January Newsletter

Monthly Challenge:

The first step to truly improving in anything, is understanding where you are today in your progress; what’s your starting point.  As an example, someone who wants to get into Marathons competitively can’t measure improvements in their 5K time, if they don’t first time themselves in a 5K.  Without this baseline time trial, it would be impossible to measure the impact of the training programs on the runner’s 5K performance.

Emotional Intelligence is no different.  Self-Awareness is a subset of skills within the Emotional Intelligence framework which are foundational to truly growing one’s EQ.  Just like the runner, we can’t truly get better if we don’t first understand the starting line of our journey.

“Self-Awareness” per TalentSmart is your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations.  The major challenge with Self-Awareness; how we perceive ourselves is NEVER reality.  There is always a gap between how we perceive ourselves and how the world truly sees us.

To understand how the world perceives us can be a terrifying realization, because again, the response is never what we expect and the truth can sometimes be hard to stomach.  Continuing the metaphor, even if the marathoner’s initial 5K time trial is horrendous by their standards, at least they can now track improvement and truly enjoy their improved performance from putting in the hard work.

So we submit to our brave readers who wish to better understand themselves, “The Professional Perception Challenge.”

Step 1: Gather the names of 5 people who regularly view you in the work environment.  Not just peers and friends; executives, direct reports, people from other business units and even “enemies” are all good candidates for this exercise

Step 2: Tell them you are trying to grow as an individual and you need their help.  Invite them, individually, to a 15 minute sit down over coffee, lunch or in a meeting room to discuss how you are perceived in the workplace

Step 3: Ask each person 2 simples questions.  1) How does the office/workplace perceive me and 2) What is the 1 thing that I could do, which would make the most impact on how I am perceived?

The feedback will be powerful and actionable.  Armed with this information, you can now set out to truly impact your EQ.  Good luck and let us know how it went!

Upcoming Enablement Webinar:

For anyone who has been following PFP, you’ve likely seen us align closely with Talent Smart and the work they’ve done to promote Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. Here’s a great opportunity next week to join a webinar they’re hosting, which looks to be a great learning opportunity.  Check out the link below for more information and to sign up!

Register Here!

Book Review:

Lost Connections

Johann Hari

The core of our mission at PFP is to combat the epidemic of disengagement in our workforce.

While many of the contributing factors to the negative organizational cultures we experience can be traced back in some degree to emotional intelligence (or a lack thereof), “Lost Connections” details Johann Hari’s investigation of and personal experiences with, depression. As a disclaimer, the full scope of this book is too large to address here, and at times the data and salient information are lost in Hari’s over-dramatization and tendency to blend opinion, anecdote, and fact. However, if this is a topic of interest, I would suggest picking up a copy. I will do my best to give a digestible summary of Hari’s findings as it relates to the workplace, but I will clarify that this short review will only cover a sub-segment of Lost Connections.

The worst stress for people isn’t having to bear a lot of responsibility, It is, he told me, having to endure “work [that] is monotonous, boring, soul-destroying; [where] they die a little when they come to work each day, because their work touches no part of them that is them.”

Hari suggests that a disconnection from meaningful work is one of the main areas contributing to depression in today’s society.

A recent Gartner study found that we are twice as likely to hate our job than to love it, and now that we are more connected than ever, our working hours have stretched further an further and infiltrated more of our lives.

Michael Marmot, a social scientist at University College London, found that these working environments can actually make us physically and mentally sick, but it’s not from the work itself.

Marmot conducted a study with the British Civil Service to better understand these correlations, and after years of interviewing, his team concluded that those at the top of the Civil Service were four times less likely to suffer from a heart attack than those at the bottom of the organization.  They also found that for every step higher an individual rose in the organization, they were increasingly less likely to suffer from depression.  After analyzing years of data collected, Marmot concluded that the worst stress for people is not having to bear lots of responsibility, but rather having to endure work that is “monotonous, boring, soul-destroying; [where] they die a little when they come to work each day, because their work touches no part of them that is them.”

Extrapolating from Marmot’s study, employees today suffer from a number of stressors, including:

1) The feeling of being controlled – being a meaningless cog in the system

2) The feeling that no matter how hard you work, you’ll be treated the same an no one will notice -- an imbalance between efforts and rewards

3) The feeling of being low in the hierarchy

Unfortunately, many of these feelings stem from a long-established workplace culture, and large scale change often takes a long time to come to fruition. That need for change is why PFP exists, and fortunately, there are large and small steps that each of us can take to encourage a healthy workplace environment and culture.

1) Create a meaningful work environment – it’s more about the leadership than the content

2) Disconnect (or even better, digital detox during non-working hours)

3) Empower and encourage each other or those you lead to take ownership of their role

Upcoming Event:

Pop-Up Networking Evening at Mofu Shoppe

321 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Thursday February 21, 2019

5:30 - 7:00 PM

RSVP Here!

alec peterson