Posts tagged connection
5 Tips to Increase Workplace Engagement

The statistics about worker disengagement are staggering. We read all the time about how workplace engagement levels are low here in the U.S. and even lower around the world. Loss of productivity is estimated to cost employers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, if not billions. And it all stems from how disconnected folks feel from the people working around them, the work that they do each day, and the purpose that it serves to them and to others.

Workplace connection results in many benefits, including stronger communication, greater synergy, enhanced anticipation of others’ needs and worries / concerns, and, last but certainly not least, increased worker engagement. When we feel connected, we operate with a sense of purpose and utilize our many talents and abilities to advance that purpose, consciously as well as subconsciously.  

The need for connection at work is perhaps stronger today than ever before. It has become an expectation, especially amongst younger workers, that the workplace be a source of meaning and intention, not just a place at which to collect a paycheck.

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Are our phones to blame, or are we?

I used to think that our phones were making us antisocial. Go on a train or walk into a room with lots of folks and you'll see almost everyone trained on their screens. This is so disheartening. And so common. But then I see pics of folks 50-100 years ago going off to work or waiting in line, each with a newspaper open before them. No conversation. No connection. Times, they really haven't been a 'changin.

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It Needn't be Lonely at the Top

Loneliness is, in a relative sense, measured in the eyes of the beholder. Some argue that the loneliest professionals in the world are those who toil in isolation, with limited opportunity for interpersonal communication. Yet there are others who weigh loneliness not by the frequency or infrequency of their interactions with others but rather with the quality of such exchanges.

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Is it Father's Day or Father Day?

How did you spend your Father’s Day?

Full disclosure: I’m one of the purists (if I can call my self that) who says that “every day is Father’s Day”. So, in my house, there’s no big celebration, no gifts of ties or toolsets.

Instead, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Putting together my kids’ pool, that is.

Pools, even the inflatable variety, take real work to assemble and properly fill (I did well on the former but not so great on the latter – hard to get it all even and fully balanced, but that’s for a different post).

But the weather was hot, and the kids were pining for the pool, so out went dad in his finest shmatas (Yiddish for upscale yard attire) for hours of fun in the sun (before the real fun began, of course).

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Step Away to Step into Life

I have two clients that are a block away from each other in NYC. The walking time between them is measured in seconds and often I can schedule things to allow me to go from one to the other in short order.

But there are times when I have to schedule them on different days, which would be less of an issue if I didn’t live an hour away from them.

This past week, I took things to a new level. I visited one client on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. In between, I flew down to Florida for an early morning talk to over 300 leaders. Including local commutes to and from the airport, my journey from one client to the other, though themselves separated by only one block, exceeded 1900 miles.

Talk about a long walk down the block!

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Do You Live to Work or Work to Live?

The upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot (the Festival of Weeks, which commences on Saturday evening) commemorates the Hebrews receiving of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, at Sinai some 3300 years ago. On that seminal date, a series of commandments were issued that would frame key elements of monotheistic thought, spiritual observance, and social interaction for centuries to come.

The Sinaitic experience was the culmination of a seven-week period that began with the Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt (commemorated by Passover). That physical birth, so to speak, of the Hebraic nation was followed by its spiritual naissance at the foot of the mountain.

It is noteworthy that the seven-week period that separates Passover from Shavuot is a period of counting, known as Counting of the Omer. During these 49 days, the Torah proscribes a steady, upward count, leading up to Shavuot.

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How to Lead Authentically

We live in a paradoxical world. On the one hand, we are more connected than ever before. Social media and our portable devices makes posting and reading content, liking, commenting, and sharing, easier and faster than ever. We know what our contacts are doing in real time and can “join them” virtually from the comfort of wherever we are and whatever we’re doing at that moment. Email and a host of messaging platforms also keep the virtual conversation going around the clock.

Yet, there is something about all of this connecting that leave so many of us wanting and unfulfilled.

Part of the issue, no doubt, is the superficiality of how we connect and engage. Though our networks are larger and more diverse than ever before, the quality of those connections is simply not there. So much of communication depends on the things that technology cannot replace, like non-verbals, proximity and the like.

But for many of us, a bigger issue with Networking 2.0 may be the inauthenticity and contrived realities that it fosters.

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Connecting with parents

Many teachers use the relationships and the trust that they engender with parents to lay the foundation for student success. Unfortunately, in my years as a teacher and a principal, I too often observed an unhealthy dynamic between teachers and parents. Such teachers commonly found parents to be people that they needed to “deal with.” They viewed them as nuisances, if not worse. They wanted parents to stay out of their way and let them do their thing. After all, they were the experts.

Parents, for their part, can be quick to get upset with teachers for such things as rules, policies, perceived negative attitudes towards their child and, of course, poor student performance.

The sad reality is that the ones who suffer most from this tension are children. They need to feel the security of the rapport between school and home, rather than to be confused by an undercurrent of disharmony. As the African proverb states, “when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets trampled.”

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It Needn't be Lonely at the Top

Loneliness is, in a relative sense, measured in the eyes of the beholder. Some argue that the loneliest professionals in the world are those who toil in isolation, with limited opportunity for interpersonal communication. Yet there are others who weigh loneliness not by the frequency or infrequency of their interactions with others but rather with the quality of such exchanges.

Read More