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Leaders who effectively engage their associates are excellent at #1-listening and #2-asking questions. Of course I mean really listening (not pretending) and asking questions that aren't manipulative. These are the aspects of the communication that make employees feel respected and valued. You are dead on - it always comes down to the manager/supervisor/etc. He/she is the key to engagement.

Engagement is a lot about intrinsic motivation over extrinsic. You can reward someone, but it only lasts a short amount of time. People want to feel valued and managers should do their best to remove as many obstacles as possible. These changes aren't expensive...it's about valuing people and putting them before any program you're running.

Dick, Scott, thank you for joining the conversation. No argument from me about the importance of managers and listening when it comes to engagement!

Great post, Laura. You've cut through much of the confusion around engagement quite simply and elegantly, driving to the real heart of the matter.

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