Speaking of engagement, I attended a wedding this past weekend!

When it came time for the music and dancing, it seemed to take a while to get the party started as guests were slow getting to the dance floor. Vicki, the bride, is outgoing and fun. She wasted no time going to each table and inviting (actually, playfully insisting) that guests make their way to the dance floor. How could they say no?

Her “playfully insisting” set the tone throughout the night as more people remained on the dance floor as they got in the groove and engaged in the process.

I’m finding the same approach works in business networking groups and other organizational meetings where engagement is important.

Short of hiring Vicki, here are some great ways to create more engagement!

Set the Tone Early
Establish expectations during hiring, training, the orientation, exchanging vows, and perhaps the cocktail hour. 😉

Personal Invitations
Invite members to upcoming events from the beginning. Individual emails, texts, and phone calls tend to work better than group messages.

Develop the Relationship
Take time to learn about the “why” of a new member, employee, client and brainstorm on the “how”.

Discuss Involvement
Learn about the skills and passion of someone that doesn’t seem engaged. Is there an opportunity for those skills to serve the greater good?

Check In
Life happens. People are dealing with distractions all the time. Show concern and see how you can be of support.

Offer Help
Say, “I’d like to get you more involved and create more value for you. How can I help?” Help them to see the value of getting more involved.

Of course, unlike a wedding (unless you have a role), becoming a member of a networking group, professional association, board, or any organization, requires commitment. And there are different levels of commitment. Not everyone is willing and able to get out on the dance floor.

Engagement often comes down to attracting the right people for the right reasons – those that are already engaged.

That’s where the real dancing happens.


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