The candy bowl has been on the corner of my desk for the past 4 years. Since moving into a cubicle style work area in a beautiful new building with some couple hundred employees, it’s taken on a new prominence.  And, I’ve observed;

      My engagement in providing the candy bowl; a feeling of fellowship with workers from other departments I previously had limited interaction with.  A lighthearted invitation to stop by, have a treat and chat. I like it.

       Characteristics of those being engaged;

a.       Outgoing  - the ones who rustle through the bowl looking for the chocolate and remind me when it is empty

b.      Apologetic – the ones who come by and apologize for wanting a candy treat, select one and leave 

c.       Timid – the ones who want to be engaged and quietly do so.  They pick up a candy and make sure not to crinkle the wrapper as they walk away in glided slow steps;

d.      Appreciative - the ones who take delight in the whole candy bowl experience and share it with others. Always a thank you.

e.      Obliged – the ones who want to see what it’s all about so they can be in the know, they surf by to check it out, but decline to participate.

f.        Ninjas -  the ones I never see – you know who you are

My candy bowl is a microcosm of engagement that can be extrapolated into descriptions of team engagement that we as leaders need to be aware of.  And the glue that holds this group together is the common goal, purpose, love of treats in this case.

Engagement need not be complicated and it can be accomplished in small steps in many ways.  It  is ongoing and needs to be replenished, and it is the leader’s role to work for and with an engaged team. It's so fun - have a chocolate! 



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