Talk Aint Cheap...Its Priceless! Connecting in a Disconnected World
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In the same article that defines engagement, Gallup claims that the most significant reason people are indifferent, stressed and miserable at work is because of the lack of meaningful conversations with their managers.
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They convene for obligatory contact. Some conversations inspire hope for the future, but then these same leaders make short-term decisions that destroy this hope. Gallup only looked at the frequency of contact and the content of the communications that might increase engagement. Their study hinted at the importance of creating a deeper connection when they found that employees want their managers to be more open and approachable but they did not define what having a deeper connection meant or how it was achieved.
We all seek the freedom to be who we are in the company of others. Leaders talk about engagement but then focus on performance and results. This hinders engagement, creating what journalist Johan Hari calls parodies of connection where the humanity in the employee is invisible. The increasing sense of betrayal and indignity makes future attempts at connecting even harder. Being with people in a way that they enjoy the time together with you, they want to continue the relationship, and they want to give their best to achieving their goals as a result of the connection is based on one action — being totally and positively engaged in conversations.
The energy exchange with you inspires them to passionately produce amazing results. As the mirror neurons sync with the emotions and intentions of the socially dominant person in a conversation the leader or coach , the other person either opens up or shuts down. The person must feel trust, acceptance, and valued to fully engage and be open to growing. If the brain detects even a faint likelihood of injury from an unsafe or contrived conversation, it sends up the bullet-proof walls.
The person then defends or retreats. Connection is lost. The sense of power comes from within, when people feel seen, cared about, and respected. Leaders can be trained to embody curiosity, compassion, and respect so that conversations are meaningful and profound. These leaders create alive and engaged workplaces producing extraordinary results.
Start now. Consciously choosing to open yourself to another human requires courage and perseverance based on purpose. Lots of practice and good training will help.
Speaker: Eileen McDargh
The next person you see, look them in the eye. Sense their desires and pain, seek to discover their hopes and fears, and feel their inherent goodness. My hope is that the current model of leadership where engagement and empowerment focuses on doing something for others evolves into a new model that is more soulful, meaningful, and productive.
In this model, a personal sense of power is sparked from within through frequent, connected conversations. When ideas flow because there is trust, empathy, mutual respect, and fun, companies stay robust and successful.
The One Thing That Can Change Everything -
The quality, not just frequency and content of our conversations, is the one thing that can change everything. Want to read more about having meaningful, profound conversations? Check out my book, The Discomfort Zone.
For more information on training in emotional intelligence and advanced coaching skills, contact me by email or call You are so right! If more attention were given to those in our homes and workforces, far less time would be spent on — friction, confusion, and underperformance. Great article! Thank you Mary Jane. It has taken me years to have the courage to focus my business on this, but it is truly my passion to bring these connections to the workplace.
What a wonderful, thought-provoking article, Marcia. The implications for leaders and organizations during times of change are enormous. I find many organizations that start talking about engagement when change initiatives fail. Thank you Chris. I appreciate your perspective and support. Marcia, your journey through illuminating this challenge is beautifully portrayed and fully explained. Only recently did I come to see that the key ingredient is, on so many levels, Being Valued. It begins with our own sense of self-worth, through how we feel valued by others we love and respect, to how we believe our co-workers, both above and below us in the hierarchy, evaluate us.
And not just for the work they do, but who they are. I appreciate the work you are doing. Does anyone else find it curious that businesses are so able to ignore the static engagement numbers? For dozens of years? Numbers always seem to make the difference in business thought, but somehow the Gallup findings are ignored. Boggles my mind.
Going out to serve others lifts the cloud around yourself and allows you to become both blessed and a blessing. The resilient spirit knows that there is always tomorrow. T: Thanks-give it!
There is much to be grateful for. I admit it: I am a jack rabbit. I like to hop to it and get things done.
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The problem is, sometimes in my haste I make mistakes. I admit that I have no tolerance for voicemail doom loops. I recently went through some surgery and even though they told me it would be four weeks before I could exercise, that was not good enough for me. I gritted my teeth and impatiently started back before I was supposed to. I found myself gasping for breath and wondering where my muscles went. Too fast, too much, too soon. Here is a startling discovery: Impatient people are prone to obesity, according to a study at the University of Munich in Germany and the University of Michigan at Dearborn.
The ICF Philippines International Coaching Summit 12222 : Now Open for registration
Impatient types are also shown to have a high risk for hypertension later in life. To add insult to injury psychologists at the University of Bonn in Germany discovered that with a simple test of patience those who put off doing something seemed to have higher IQs than the getit-done now group. In fact experts have described this kind of behavior as time-urgency impatience, or T.
So is this a behavioral flaw? A personality trait? It can be altered. The four tips below helped me so I am sharing them in hopes they will help you. Explore why waiting makes you uncomfortable. Sometimes it is our ego that demands everything happen right away.
It is caused by trying to control things over which we have little to no control. Manage expectations. What can you reasonably expect? Remember that my needs are not the most important needs in the universe. Go with the flow. While this sounds like something from the marijuana smoke filled days of the 60s and 70s, it is also quite true.
Learning to let go, and to stay in the present moment, can be helped through deep breathing and even reciting a phrase over and over again much like a mantra. Remember to laugh. It can be actually quite humorous to watch customers compete for the shortest line at the cashier counter. I actually owe my down time a note of gratitude. This experience reminded me that flowers forced to bloom before their time die faster. This takes patience.
The rocks stay in a pile until a high tide knocks them over. He then starts again. Too often it feels like nothing more than a new calendar in which to write down pages of non-stop activities, project deadlines, social obligations, and commitments made by someone other than you. SO stop! Take yourself away for at least two nights and three days to a place for a silent retreat. Forbid yourself from using the phone, the television, or the radio. Write what you sense. Think on paper. And make resolutions that speak to what matters most.