Executive Burnout – When To Get Help, The Danger of TDC (Thinly Disguised Contempt) & What Great Listeners Actually Do
21 May 2023 Newsletter
“If you focus on solving problems you’ll probably save your business $1 of revenue. If you focus on creating customer moments, you’ll probably create $10” Chip Heath
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a productive week with workshops, podcasts and a lot of discussions about AI and its impact.
AI Impact on the Labour Market
This week I came across this interesting infographic about the impact of AI.
What Great Listeners Actually Do
Chances are you think you’re a good listener. People’s appraisal of their listening ability is much like their assessment of their driving skills, in that the great bulk of adults think they’re above average.
Most people think that good listening comes down to three things;
- 1Not talking when others are speaking
- Letting others know you’re listening through facial expressions and verbal sounds (“Mmm-hmm”)
- Being able to repeat what others have said, practically word-for-word
But in an article I read this week, good listeners are like trampolines. They are someone you can bounce ideas off of — and rather than absorbing your ideas and energy, they amplify, energise, and clarify your thinking. They make you feel better not merely by passively absorbing, but by actively supporting. This lets you gain energy and height, just like someone jumping on a trampoline.
Here are the six levels of listening;
Level 1: The listener creates a safe environment in which difficult, complex, or emotional issues can be discussed.
Level 2: The listener clears away distractions like phones and laptops, focusing attention on the other person and making appropriate eye contact. (This behavior not only affects how you are perceived as the listener; it immediately influences the listener’s own attitudes and inner feelings. Acting the part changes how you feel inside. This in turn makes you a better listener.)
Level 3: The listener seeks to understand the substance of what the other person is saying. They capture ideas, ask questions, and restate issues to confirm that their understanding is correct.
Level 4: The listener observes nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, perspiration, respiration rates, gestures, posture, and numerous other subtle body language signals. It is estimated that 80% of what we communicate comes from these signals. It sounds strange to some, but you listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
Level 5: The listener increasingly understands the other person’s emotions and feelings about the topic at hand, and identifies and acknowledges them. The listener empathises with and validates those feelings in a supportive, nonjudgmental way.
Level 6: The listener asks questions that clarify assumptions the other person holds and helps the other person to see the issue in a new light. This could include the listener injecting some thoughts and ideas about the topic that could be useful to the other person. However, good listeners never hijack the conversation so that they or their issues become the subject of the discussion.
Read the article here: What Great Listeners Actually Do
The Danger of TDC (Thinly Disguised Contempt)
Brad Feld is an investor and entrepreneur, and this week I came across an article of his, talking about thinly disguised contempt.
In the article he recalls the inaugural EO birthing of giants program and how Alan Trefler had implemented a fine of $1,000 for any management team member who thought or said something negative about a customer.
From the article.
TDC is bad. TDC is toxic. It lingers. It spills out over everything. Your friends and colleagues notice but don’t really understand, as you send them mixed signals. TDC is dangerous – it gets inside, around, and all over everything. Be blunt. If you don’t like something, say it. If someone does something stupid, say it. If stuff needs to change, say it. Stomp out TDC.
Read the 2-minute article here : TDC (Thinly Disguised Contempt) TDC – Brad Feld
Performance Review Questions
Performance reviews can be one of the most stressful and frustrating meetings for both managers and employees.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
If you have a clear Role Scorecard as outlined in my book Onboarded ( download an example here) you can effectively discuss people’s performance related to the scorecard.
I recently came across a set of questions for use during performance reviews to help generate meaningful conversations.
- What did you accomplish this quarter?
- What will you accomplish next quarter?
- What are areas you think you should focus on improving? What are some steps you think will facilitate your development in these areas?
- How are you embracing the company values?
- Here is how we expect the company to continue to develop and the role we expect you to play in that growth.
- What can we do that will make you more successful? And what do you feel we do that hinders your ability to be successful?Here’s a quote from the CEO using this:
“Conversations happen quarterly but we have a strict mantra of NO SURPRISES — managers and team members shouldn’t go into them with very different understandings of how the team member is doing.
Regular 1:1s ought to be happening alongside coaching, etc. But there is huge value in these deeper, more formal conversations, which, as you can see above, are mostly forward-looking.”
When People Ask If You Are Free
This Week on The Growth Whisperers Podcast
162 Executive Burnout: How do you know when you need to get some help? (1/2)
Executives are often more driven than the average person. We run hard all the time, and it usually works. And then, it doesn’t work.
We persist and push harder than the average person, and that’s why we win. But it’s also why we can crash harder and sometimes even put everything at risk.
This week we talk about executive burnout. What it means, what to look out for in both yourself and your team, and when it might be time to go get some help.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
Or watch it on YouTube
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