People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work

People Artists

Here is a portion of a Q&A created by David Zinger for the Halogen TalentSpace blog, a source for “the latest thinking on how to build a world class workforce.” He is the founder and host of the Employee Engagement Network, now celebrating its 8th anniversary. I am proud to say that I am one of its almost 7,000 members. To learn more about Halogen, please click here. To learn more about EEN, please click here.

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When people first hear the term “people artist” in relation to work, they’re curious. What does art have to do with work? What does it mean to be a people artist?

Peter W. Hart and I co-wrote, People Artists: Drawing Out the Best in Others at Work. We believe it’s imperative to bring artistry to our work.

Henry Mintzberg declared management needs: “…the order of science, while being rooted in the practicality of craft, with some of the zest of art.”

Denise Bissonnette, one of the people artists we interviewed for the book, stated, “It’s not the nature of an activity that makes it art: it’s how we approach the task. From this broader definition, the path of the artist is available to us all every day, in every domain of our lives.”

Our book brings you both zest and tools to follow the neglected path of drawing out the best in others. Here are some frequently asked question about the book.

Where did the term “people artist” originate?

Peter W. Hart is the CEO of Rideau Recognition Solutions and a well-established artist with a gallery in Old Montreal. I had been watching him work in his art studio and from there we went to his workplace with over 200 employees.

As I watched him work with paint and then people, I witnessed his ability to use color to bring out the best from a canvas and to use acknowledgement, appreciation, and recognition to bring out the best in the people at work.

I said, “Peter, you’re an artist but you’re also a people artist, your workplace is your studio, people are your medium and your canvas is filled with recognition, connection and engagement.”

Okay, so Peter may be a “people artist”, but what about the rest of us?

We believe anyone can be a people artist. Some of us may find it easier, but people artistry is a skill you develop, not a special talent or gift of a chosen few.

Our book points you in the right direction and offers you twenty practices based on your heart, ears, eyes, lips and hands. These five core human tools enable us to care, to listen, to see, to voice, and to give.

Why do we need people artistry when we already have human resources?

People artistry is our plea to focus on the individual person, not a “human resource.” People are not resources that should just be managed; they are people we work with every day.

People artistry doesn’t reside in a specific department or area of the business; it needs to touch every person from co-workers and people we manage, to cleaning staff and security guards.

We trust that after reading People Artists, you’ll personalize your approach to work. Think of being a people artist as your way to repay the debt to someone who brought out the best in you.

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Please click here to read the complete article.

David Zinger is a Canadian and global employee engagement speaker, educator, and expert who has devoted over 17,000 hours on engagement in the past eight years and has worked on the topic since the early 1980’s.

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