I believe one of the biggest barriers to full engagement in work is fear. Fear arrives in many forms. One form I am familiar with is procrastination. We put off. We delay. We think we lack good time management or tenacious willpower.
What we lack is a way to tackle the fear that surrounds being engaged and the answer resides in moments. The fear can range from the idea that even if we do our best it won’t be good enough to not even knowing how to do a task and afraid to ask for help.
We can often do in moments what we can’t do in grand plans, big strategies, and “smart” goals because moments shrink fear to something so small that we are no longer afraid.
Here is a simple equation to explain this:
Engagement = Moments > Fear
The next time you encounter personal disengagement and you believe fear is lurking behind the scenes I encourage you to remember this statement:
Moments shatter fear into tiny fragments that can easily be managed and overcome.
Take your next moment, separate it from the herd of endless time, and focus your work in that moment. When you start to string or stack together many moments you may even surprise yourself about what you can accomplish. The poet, William Blake, encourages us to see the world in a grain on sand…
Do you know how to fully engage with your work so that both you and others fully experience all the benefits of your labor?
In 2019, I am devoted to helping educate others to get more into their work to get more out of their work. If you or your organization would like to learn more to fully engage please take the next moment to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss possibilities around coaching, keynotes, workshops, or internal consulting.
Engage along with me, our best is yet to be.
Good work requires more than sheer effort, it requires knowledge and skills. It require an acuity to the moment and recognizing each moment invites us to engage with the work in front of us. It means embedding our moments within a bigger story as we string or stack moments for a momentous career.
I decided to make a video to sum up my 25,000 hours devoted to work engagement, personal engagement, leadership engagement, and employee engagement.
Below is my 23 minute 56 second video that was done in just one-take to share with you the future of engagement in 2019 and what I believe about the power of moments in igniting, enhancing, and build work engagement.
Below you will find the key points from the video.
If you prefer a wonderful and colorful PDF document containing these key points, click here.
Here are the key points from Engage the Moment:
secret: We are looking in the wrong place to improve employee engagement.
is to be found in the moment and moments are the fundamental building blocks of
is no stress in the present moment.
we fully engage, we are also enhancing our wellbeing and lowering our stress.
yourself this great time management question: What is the best use of my time
and levers are poor fit concepts to explain a personal responsibility for
is an invitation.
can be defined in 8 simple words: good work done well with others every day.
to achieve and proclaim Great Work often isn’t so great.
way to achieve great work is to do good work every day.
work can literally make us well.
are responsible for engagement while we influence others’ engagement.
of us are more engaged with our smart phones than the tasks and relationships
right in front of us.
you treat engagement as well as you treat your smart phone?
you charge both your smart phone and yourself up every night?
excellent engagement trigger is after you use your phone to ask yourself: What
can I do right now to improve engagement for myself of someone else in the
is not about PowerPoints and survey results it is about actions and
interactions. There is no way to engagement, to engage is the way.
focuses for engagement are ABCD: Achieve results | Build relationships | Cultivate
wellbeing | Develop career
your moments and small actions to the bigger story or strategy of your
spice to moments so that you focus on results: keep asking yourself and others
“what you want, what you really, really want.”
is not an extra it is the core of work.
iatrogenic disengagement – our attempts to engage employees that instead end up
can be a killer of engagement yet we rely on anonymous surveys.
should not be a punishable offence it should trigger dialogue, conversation, and
connection or re-connection.
is the diamond in the heart of work and wellbeing
is not something we do to people or for people it is something we do with
get everyone on the same page, follow the Positive Deviancy dictum: never do anything about me without me.
your Engagement Zone or E-zone: How long can you stay engaged.
fine-tuned E-zone if eleven minutes and eleven seconds.
offers 3 suggestions on how to determine the length and efficacy of your
have 20,000 possible moments every day.
will you turn engagement around? How about the next moment?
or support someone else at work right now.
the academic focus on work engagement by Arnold Bakker and others to infuse
work with vigor, absorption, and dedication.
why snakes and ladders is such a vital metaphor for engagement at work.
powerful leadership question to ask in many situations: What stood out for you?
and manage setbacks — can you make a ladder out of snakes?
John Gottman’s relationship moments composed of bids and turns.
and turns are very predictive of engagement and relationships.
lots of bids and keep turning towards others.
thrives on strong relationships, good friends, and effective connections.
quality connections occurring in the moments of time between people is a huge
source of personal and organizational energy.
is no secret in engagement. The real requirement is to step up to, and into,
the moment of engagement.
is related to personal engagement.
powerful, personal engagement is only a moment away.
are you going to do in the next moment?
on asking: what can I do right now to improve engagement for myself or someone
else in our organization? Turn your answer into an action or interaction that
contributes to achieving results, building relationships, cultivating career,
and developing career.
Resilience should not be a cover up for work that causes burnout.
Understanding burnout can teach us a lot about work.
Are your 7 needs at work being met?
The need for (1) autonomy (2) belonging (3) competence (4) positive emotions (5) psychological safety (6) fairness, and (7) meaning?
For over 36 years, I have appreciated and been influenced by the work and research of Christina Maslach on burnout. I credit her work, specifically her book – Burnout: The Cost of Caring – for keeping my love of work alive and preventing a permanent hardening of my human heart. Her presentation in 2018 on burnout may not be slick or even riveting but it is solid and certainly essential. Not everything we need for good work has to glitter and be under 2 minutes.
The presentation may help you prevent burnout, understand burnout if you have experienced it, or engage in small steps to co-create a better workplace for all.
I am so pleased to be part of such a great and eclectic group of speakers at the HR Virtual Summit #HRVirtual18 on Thursday November 8th. Look below to see the amazing groups of speakers, titles, and topics.
I need you to be a People Artist. I need you to draw out the best in others at work. I know if you do it will make a difference for the person who receives the expression and it will make a difference to you, too.
Yesterday I expressed and appreciation of a colleague from Singapore on LinkedIn. I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him in a public way. I had no idea how public it would become.
I looked at the post today and saw that it had 12,810 views. It made my day.
Whose day are you going to make? Be a People Artist #beapeopleartist.
If you don’t know how to proceed I will send you a free e-copy of my last book co-authored with Peter Hart, People Artist, Drawing Out the Best In Others at Work
I was listening to an interview of Jack Docherty with Stuart Goldsmith on The Comedian’s Comedian podcast. Near the end of the podcast Stuart asked Jack what his career plans were for the next 5 to 10 years. Jack responded, “I have no plan.” He said he operates more on a whim and was somewhat apologetic for this and openly wondered if this was the right way to go.
Whim can be defined as a sudden wish or idea, often one that cannot be easily explained. This seems to go against the grain of life and career planning — knowing your short and long term goals.
There are many paths to career development. I am not opposed to meticulous career planning with long term goals but I am opposed to people who tell you that there is the only one true path.
Jack, myself, and countless others navigate our careers on whims. We may improvise a life and possibly take the proverbial road less travelled but as Robert Frost so eloquently stated at the end of his poem The Road not Taken, “that has made all the difference.”
The ability to marshall our resources for work has a huge impact on work engagement and managing stress. Yet many of us struggle to mobilize the wide variety of resources we have available to us.
For twenty years, I was a practicing counselling psychologist. My clients taught me much about navigating through their challenges but one thing that stood out for me during those years was how many clients suffered from, what I called, resource myopia.
Visual myopia is a type of near-sightedness where you have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly. Resource myopia is the failure to see personal, social, organizational, and structural resources available to you that seem distant in time, place or memory.
Clients would enter counselling with a problem or concern and fail to see the people, actions, attitudes, knowledge, and other resources that could help them endure, manage, master, or transform what brought them to counselling.
Many clients had used these resources in the past but were now failing to use them and even failing to see that they were even possibilities. My job was less about offering advice or solutions and more about helping them to see and use the resources they already had or could draw upon to deal with the current situation.
It seemed to me that resource myopia was similar to being unaware of our breathing. We are always breathing – it keeps us alive! Yet many of us just take it for granted. Meditators and mindfulness practitioners know the power of breathing to bring us into the moment and to contribute to our over all well-being. Yet many of us fail to see this resource – the ability to take a breather from work – that is literally right under our noses.
A game show example of resource myopia would be a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” experiencing the demands of a question they don’t have the answer for yet they fail to reach out for a lifeline by asking the audience, getting half the wrong answers eliminated, or phoning a friend.
I am 64 years of age but that does not stop me from being a fanboy of the Job Demand Resource (JD-R) model of work engagement. I appreciate the rigour, the research, and the immediate relevancy of this approach advanced by a number of academics around the globe including Arnold Bakker and Wilmar Schaufeli.
The JD–R model is a scientific model that can be used to predict employee well-being, including burnout and work engagement. Accordingly, although every job is different, each job has certain characteristics that can be categorized as job demands or job resources. Job demands (e.g., workload, emotional demands) are the drivers of a stress process undermining employee health, whereas job resources (e.g., autonomy, feedback, opportunities for growth) are the drivers of a motivational process in the workplace.
This brings us back to resource myopia. I believe many employees are myopic to the resources they have available to meet the demands, hassles, threats, and conflicts embedded in work. Perhaps they have forgotten about a powerful tool they could use, a co-worker who could help them, or the possibility to lessen the demands through conversation with their supervisor.
To overcome resource myopia get your “I-checked” with a reflective pause or a work based fine tuning that corrects your murky vision of the resources available to you for the work you do.
Remember job resources can be physical, psychological, social, or organizational factors that help you meet the demands of work, achieve goals, and reduce stress. For example, exercising autonomy, building strong work relationships, seeking opportunities for advancement, utilizing coaching, and learning are just some examples of job resources.
So here is my encouragement to you. To foster work engagement and lessen work stress, the next time you are experiencing work demands that you feel challenged to meet or are causing undue stress, pause and take time to identify, determine, gather, and utilize the resources you already have but are failing to see.
You just might feel like a million bucks after advocating to get your unrealistic work demands cut in half, spending some time on the phone with a friend for emotional support and practical advice, and tapping into the extensive social networks that can offer you the working wisdom of crowds. So what are you waiting for……go phone a friend.