Thursday, August 7, 2008

How to Engage People

Dennis D. McDonald in his always educational blog, got me thinking again today. He is absolutely right when he says that blogs would greatly improve communications between distributed teams. The real difficulty is getting people to participate.

The Problem
It is fairly well understood that in most social type application, from youTube to blogs, that 2 to 3% of the people contribute 90% of the material. The question is, how do you get the other 97% to engage? [Editor: 97% of them are intelligent enough not to engage with you. I'm so jealous of them...]

The Solution
You have to offer a way to get feedback in a simple way that requires little effort and recognizes their input. That is why we give people the ability to answer questions (multiple choice, percentage, yes/no) and rank people based on the accuracy of their answers.

As a manager, you don't know what they answered, but you do know that Dennis is more involved and knowledgeable than Andy. [Editor: That's not saying much. The slowest third grader is more knowledgeable than you.]

If you make things entertaining and engaging, people will participate. If you set up a little competition that rewards their engagement, they will engage more.

If you want to know more, email me:


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