do nothing to change your behaviour. And, as I said earlier, the pressure of deadlines, targets and performance measures, make it all to likely that the list will be no different to a New Year’s resolution – soon forgotten!
To avoid being – or becoming – a talking head, you need to be more human and more humane. You need to ensure there is ‘Love at Work.’ People who love their work are engaged employees. And the ‘Every Individual Matters’ Model provides the catalyst to change your organisational culture and embed this ‘Love at Work.’ to radically transform your organisation and its results, and to enhance your own life and your employees. Turning heads will ensure that no-one in the organisation is merely a talking head.