WOW Word-Of-the-Week #402: Engagement

April 18, 2012 by  

Engagement – the act of connecting with another person by drawing them in.

My WOW #394 was Involved. Sarita, one of my long-time friends and subscribers, who is also a speaker, had responded by writing, “Involvement is a timely word.  I was just having a conversation about ‘engagement’ this morning when I spoke at CSU San Marcos.  That word, which is similar to involvement, is all the rage right now; CSU San Marcos even has a VP for Community Engagement.  Many university campuses use the term ‘student involvement’ and now have staff that specialize in ‘student engagement.’ ”

That got me thinking that since Sarita’s father was in the Army and she was married to a Marine, that we could come up with the “Rules of Engagement” of service.  So the next two WOW’s will feature, “Sarita’s REAL Rules of Engagement: How to Create a Communication Connection.”


Sarita says…

“My Army childhood and previous marriage to a Marine have taught me the military definition of “rules of engagement”…guidelines on how to respond to various situations in the line of duty.

There’s also now a weekly TV sitcom called “Rules of Engagement” which takes a look at the stages of relationships.

The latter may be closer to the topic of this article…how to create engaging communication, both one-on-one and in front of groups!

Here is the first of what I call my REAL Rules of Engagement:


Find a relevant area on which you can connect with the other person, or the audience.  What are your common interests and experiences?  For example, my experience as a parent is an easy point of connection that I have with many people who might otherwise be different from me.

Copyright 2012 Sarita Maybin. All rights reserved.

This week focus on engaging the people you come in contact with. Do you have a tendency to connect easily? Do you take the time to find common interests? Are you able to draw people into conversation?

Sarita’s book, “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?” is available on

Reader Responses

“Agreed. It seems the word engagement is all the rage now, especially in corporate America. We not only have to be engaged in our work, but we have to be engaged with our fellow employees. Employee Engagement is the term most widely used so that we can all bond with each other and feel a bigger part of our workplace environments. I enjoy working with my coworkers. They are fun to be with and provide great camaraderie. After all, Susan, we usually spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families, so we need to be able to get along. It is a great word, Susan. And we will probably hear more of it in the coming years. Have a great weekend. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe