Personal Engagement Launched: 30 Years Ago This Month

“I’d like you to think about a time when you’ve been attentive and interested in what you’re doing, felt absorbed and involved. A time when you didn’t think about how you’d rather be doing something else, and you didn’t feel bored. Can you describe a particular time when you’ve felt like that here at work?”

This was a key interview question Bill Kahn asked 30 years ago for his article in the Academy of Management Journal on: Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. It was the seminal article launching 30 years of work in engagement. At the time, William Kahn was a tennis camp counsellor.

Are you asking rich descriptive questions about engagement for other and yourself? Don’t merely reduce engagement to a number because behind every engaging statistic there is an engaging story.


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