What’s your default listening mode? Are you a pivoter, a distractor, a withdrawer, an explorer or, like today’s guest, an innate problem-solver trying to find a solution to whatever is troubling the person you’re having a conversation with? Three different kinds of difficult conversations get covered here: 1) an imbalance-of-power conversation between a boss and a subordinate; 2) a competitive-conversation between divorced parents navigating childcare; and 3) a regressive-conversation where an elderly parent and child can easily fall into character roles they played decades ago. In each case, Ximena Vengoechea offers sound, sympathetic advice on how to steer clear of the usual pitfalls.
Ximena Vengoechea is a user researcher, writer, and illustrator whose work on personal and professional development has been published in Inc., The Washington Post, Newsweek, Fast Company, and elsewhere. Her career has included positions at Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Have you ever seen the TED talk video on YouTube where Capuchin monkeys get enraged when some receive cucumbers and other monkeys more delicious grapes for completing the same task? Welcome to the inequality basis, whereby a lack of fairness drives all of us crazy. Whether it’s a matter of employees getting different pay for the same job, or consumers feeling like some people get better deals than others, feelings of injustice may not be clearly articulated but can—and will–most definitely drive our behavior. How similar is what people say and how they feel? Not much, says my guest this week. Richard Chataway estimates that, in fact, verbal input may at best get you 50% of the way to understanding how somebody might actually behave. Other topics covered in this episode include why inspiring disgust helped an anti-smoking campaign Chataway worked on do so well, and how Hilton Hotels leveraged the use of the Big Five personality model to increase clicks and shares online.
Richard Chataway is the CEO of BVA Nudge Consulting UK and the founder of the Communication Science Group. Clients have included: Lloyds Banking Group, Google, and IKEA. He’s also a former board member of the Association of Business Psychology in the UK.
What sometimes gets overlooked is that Adam Smith not only became the “father of capitalism” by writing The Wealth of Nations; he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Empathy matters, and this week’s guest Morris Altman argues that sustainable capitalism practices fairness. Too often the basic economic needs of rank-and-file workers are overlooked in a global economic where the wealthy call the shots. From anti-immigrant rhetoric to events in Ukraine, this is a timely episode that subjects the purported move from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism to skeptical examination. Want more engaged workers? To achieve that goal, make them more truly empowered, with their input acted on and rewarded alike.
Morris Altman is the Dean of the University of Dundee’s School of Business. He’s published over 130 referred papers and 17 books. He’s also held academic posts at the University of Saskatchewan, Victoria University, Newcastle University, and at Hebrew University, Stanford, Cornell and Duke.
Covid-19 has drastically changed the workplace, causing “essential workers” to contemplate what they essentially want from their jobs over and above decent pay and benefits. High on their list of priorities is gaining greater autonomy, an opportunity to learn, and to achieve a sense of purpose on the job. As this week’s guest explains, cast aside, therefore, workplace myths such as the following: that the employee experience (EX) is about perks, that HR “owns it” alone, that attracting and retaining employees covers the bases so far as EX is concerned, and that EX applies only to privileged, high-end employees working remotely as opposed to on the frontlines or in warehouses. EX can’t wait because EX is happening everyday – whether in good, bad or ugly ways.
First impressions really do matter, and the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals that receive a positive reaction on Announcement Day tend to outperform, over time, those deals where due diligence wasn’t practiced up front. Indeed, as Mark Sirower notes, in two-thirds of cases a negative initial reception is a sign that the deal will never gain momentum. What leads to success? Among the key elements is focusing on the employee experience. Smart companies get “ahead of the pain” by acknowledging that during M&A activity workers will have moved from the highest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (self-realization) to fearing for their material well-being, their security, i.e., the lowest, most basic rung of the ladder. In short, at a time of vast, globalized M&A deal-making, emotional intelligence has never been more important as companies navigate the emotional earthquake most employees are going to experience.
Mark L. Sirower is a leader in Deloitte’s M&A and Restructuring practice and was, previously, a global M&A leader at the Boston Consulting Group. He teaches M&A at the NYU Stern School of Business and has also authored The Synergy Trap prior to partnering with Jeffery M. Weirens on this latest book.
What’s the overall theme of this episode? Inspiring greater empathy in the workplace. What makes it imperative for companies to pay attention now? The Great Resignation, which is really the Great Self-Realization. In other words, employees are realizing what matters to them and are changing jobs and careers to better align with their own values and desire to be themselves on the job. What’s standing in their way, prompting the wave of resignations? As DDS Dobson-Smith notes, too often the answer is executives who implore employees to change while not really taking a candid look at their own stale assumptions. The bottom line here is that empathy and inclusion go hand-in-hand.
DDS Dobson-Smith is the founder of the executive coaching consultancy Soul Trained and was certified as an Executive Coach by the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring. Prior to founding Soul Trained, he held senior roles at Marks & Spencer, Eurostar International, Sony Music Entertainment, and the world’s largest advertising agency, WPP.
Rarely will executives leave themselves vulnerable by sharing what they have done wrong in managing people. Mohammad Anwar is that rare exception, even going so far as to share on the air his “infamous refrigerator email” where he tore into employees for leaves a “disgusting” mess in the company’s breakroom refrigerator. How to create a psychologically safe place to work is the underlying theme of this episode. The topics range from answering why new hires at Anwar’s company, Softway, always start on a Friday to explaining how giving “spot raises” works better than the previous “fish market” system of dickering for pay increases as part of annual performance reviews. Whatever the topic, the emphasis is always on how to take new and corrective actions to create a more inspiring, inclusive corporate culture.
The leading personality traits model involves five traits: openness (to experience), conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (OCEAN). Similarly, today’s guest focuses on 16 different workplace skill sets grouped into five categories. Those categories are self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision-making, and stress management. Which are you best at? Where might you falter? Compare your answers to those Roberta Ann Moore shares from two decades of work with clients in leadership roles across a range of industries. One notable client: a high-powered art dealer whose ability to handle stress is challenged anytime a “cargo” of Van Goghs, for instance, runs the risk of going unguarded on the tarmac when the flight schedules change!
Roberta Ann Moore is a business executive and licensed therapist, certified in Dr. Reuven Bar-On’s model of emotional intelligence. She provides assessments, training and developing using the EQ-I 2.0 and EQ 360 programs as a framework.
If you’ve ever completed an annual employee survey by filling-in-the-bubbles, this episode is for you. Clint Pulver’s approach to knowing what employees are thinking (and feeling) is to pose as if he’s a job seeker at a given company or organization. Being “undercover” lets Pulver conduct anonymous, candid conversation with his would-be colleagues. Why is the Great Resignation happening? Clint suggests it’s because workers remember how they were treated when Covid-19 first struck (indifferently), and that a Great Rethinking of careers prompted the Great Resignation. Learn as well about Clint’s perspective on managers, including how the ideal type, the mentor manager, earns trust by being a career-growing advocate for those on staff.
Clint Pulver is an Emmy award-wining speaker, aka the Undercover Millennial, and also a musician, pilot, and workforce expert whose specialty is employee retention. As a professional drummer, he’s appeared in feature films and on America’s Got Talent.
How can envy be a positive catalyst for changing your career? Why is curiosity so vital? (Hint: it’s been said that “Learning is the new pension.”) These are among the topics, and emotions, covered in this episode that runs the gamut from getting hired to managing both your boss and your personal brand. Along the way, this episode delves into what kinds of emotions one might feel at every stage in one’s career. While fear is likely during the job search, and a mixture of happiness, pride and relief on starting the new job, it’s also not to let shame keep you from getting the credit you deserve for a job well done. As Pollak notes, yes, good job performance is vital to success. But so is burnishing your image and getting exposure. A job well done that isn’t noticed won’t advance your fortunes.
Lindsey Pollak is the New York Times bestselling author of three previous books and was named to the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar List of global management thinkers. Her consulting and keynote speaking clients have included over 250 various corporations, law firms, and universities.