Extrait de "5 Conversations : How to transform trust, engagement and performance at work" de Nick Cowley et Nigel Purse


"In our work over the past decade, we have seen two new ideas emerge that taken together will have a profound effect on what passes for excellence in leadership. The first concerns what effective leaders do, the second why and how they do it.

First, there is overwhelming evidence from academic research, government investigation and professionals working in the field, that when employees have high levels of engagement, this has a significant, measurable and transformational impact on organisational performance. And the research also shows that it is the quality of the relationship people feel they have with their immediate leader or manager that is the primary driver of these feelings of engagement. So relationships really matter. They are not optional, take it or leave it factor. They are fundamental enabler of you and your organisation's ability to attract, keep and get the very best of your people. Leadership is relationship. No relationship - no leadership. Leadership is about the trust, stewardship, concern, understanding and humanity you demonstrate towards those whom you lead. If you can build such relationships, add value to peoples's lives, enable them to flourish and grow, you will earn their loyalty, trust and lasting commitment.

As global research organisation Gallup says, "How employees feel about their job starts and ends with their direct supervisor. If employees feel, among other things, that their supervisor takes a real interest in their development, or offers frequent praise and recognition, they are likely to be engaged. If companies throughout your country hire the right people to lead and actively encourage the engagement of their workforces, economic dominance will be sure to follow."

And it's not just research into employee engagement which emphasies the importance of building relationships. The latest evidence from the growing field of neuroscience also shows why the type of conversations you have with others and how you approach them has a fundamental effect on their behaviour and work performance.

Secondly, how do effective leaders build trusting relationships ? We now know that effective leaders use authentic, two-way human conversations to build trusting, productive relationships with team members and others around them. Building these conversations into your daily life at work (and beyond) will not only make you a more effective and productive leader, but will also give you a deep sense of fulfilment and enhanced quality of life. No longer is it the case that the quality of relationships you have at work is something random or mysterious. There is growing evidence that, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, a technical expert or a generalist, a sales executive or an accountant, you can deepen your relationships by consciously building these key conversations into every day of your working life.

And the real beauty of this finding is that you don't have to be slick, word perfect, or a great conversationalist for this to work. You just have to be authentic - to enter each conversation with the genuine intention of more deeply understanding your colleague, showing care and stewardship, and providing support and encouragement."