Conversations With Substance
Leaders know that acts of service are appreciated by
those we lead. To illustrate, think of 2009 NCIS’s head
of the investigation team Leroy Jethro Gibbs giving
Abby a Caf-Pow caffeine laden drink every time he
showed up in to her research lab.
After a leader has spent quality time and had
substantiative conversations with their employees
they are in a position to better train and educate
their employees, which is an important according
to Clifford, (1999) quoting Edwards Demin. The
past conversations can lead to meaningful tasks,
education, projects or training building affective
and organizational commitment which also can be
perceived by the employee as acts of service. The
leader is demonstrating interest in the person’s
Inclusive teams lift each other up. When I was a
supervisor, I had a new person who called out the
first few days on the team. Some Human Resources
groups may advise if the person has paid time off
available, a conversation is not needed. If there is
no other data given on a call out, I believe calling the
employee shows you care about their well-being. The
conversation does not need to be an interrogation
but simply, “Hey, I wanted ask if you were ok.” In my
situation after I called, the person advised the real
problem was they had no transportation.
A person on the team took on responsibility and
advised they lived close and volunteered to pick them
up. We had a conversation later, and that person was
surprised we cared enough to call and even more
surprised that someone on the team thought enough
to come get them and bring them to work. That act of
service by their teammate helped build that person’s
affective commitment to the organization. Later, that
person was rarely late or called out unless it was
vacation of course!
As the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I)’s
pendulum continues to swing and training
campaigns are created I am cautious, yet optimistic
that it will help leaders support authenticity,
affirmation, meaningful quality time and
conversations and allow for genuine acts of service
by leaders with their teams.
●● Argyris, C. (2002). Teaching Smart People How
to Learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4–15. https://doi.
●● Clifford, J. P. (1999). The Collective Wisdom of the
Workforce: Conversations with Employees Regarding
Performance Evaluation. Public Personnel Management,
28(1), 119. https://doi.org/10.1177/009102609902800109
●● Sirota, D., Mischkind, L. A., & Meltzer, M. I. (2005). The
Enthusiastic Employee: How companies profit by giving
workers what they want. Indianapolis, IN: Wharton School
Jason. C. DeMartine is the Founder
of Nuovo High Performance Business
Solutions LLC. Jason believes
in the power of individuals and
organizations to attain their goals.
He founded Nuovo High Performance
Business Solutions LLC and Charlotte
Technology Learning Center after
partnering with the cellular technical
industry for 10 years.
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