Minds, Hearts, and Hands: Creating a culture of engagement

minds

There are perhaps hundreds of different educational philosophies in existence and use. One approach used, especially for early childhood education, is the minds, hearts, and hands approach. This philosophy essentially says that you create a vision in the mind for change, followed by developing a heart for the outcome, which ultimately leads to hands that make it happen. This approach goes beyond lecturing (telling) and predicts that when children develop a heart or passion for something, their next step naturally is to experience it with their own hands.

This exact same approach is often used for adults and in business. You can often get greater results when you help individuals envision change, create a passion for the potential outcome of that change, then create an environment whereby individuals are empowered to implement that change. The minds, hearts, and hands approach is also excellent for fostering a culture of engagement. When employees can see and feel the personal benefits possible from an initiative, they want to become involved. They want to be engaged and participate in driving that change. By definition, you create engagement when the vision ignites a passion. Put another way, when you gain both logical and emotional commitment to something, the resulting discretionary effort is multiplied.

I know of one terrific example of using minds, hearts, and hands for safety awareness. To enhance the culture of safety excellence, the organization created its own version of minds, hearts, and hands:

  • Minds – The group is conducting a culture survey designed to answer the question, “What are employee attitudes and feelings about safety and how well is our management doing to support a safe workplace?” This survey should help create that vision of what gaps exist and opportunities to improve the cultural mindset about safety.
  • Hearts – To help create enhanced passion around safety, employees will be asked to participate in an assessment of the survey and, together with their management partners, develop a plan to address these opportunities. In addition, every employee will have (or has had) an opportunity to witness first-hand stories of the importance of safety focus and awareness
  • Hands – Finally, individuals from across the organization along will work together to address open issues and actions – by encourage all employees to rally around a common goals, they hope to have all hands working to “put action to words” and create that culture of engagement needed

This is just one great application of the minds, hearts, and hands concept of engagement. You can use this approach for enhancing engagement in any area.  When a desire is ignited in your heart to achieve a vision (or goal or target), your hands naturally follow to achieve it. Look around your own function today. Are you struggling to achieve some goal or objective that your mind and heart have not embraced? Is there something you are trying to achieve at home that lacks the passion of a dedicated heart or visionless mind? Perhaps, applying the minds, hearts, and hands approach can help drive a different (and better) result.

Have a “top ten” day today in everything you do!

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