Why people disengage

First day in the new job….
I’ve never been responsible for so much before. I wonder what the new boss will be like.
Better make a good impression or they’ll think they’ve made the wrong hiring decision. Better make a good impression or they’ll think I’m no good at my job.
Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of all this. Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of this department.
OK, let’s do this. OK, let’s do this.
[Step into the office, shoulders back, head up, eye contact, confidently greeting people] [Steps into the office, looking around]

Is he here yet?

[Conversations in flow – listening deeply] [Conversations in flow – speaking passionately]
Wow I’m learning loads. Wow I know more than I realised, and he seems to be really listening. This is going well!
I have so many questions. These questions are really getting me thinking. I love this!
These people really know their stuff. I feel like I know my stuff even better than I did before this conversation!
They seem so engaged with what they’re doing and keen to change things for the better. I love this job and this new boss seems great!
I’d better show that I know stuff too [adds knowledgeable stuff to conversation]. And he has insights to add. That’s so useful to have a new perspective.
A few months later…..
[Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations grows….] [Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations is dropping, confidence is dropping]
Hey, I’m doing great!   Look at all this stuff I know now. I’m not sure I’m as good at this as I thought I was.
I can add so much to conversations. I don’t feel I can share anything he doesn’t already know.
I have so many ideas.  I’m thriving on sharing them with everyone! I don’t know where to take this next.  I can’t get a word in edgeways anyway.
6 months later….
I get all this now. I’ll wait to be told.
I’ve got a clear plan of what we need to do and how we’re going to get there. It’s always his opinion first so no point thinking first.

 

Why is this person saying this again? We went over this already? If he’d only listen he’d hear what I’m really saying. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t care what I have to say.
I asked for that last week. What are they doing? What’s the point, it won’t be exactly what he wants anyway.
I have this amazing idea – I’ll go and tell the people who need to make it happen. It must be done yesterday! Instructions received.   Robotic task-completion mode engaged.
Nobody has anything to say around here. …..
I wish people would just get on and do instead of seeking permission from me! Given he knows it all I need to check this first or it’ll be wrong.
Why does nobody interact in our meetings or bring ideas?

It’s like they’ve all just disengaged.

…..

We’re taught our whole lives – from school and through work – to show our brilliance.  Have the ideas.  Show you know things.  Demonstrate capability.  Do stuff and do it well and quickly.

All through school, university and work we’re rewarded and praised for knowing and doing. read more

Building for Collaboration

Today I’m delighted to welcome Shirley Marshall to the Wild Fig blog.  Shirley’s an HR Partner at RCI and came to the last Learn > Connect > Do event in December.  I was delighted when I heard that Shirley took her learning back to work and wrote an internal blog post to get others thinking and talking about the topic of workplace and collaboration, and she’s kindly given permission for it to be re-produced on here. read more

Learn > Connect > Do : Do we still need offices?

delegatesLast night Dan Pilling and I welcomed a great group of people to the first birthday of Learn > Connect > Do where we were talking about workplace + space and whether we do indeed still need offices.

Dan started the event with a Pecha Kucha about how the workplace has evolved as technology and work has changed.  We no longer need all the desk space and personal office space we used to have in the 70’s.  Instead that’s mostly been replaced by bland, row upon row, of simple-to-design-and-install identikit desks where people spend too much time sitting => which we now know is causing all sorts of health problems including impacting our sleep => and poor sleep affects our work performance.  Oh, and the hours we spend sitting commuting to these offices… read more

Do we need offices?

BREAKING NEWS! Ian Ellison now also speaking at Learn > Connect > Do!!  Read on….

On 1st December it’s Learn > Connect > Do, the event for people professionals who care about making work better.

This quarter we’re talking about our workplaces and spaces and stimulating the debate from the position of “Do we need offices?”.  It’s fantastic to have Dan Pilling and now, not just Dan, but Ian Ellison too!  They’ll be joining us to bring us their deign and workplace insights and get the discussion going.  As the Chair and Deputy Chair of the BIFM Special Interest Group they know their stuff! read more

How well do you influence others?

At the start of May I attended a course in Team Coaching, taking coaching from one-to-one to a team brings a whole different set of challenges and opportunities to improve organisational performance…

One of the topics we had some debate around was that of power in work. Power so often has negative connotations. In the same way the word conflict does. If I’d used that word instead of “debate”, what image would have come to mind about our conversation?  How would you have felt about it?  And what about “power”?  What do you think and feel when you hear that word? read more

It’s nearly here! #CIPDOD15

cipd-logo-purple_tcm31-113129

I’m excited!  On 29th September I’m taking a trip down to London for the CIPD OD Conference and what a day it looks like it’s going to be!

I’m not sure how long Org Development as a term’s been around.  I first learnt about it from the imminently wise David D’Souza, back in 2013, when I found out that the job I’d been doing and known just as a change programme, was in fact OD!  Who knew!! read more

#FeedbackCarnival – The Curation!

Wow! What an amazing month April’s been for fabulous feelings and philosophies on feedback! 33 posts all together! Impressive stuff and a great wealth of insight has been created on a topic which is clearly an area of work that continues to need some attention so that we can improve.

Thank you to everyone who’s contributed. It’s only because of you that this curation is possible and able to benefit others with this same challenge. read more

In a crisis

In a crisis we come together.

While standing on the train station this morning, waiting for the fast train to London with all the regular commuters, the silence was deafening. Everybody was so separate. So isolated. So absorbed in their own world.

It felt desperately alien to me and I wanted to talk to someone – anyone – to create some human connection. read more