What is the difference between "engaging with someone" and "engaging someone"? For example, what is the difference between these two expressions:
- How do you engage with your employees?
- How do you engage your employees?
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Engage with somebody means, as others have said, to interact with that person, usually from a position of greater power (managers are frequently exhorted to engage with employees, but rarely the other way round). Engage somebody has many possible meanings, depending on context: the army engage the enemy, you may engage somebody in conversation by simply going up and speaking to him, a pretty girl may engage (or behave engagingly to) the man she is interested in. The basic meaning is 'get involved with', which is similar to but not the same as the buzzword engage with.
And, as Barrie says, the usual meaning without explanation of engage a man is to hire him (at least in Britain).
The expressions mean the same thing, so I'd pick the shorter one.
However, "engage" is a bit of a buzzword. I'd phrase this differently, depending on what's really meant. For example: