Nov 2, 2019 • 12M

LA 083: Fighting Disengagement

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Appears in this episode

Dr John Kenworthy
Helping marketplace leaders #UnStuck their true potential to thrive in life and leadership to build a successful, sustainable business with collaborative, high performance teams and Joy@Work with practical, neuroscience-based AdvantEdge Guides and coaching.
Episode details

Encourage  Are you tired of wasting time dealing with workplace drama and politiks? Perhaps you are crippled by toxic leaders and uninspired cultures and you know that there is a better way. In this episode we're going to introduce you to the triggers of exemplary workplace behaviour at the neurological level. And we'll tap into four of these triggers that will #UnLock performance and #UnLeash Team Power. By implementing these four you'll see higher productivity, well-being, retention and accountability. You'll see reduced absenteeism, less drama, the end of corrosive gossip and fewer accidents. Develop In Leading Difficult People, I shared with you about our deep seated human need for safety, belonging and mattering. The first two of those, safety and belonging are so primal to our personal engagement at work (or in life) that this time, I'm digging in a little more to the neuroscience that will allow us to create the ideal conditions for our teams to thrive. Human beings are social animals, we need some degree of social acceptance in our lives, and without it, we shrivel and die. Our limbic system is the mid part of our brain and is responsible for overseeing our emotional lives and is important in what we learn and commit to memory. You'll know about the amygdala, for example, the primary control centre for our freeze, fight , flight mode. That's housed in the Limbic system. Dr Jim Coan of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory suggests that the limbic brain spends the entire day asking two questions: What's next? and How am I doing? And whilst these are broad generalisations, it's an incredibly helpful way for leaders who seek actionable models to improve engagement at work. How safe do you feel when you do not know what's coming next compared to how you feel when you do know what's coming next? Like most people, you'd probably feel less safe. When leaders become more predictable, consistent and transparent they become clear on what will happen next. When a leader seeks closer alignment around shared values, purpose and command intent - they are creating a consistent and predictable and participatory culture with immediate benefits to the limbic system. Our biological need to belong to a group or tribe drives the question: "How am I doing?" Our survival depends on the social resources of the group and so our limbic system is constantly assessing our membership status. "Am I in?" it asks. "Am I worthy? Do they see the value I add?" The limbic system doesn't ask this question once in a while; it asks every minute of every day! When a leader validates and recognises a team member, when they are acknowledged or appreciated, that isn't just some silly social gesture. It's a deeply important message direct to the recipients limbic system: "You have been noticed. You are seen and valued. You are safe. You are in." "And here's some useful feedback to help you stay safe and remain in the tribe." Don Rheem, author of Thrive by Design, says that answering these questions are behaving in a consistent and predictable manner and offering validation, recognition, and feedback. This makes team members (and others) feel safe and that they belong. He goes on to share four ways that leaders should focus their efforts to help their team members feel wanted, trusted and supported which in turn will improve retention, engagement and profits. Guide Neuroscience points us towards creating the ideal conditions that allow the brain to thrive and perform much closer to their potential. These conditions will help team members be more engaged, productive, healthier and happier in their work and workplace. Encourage trusted relationships and collaboration We thrive in a culture of trust, caring and collaboration. When our work tribe trusts each other and shares resources to support each other and the overall command intent, team members feel safer, feel that they belong and that what they do matters to the rest of their work tribe and the organ