Tag Archives: workplace

Expert Interview: Flying Without a Helicopter, with Joanie Connell, Ph.D.

Discover your talent podcast

Discover Your Talent Podcast Interview:

Flying Without a Helicopter

“Helicopter Parenting”—hovering over and doing too many things for your kids, protecting them, and not letting them learn those skills themselves—is leading to problems when they get older and enter the workplace. Corporate executives often complain about younger people coming into the workplace lacking some of the basic life skills that are necessary to succeed, like being independent, resilient, having good communication skills, and creativity.

Why Is This Important?

“Of course, there are pluses and minuses to every style of parenting. On the one hand, when we’re protecting our kids, we’re keeping them safe. But, on the other hand, when we’re overly protective we’re dis-empowering them, unintentionally depriving them of the opportunities they need to do for themselves…  Listen to the interview.

Follow Your Passion & Fly

Check out the new Charlie EpsteinKilling Retirement podcast to learn how to get the job of your dreams.

Show Notes

The second episode of “Killing Retirement” digs deep into the question: “what do you want to do with your life?” and (more importantly) WHY? Joanie’s focusing on the group of parents she calls “helicopter parents” and the children that come from that parenting style.

Guest: Dr. Joanie Connell

Quote of the ‘Cast: “I’m finding a lot of people that get to the workplace and they weren’t as happy as they thought they would be because their helicoptering parents and teachers have been promising them that there’s a wonderful light at the end of the tunnel after they work so hard during their childhood. They get out there and find that they’re at the bottom of the ladder in the corporate world. They’re not having these amazing jobs that they thought they would have and very dissatisfied that the work is a little bit more boring than they thought it would be a lot of times, more tedious, and just not prepared to do these kinds of things because their parents have been helping them out so much as they grew up.”

How to Change Bad Habits

burnout 2Over the years, we have developed deeply ingrained habits of how we react to things. These habits are often formed in childhood and may not be useful to us as adults. The following diagram shows how a habit plays out. We react to a trigger in the environment (or sometimes within ourselves) without thinking. Our impulses take over and the behavior just happens.

For example, if you were taught as a child to appreciate praise, your reaction to someone praising you might be “thank you.” If you were taught to be humble, you might automatically blurt out “you’re too kind.” If you were taught that you weren’t worthy of praise, you might have a different visceral reaction and say something self-deprecating.

Habit

trigger-impulse-behavior

To change an automatic response to a trigger, you need to be aware of your response to it. When you are aware of your response, you can make a choice of how to behave. See the diagram below.

Changing a Habit

trigger-change-behavior

To become aware of your responses to triggers, you need to slow things down. It’s like a moment in a TV show when the action freezes and the actor talks directly into the camera about the situation. Once the actor has talked it through, the action continues.

To improve awareness, start with reviewing situations after they have happened. For example, after a meeting, sit down and go over what happened, what the triggers were, how you were feeling in response to them, and how you behaved. Then think about how you would want to behave differently next time and make yourself aware of what the triggers were and the feelings you had in response to them.

For example, if a trigger is your boss taking control of the meeting from you, note that down. Your feeling might be angry and your behavior could be to shut down and stop participating in the meeting. The first step is noticing what the trigger is and what your impulsive reaction is. Then you have a choice.

The next step is to decide on a new behavior that you would like to do in place of the old one. For example, instead of shutting down, you might want to thank your boss for her input and take control of the meeting back. If that’s too much, an interim step could be to ruminate for a moment then pull yourself out of it and get back into the meeting as a participant instead of a leader. (If you could talk to your boss offline about it, that would be even better.)

Knowing what you should have done in hindsight is easy. Doing it in the moment is harder. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to change your behavior instantaneously. It takes time and practice.

The next time you experience that trigger, try to recognize it and put your new behavior into play. More likely, you’ll recognize your behavior to the trigger as you’re doing it and realize you should have done it differently. That’s okay. You’re making progress. Keep it up and you’ll eventually become aware as the trigger occurs, giving yourself that brief moment necessary to make a conscious choice on how you will behave in response.

As an interim step, don’t forget that it’s okay to go back, to redo, to stop things and say you want to do it differently. For example, when the boss takes over the meeting and you shut down, you could become aware of your behavior then stop your boss and say, “I’d really like to lead the next piece if you don’t mind.” If you had said something negative in your impulsive response, you could stop and say: “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. What I mean to say is…” People are often very forgiving when you admit you made a mistake.

You’ll know you’ve successfully changed your habit when you see yourself behaving in the new way automatically.

This  post was inspired by Marshall Goldsmith’s book Triggers.

Are Gen X Women Being Squeezed Out Of The Workplace?

Fast Company logoSandwiched between two of the largest and more vocal generations, gen-Xers (especially women) face several unique challenges at work.

“[Gen X women] were raised during the women’s movement and were led to believe they could have it all, but, once they started working full-time, they realized it wasn’t possible to have it all, Connell says. Millennial women, on the other hand, saw their first female Supreme Court justice and their first female secretary of state while they were children, making it seem that anything is possible.”

There’s much more.  Read the full article here.

Finding Happiness in your Career

Rhodes to Success with Jessica Rhodes

On this episode of Rhodes to Success, Jessica interviews Dr. Joanie Connell. During the show, Jessica and Joanie discuss helicopter parenting, generational differences in the workplace, what makes a great leader, how to help employees be resilient, and how to find a career that excites you.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting?
  • Talk about millennial and generational challenges in the work place.
  • Comment on how different generations figure out how to be happy in their career.
  • Do you think the transition from employee to contractor jobs help people find a work/life balance?
  • What does it take to be a successful leader?
  • How do you teach employees to take on leadership roles?
  • What can we do to help our employees be more resilient?
  • How can people find a career that excites them?

Introverts: 4 Tips to Build Relationships at Work

business relationshipGuest Post by Jennifer Kahnweiler

In a discussion I once had on HuffPost Live, we spoke about how preparation helps when introverts attempt to make friends. It occurred to me that building relationships at work also relates to preparation. In fact, the quiet influencers who have the most fluid and comfortable conversations consciously prepare for these interactions.

Here are some examples of how they prepare to build relationships at work.

1)  Set up space and times to talk. Consider how your workspace enhances or discourages conversations. If you work in a noisy or busy space take a walk with a colleague or move to a private area.  Scope these places out ahead of time. Schedule phone calls or video conferencing so that you are both focused.

2) Make time for face time. Be intentional about it. John Maeda, the head of the Rhode Island School of Design learned to get off the computer and connect with people. He found that scheduling ‘walking around’ time was useful.

3) Allow for serendipity. Companies are encouraging workplace happenstance that leads to innovation and creative ideas.  For instance, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs built central bathrooms at Pixar to foster connections between different people. Google’s Vice-President, David Radcliffe, designed their 2015 headquarters in a way to encourage ‘casual collisions of the work force.’  As a result, the new design will place employees no further than a 2 1/2 minute walk from each other. Why not eat lunch with some new people once in while or take your breaks in a different part of the building?

4) Prepare questions ahead of time. At gatherings you can ask, “What brought you to this meeting?” or, “What have you been working on lately?”  Get the ball rolling by preparing some talking points about your own interests and background. Selah Abrams, a quiet influencer says, “you can read people like a good book and if you engage in a conversation you can learn even more.”

So with a little prep you will be more confident AND strengthen your workplace relationships.

Originally published 8/10/2013 on JenniferKahnweiler.org.

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., Certified Speaking Professional, is a bestselling author and global keynote speaker known as the “champion for introverts.” In addition to her latest book, The Genius of Opposites, she has written two bestselling books about introverts (Quiet Influence and The Introverted Leader), which have been translated into 14 languages.