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passion pyramidFor years it was thought that the very best workplaces had employees that were fully engaged in their role. It did not matter if they were happy with their role as long as they were working hard and succeeding. Consider this thought, what is more valuable to an organization – a team member who is engaged in their work, or one who is passionate about it?

The word “engage” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to do or take part in something.” So in essence, when employees are engaged in their position, they are simply doing something. They are aware of the task they must perform and they are going about completing it. In comparison, passion is defined as “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.” While engagement is a good starting point for team members, the real goal should be passionate employees. As a coach-leader, it is important to make sure that you are moving your team members past engagement to true passion for what they are doing.

But how does a top level executive help employees discover their passion? We recently came across the graphic you see above. It is a graphic representation of what the Intégro Leadership Institute calls the Passion Pyramid. This tool offers leaders a visual example of how to coach employees past the basic level of engagement to a position of being fully passionate. It identifies five basic needs that spark passion. Additionally, it defines the leadership skills needed to create the conditions to satisfy each need, and describes the outcome or payoff when the need is fulfilled.

At the very basic level of engagement, employees need to feel respected in what they are doing. This means that the coach-leader has gained a certain level of trust with the team member. Employees feel a certain level of value to the organization. In moving up the pyramid, employee’s needs become more specific, moving from a basic level of respect to learning and growing, performing meaningful work, feeling included (insider) and finally being a part of a winning team.

Each step in this pyramid builds upon the level below it. Once the level below is secure, the next step can be taken toward creating a fully passionate team member. It is important to point out that each level must be secure before the next level can be laid. Similar to erecting a strong building, if the foundation is not level and secure, the rest of the elements will not remain strong and very likely could fall apart.

From our experience at the Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP (ALCN), one of the best ways to build a passionate team is to ensure that the organizational leadership is demonstrating a positive coaching culture. If leaders create an environment that embraces coaching as way of making team members feel valued, this culture will trickle down through all levels of the organization.

For more information on how to create passion within your organization and embrace a coaching culture, please feel free to contact our team ALCN.

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