Leaders are masters at this!

One quality all great leaders possess is their ability to “read between the lines” during conversations.  They are able to understand the subtext in people’s communication.

Our communication is frequently influenced by subtext.  In order to effectively communicate, it is crucial to learn how to use this information.

Let’s see an example to understand this clearly.

We must always remember to separate the overt from the covert – what we perceive and the reality.

Imagine that you are walking by a crowded street and suddenly find a man lying there in a pool of blood.  As your eyes make contact with a burly-looking stranger, he starts to make a run and turns around the corner.  Hey, “wait” you shout as you see a car speeding out from the lane and turning at high speed.

Why does this man run when he sees you?  Why is the car speeding out of the lane immediately after?

Because the man committed a crime and is running around the corner to jump into a car driven by his accomplice, who then speeds away to escape from the crime scene.

The scene above never said you saw the stranger committing the crime.  Also, there was no mention of you having seen this man jumping into the car and that it was his accomplice who helped him escape the crime scene.

You deduced it from the scene itself, the description, and the mood of the scene. Is “wait” a subtextual word? Or even “running”; or “speeding”?  There is nothing hidden in the words, other than “stop”, and “don’t run”, depending on the way it is delivered in the scene.

Imagine that the stranger was working as an assistant in the neighborhood pharmacy and had just run around the corner to get some first aid for the man who was lying there bleeding.  It might have been the man in the car who would have actually committed the crime.

The key to better communication and increased likeability is to use subtext to fill in the blanks of any incoming communication. You will quickly realize that practically everything a person says contains subtle undertones intended to subtly or overtly convey extra messages if you pay close attention.

Consider how people’s past experiences and histories may relate to the current situation. What feelings are involved here? Hint: at least one main emotion is always present. It will unavoidably affect their goals, perspectives, and motivations in a way that might cause their message to diverge from what they actually mean.

If you are aware of someone’s overall personality qualities, you may frequently make a decision by considering how they would prefer to act in the given circumstance. Someone is likely internally shouting “NO!” if they are exceedingly quiet and timid and reply to anything to the extent of “I agree… I suppose.” Basically, take into account the source and how a person’s experiences affect how they communicate.

Examine a person’s vocal tone to determine their sincerity. Are they serious, angry, or sarcastic? Does the message’s tone fit with it? Someone probably means no if they answer affirmatively but with sarcasm. Someone is probably not satisfied with the conclusion if they agree but act furious about it. If they answer honestly and with a “yes,” they are either conflicted or don’t care. There are countless ways to interpret vocal tones, but the majority do in fact imply that the words are not to be taken literally.

Watch how people react to you. You may tell how someone is feeling about what you say by seeing how patient, kind, and accommodating they attempt to be. This includes the amount of silence you hear and the level of curiosity they exhibit. Even if they agree with you, if someone waits for two beats to respond to a straightforward question, they may have had to consider their response and may be conveying negativity through subtext.

Observing how far people differ from their typical pattern of behavior is another factor to consider, which can call for more observant abilities. What does it indicate that your boss is somber and pessimistic if they are usually upbeat? It can make the statement “Things are going well” convey the complete opposite meaning. You can use the hints that subtext leaves to sharpen your communication skills. Signs are left all over the place.

Of course, the difficult thing is interpreting these facets of a person at the same time, as you could in a typical daily conversation.

This means that in reality, you have two tasks to complete:

  1. analysing the dialogue and selecting the appropriate response; and
  2. keeping an eye out for subtextual indications.

You might be able to educate yourself to recognize particular subtexts and social cues, but can you recognize them when you’re actively looking for others? Or will your capacity for simultaneous observation be limited? This might be true that it would require three brains and six pairs of eyes for you to see so many things at once.

The only thing we can do is start small and practice until these things – why did they say that, what are they experiencing, and what may it indicate — become a habitual thought process. I want to leave you with a quick exercise to set the mood before we wrap up our discussion about subtext. It’s very simple: go out in public and watch people interact. For instance, you could sit in a café and stealthily monitor the individuals at the tables next to yours.

Since you can’t hear the overt dialogue, you must assume what the covert communication’s subtext is saying. Assign the people you are witnessing histories, feelings, and motivations. Make up stories and venture out on a limb. The narrative you conjure up in situations like this will get more and more accurate as you hone your subtext skills.


  1. How often have you found a gap between what you hear people say, your perceptions and the underlying message?
  2. How do you think mastering the art of reading the subtext of messages people convey will help you?
  3. Do you think your ability to read the subtext will make you more likeable and approachable for others?

Fear of rejection, people pleasing, and the impact on work

While it is understandable to want to avoid rejection, red flags should go up if you feel an intense need to put other people’s needs before your own. People pleasers who are compulsive will go to great measures to win people over and are a good example. Their desire for stability overrides their ambitions and impulses due to their dependent mentality, and the way they present themselves mirrors how they think other people want them to be rather than who they really are. They typically have a long history of employment, are intelligent, effective team members, and considerate of others’ needs. They serve as the leader’s followers, the creatives’ audience, and the problematic co-worker’s listening ear.

They seldom ever argue with co-workers and, in many respects, serve as the foundation of organizations. Their emotional antennae are tipped more outward than within, though. They are less aware of their own internal environments when they are tuning into other people. They repress their feelings and beliefs, lose track of their goals, and—most concerningly—disconnect from who they really are.

While their co-workers gain from their generosity, they ultimately lose out because they are unable to reach their full potential or experience the fulfillment that comes from a job well-lived.

They stop thinking for themselves and start relying on their supervisors and co-workers to make decisions and even think for them. Companies lose out on their distinctive talents despite benefiting from their persistent, cooperative work. In this way, the cycle of gratification and dependence picks up speed.

Thoughts lack energy when they are not expressed verbally, which inhibits change and development. To break out of this pattern, motivation is essential. Internal conflict develops when the need to please conflicts with one’s goals. Although this tension is unpleasant, it can inspire the will for change.

If one is willing to confront and resolve these tensions and ambiguities, one can progress personally and professionally. Santosh, a 35-year-old unmarried man who worked in digital marketing, experienced this. His wit and charm provided the ideal cover for his deeper fears, which were nevertheless very close to the surface.

He had to deal with the tension between trying to please people and succeeding because of a promotion. Throughout my whole life, I’ve used pleasing others as a means of preventing rejection. This helped him in his early jobs, but when he was elevated to a leadership position, his fear of being rejected made it difficult for him to make difficult decisions and have uncomfortable conversations.

I was curious to learn more about his predicament. Can you describe how your worries affect how well you function at work? He stated, “It’s inhibiting because the choices you make are layered with lots of considerations about how the other person might feel, or react, or how they might be inspired to speak against you, or how they might recruit others against you.” To make up for it, you either soften what you’re going to say or disguise your own intentions so as not to offend them. That implies that you are less effective and productive. I keep my mouth shut if there is even the slightest potential that they might be upset. You don’t want to take the chance of offending someone since they might leave or convince others to leave as well.

You’re not being honest if you’re worried about whether they’ll think poorly of you. As a result, you feel awful about yourself and they think you should be communicating with them directly. The fact that he was always expecting the next threat because of his hypervigilant state of mind was undoubtedly concerning.

 “Staying on high alert often puts you on the verge of an anxiety attack, and your irrational concerns about others mean you betray yourself,” I advised him. He replied, “If you take people on, then you’re making enemies.” You figure out a means to avoid doing this by attempting to boost other people’s self-esteem. You repress your own personality at the same time. Everything is premeditated; it’s a performance. This is what makes it exhausting because you’re trying to project an image that will prevent rejection.

I told him that despite his new, higher-ranking position, he continued to feel that others—whether subordinates, colleagues, or clients—held sway because they had the authority to reject him. His self-confidence suffered as a result, and he forced himself to work harder to prove his value, but the long hours were making him burn out. He was prone to misinterpret circumstances, seeing risks where none existed, or get distracted so much that he overlooked a real threat.

He acknowledged, “I’ve either not taken something seriously when I should have, or I’ve been prepared for a fight when I simply misread the signs.”

His apparent compassion for other people was actually a coping mechanism for deeper emotional traumas from his early years.

In reality, trauma is an emotional and physical reaction to any traumatic incident. By numbing intense emotions like sadness, helplessness, or fury, the mind hurries to shield the person from overpowering emotions. However, these encounters leave a lasting impression on the way we think, relate to others, control our emotions, and process our experiences by leaving traces in our memories, emotions, unconscious, and even in our bodies.

This includes how we perceive things and respond at work.

This was the situation with Santosh, who was born following his mother’s miscarriage of two previous children, and who grew up to be the center of attention for his mother and everyone else at home.  He realized as he got older that people did not adore him as much as they had when he was younger.  Contrary to what he had come to believe, the world was very different.  As a result, he developed a strong desire to win people over so that he could receive their full attention.  He eventually developed an obsessive need to appease others.

Alas! It was starting to take a toll on him.


  1. Do you often compromise your own goals and agendas in order to not offend others?
  • How has ‘people pleasing’ affected your role as a leader or when you grew into a leadership role, both at home and in office?

The secret power of expectations

Often our expectations are based on the assumptions we have about people or groups of people. The same is true of us.

Have you ever noticed how your expectations become reality in your personal life?

Expectation is literally a self-fulfilling prophecy. We do this consciously and subconsciously.

Remember the kid in grade school who was always really rowdy and disruptive? Sometimes if people already assume they are perceived a certain way, then that is indeed exactly how they will act, even if they don’t mean to. The rowdy kid in grade school knew everyone perceived him as disruptive, and so he was. The teacher expected bad behavior, and the expectations were fulfilled.

Consider the profound impact this can have on your own life. Are the assumptions and expectations you have about yourself liberating or victimizing? There are countless examples of “self-fulfilling prophecies,” or the Law of Expectations at work in everyday life. Ever notice how people who think they’re going to be fired suddenly experience a drop in the quality and enthusiasm for their work? Then what happens? They get fired! Their belief causes them to act a certain way, and those expectations then work to bring about the very thing that at first was only a figment of their imagination.

In another study, second graders listened to statements from their teachers before taking a math test. There were three types of statements: expectation, persuasion, or reinforcement.

The expectation statements went something like, “You know your math really well!” or “You work really hard at your math.” Persuasion statements involved sentences like, “You should be good at math.” or “You should be getting better math grades.” Finally, for the reinforcement statements, teachers said things like, “I’m really happy about your progress” or “This is excellent work!”

Now, what do you think the results were? The scores were the highest in the “expectation” category! Why were the expectation statements the most effective? They created personal assumptions within each student. Those assumptions conditioned the actual external results.

Don’t Zone Out! Find Focus With A Theme

What happened to the time? When we are busy in our day-to-day lives, it sometimes seems that whole seasons pass in a blink. And the goals we have…well, they can easily slip by in that blur too. You want to WAKE UP: to get control of your time and meet your goals. But how?

In coaching, we sometimes talk about our lives being in the process. That is, our lives are constantly flowing forward over and around the highs and lows of our everyday experiences, like a river. As humans we often try to minimize those ups and downs: We plan for the future, we dwell on the past and thus avoid experiencing the emotion at this present moment. As a result, we dampen our aliveness and sort of zone out. No wonder we suddenly “wake up” to realize minutes, even days or weeks, have passed us by!

Have you ever had the experience of driving a car only to find yourself suddenly at your destination? Where have you been? Not present, that’s for sure! But really, what does it mean to be present in your day-to-day life?

It’s quite challenging to focus all your attention on this moment. Try it: As you are reading these words, slow down. Experience the action of reading one word at a time. What sounds do you hear in the room around you? How comfortable are you? How are you breathing? Recognize that you are alive, right now, in this moment. What was that like for you?

Here’s another experiment. Go ahead and laugh – – but try this anyway. It may give you a whole new way to be in the moment: As you go through your day, ask yourself: Where’s my butt? On a chair? Against a wall? Walking past the consignment shop on Main Street? Crazy as it sounds; it is very difficult not to be present when you’re trying to figure out where your rump is!

OK! Now you’ve tried rump awareness and have probably heard all kinds of other advice for becoming present at the moment – breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and so forth. Now broaden the concept: how can you stay present and focused on a project or goal in your life? Select a theme.

Here’s how it works: As an example, my theme for my business this year is “fun and inspired action.” This theme serves as a filter. Each month, I review my business goals through the lens of my theme and prioritize those that will be the most fun and give me and my clients the most inspiration. Brainstorming projects to undertake, I look for those that best match my theme. My theme gives me a sense of exploration when choosing new opportunities. FUN!

A client of mine has a theme for the month in regard to his job search: Action! Driven by action he’s got some aggressive goals for landing job interviews. In every step he takes he asks himself, “does this forward my action toward my goals?” You should see the guy – he’s on fire!

What is YOUR theme? It’s time for you to wake up and be on fire too!

Micro-managing – Lessons for leaders from helicopter parenting

Leaders would do well to understand that micro-managing is like the helicopter parent who is seemingly disapproving of all that their team members do.

I was trying to relate this one to my own personal experience and found it so relevant that I chose to share with you some insights that I gained.

This was about 30 years back when my wife and I were dating.  Being brought up in a conservative family environment where all decisions in your life were taken by parents, was blasphemous, to say the least.  Those were the days when parents thought that all that they did was in the best interests of the family and they were always ‘right’.

They were disapproving of our relationship and did all in their power to stop us from seeing each other.  That included, for my poor partner being locked up for days at home to character assassination of yours truly to extremes like threats to disown us.

The interesting thing about all these attempts was that the more they did of these, the closer and tighter we became in our relationship.  We started to find immense strength from each other’s company and felt like having the power to take on the world.  There was something very unnerving of about parents meddling in their children’s affairs that appeared to motivate us kids to rebel.

I realized that the more I was told to refrain from doing something, the more resolute I became in continuing.  The idea became more and more appealing to me and my partner.

The lesson here is that talking more and offering suggestions often were counterproductive and had low success rates.  Isn’t it similar to smokers still continuing to smoke despite all the graphic pictures and symbols shown on the pack?  I am sure you can relate to this when anyone tries to hard sell you an idea and the way you dig in your heels to oppose or stall it with vigor.

The harder we are pushed, the harder we resist!

Today, absenteeism, non-cooperation, and employee disengagement are early warning signs of a micro-managing boss.   

Employee turnover is the ultimate act of defiance against the leaders who have been guilty of micro-managing and giving little or no autonomy to their employees.

As with parenting, leaders need to be less controlling and more supportive and facilitative in their approach.  All the more important for leaders who are working with Gen Z, Gen X, and Gen Alphas.

Any attempt to control can lead to what social psychologists call the “Romeo and Juliet” effect.  As was the case with me and my partner.  The impact of that is still relevant.

Children are not exhibits – STOP treating them like your showpiece!

It was so funny to see, whenever we had guests at home, we kids were made to perform various acrobatics in front of them.  The guests were told that the kid sings well, dances well recite a poem well, is a wonder kid in math and can perform complex calculations in a sec., or had immense general knowledge.  Sometimes paraded like artists in a circus.

Parents behaving like masters of ceremonies then started goading the kids to perform those feats in front of their guests.  If they did perform to the applause of others, parents felt proud and the kids were rewarded well.  If the kids fail to comply, they are labeled as shy or stubborn.

Sounds familiar?  What are the reasons for parents to behave this way?

Given the current climate, perhaps it is time we started asking ourselves some probing questions. Do we place too much of a link between our children and our social standing?

Do a lot of us unintentionally associate our reputation with how well our kids perform?

Many of us worry so much about getting into a “good” school that it drives both our kids and us crazy. How can an excellent school or college be determined? Is it one whose culture, curriculum, or academic standards we find appealing, or is it one that is viewed as a “status symbol”?

Many of us want our kids to participate in sports. But once more, do we really need to care that our kid is having fun playing a game he likes? Or are we actively or subtly encouraging him to succeed so that we can highlight what a champion our kid is?

Every parent is pleased with how their kids performed. But is it necessary to pressure our kids into performing in front of guests, whether or not they feel comfortable doing so, by making them dance or recite a poem?

Parents naturally want their kids to behave well and have decent manners. But why do we become too aware of their actions, demand that they set aside their immaturity, and become flawless examples of restraint when we are around people?

The same irrational expectations apply when we forbid kids from playing in the sand, water, or rain out of concern that their clothes and shoes will get dirty, and that people would subsequently judge them. Some parents don’t even let their kids pick out their own casual clothes; instead, they always make sure they look “next, clean & smart” as if they were on display.

Is our child a showcase to be put on display in front of others as a declaration of our success?

Allow kids to be kids. Let nature take its course as it develops. The child’s holistic and natural development should be of more importance than how they appear to others.

By treating children as objects for display, we only inflict undue stress on their fragile psyches.

If you wish to be that sensitive parent who wants to learn ways to relate effectively with your child? Let’s dialogue 👇🏽

Moonlighting – Is there a problem

Organizations have traditionally objected to employees moonlighting, believing that it can hurt their interests in the long run.

For one, moonlighting can lead to employees working on projects that are not related to their primary job. Thus they may miss important meetings or deadlines due to the time they devote to their secondary jobs.

Second, employees who moonlight are less likely to stay at the company for very long. These workers may feel neglected and undervalued by their employers, which could cause them to look for other opportunities elsewhere.

Third, it may also be difficult to monitor employees who are moonlighting. Unlike employees who remain at the company during the day, these workers do not have supervisors who can keep a close watch on their activities to ensure they are doing their jobs properly.

Finally, employees who moonlight may end up stealing proprietary information from their employers and selling this information to their competitors. This can threaten the survival of the organizations they work for, especially if they use the information to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Given this, organizations should consider allowing their employees to moonlight only if it can provide them with certain benefits. For example, such an arrangement could help an organization expand its operations and improve its bottom line if it is able to hire more talented workers with more diverse skills.

However, it is important for these organizations to take the necessary steps to protect their sensitive information and ensure that their employees are doing their jobs properly if they are to allow employees to moonlight. For example, these organizations should limit the number of hours their employees can work at their second jobs and ensure that they do not work on projects that have any connection to their primary jobs. Furthermore, these companies should monitor the activities of their employees to ensure that they are not in possession or have access to confidential information that could hurt the interests of their employers.

Organizations often prohibit their employees from moonlighting because it can be detrimental to their overall interests. First, it can be very time-consuming for employees to moonlight, which may cause them to neglect their primary jobs and miss out on important tasks and deadlines. Second, many employees may not be able to balance their two jobs effectively and end up neglecting one or the other. As a result, they may find themselves making costly mistakes in their primary jobs or failing to complete their secondary jobs on time.

Third, some employees may be tempted to use their access to confidential information at their primary jobs to obtain a competitive advantage in their secondary jobs. This could have a serious negative impact and could end up hurting the bottom line of their primary employers.

The reasons why employees choose to moonlight

  1. Financial prospects – When employees feel that they are underpaid or not able to meet their financial needs, they look for alternatives or side hustles that could provide them with much-needed support.
  2. Career prospects – When employees do not see career growth prospects or see that there are not enough possibilities or opportunities to expand their roles, then they may choose to find or work towards greener pastures. This they do to secure their future prospects.
  3. Workload – Employees may find that they are being overloaded with work and the financial rewards are not commensurate, then they may be looking at moonlighting as an option to safeguard their prospects in case they eventually choose to quit their primary jobs. It could also be that they do not have enough work in their primary jobs and would like to use their spare time to explore options outside.
  4. Learning opportunities – When employees find that there are not enough opportunities to learn and enhance their skills in their primary jobs, they would find gigs that would help them not just learn but also additionally give them some money as an added benefit.
  5. Lack of trust – When employees see signs that their jobs are not secure and their employer is laying off people and/or there is news/gossip that goes around about such an eventuality, then they may choose to moonlight as a defensive response to safeguard their own interests in case such an eventuality does occur.

There could be many more reasons unique to each employee. It is for organizations to be able to proactively deal with the eventuality of employees moonlighting and take corrective action that could help mitigate the business risks.

One must remember, that as much as organizations can look for a diversified business portfolio based on the changing market conditions, employees are entitled to do the same.

One can’t complain!

Work-life balance – A mirage you may well stop chasing

Working women would definitely relate to this one! and the men too…

Have you ever found that going on a dream vacation and coming back refreshed and ready to take on the world once again is sort of a myth?

Does your nature help in getting work-life balance?

Want to check out yourself?

Great. Send me the link to the assessment. Here is how to contact me 👇🏽

You are not alone!

Moving back from seeing the extraordinary comforts of someone cleaning up our rooms, and making beds every day to doing endless loads of laundry to meeting workplace deadlines can be a wake-up call.

The reality of what lies ahead of us in our “real life” is intimidating, to say the least.

I find that many of us struggle to reconcile our desire to do great work and be a great spouse/parent/daughter/friend. We might in the name of work-life balance aim for perfection in every area and fall short, sometimes spectacularly so, and on a regular basis.

Work is not only the creative outlet we so desperately seek, but it helps us support our family in a meaningful way.

As a working parent, you would have experienced the fact that every minute you spend at work is the time you are not spending with your kids and family, and there is a certain amount of guilt and frustration that comes with that reality.

Work from home as many would have thought would bring in the much-needed balance in their life ended up being no more than a ‘mirage’.  Being surrounded by noisy kids, elders, and family, in general, demanding your attention has been draining, to say the least for many. 

For working women, possibly the time away from home and the commute to the office would have been such a welcome break daily was suddenly taken away.  They seem to be now the first and the last to get in and out of bed, what with massive amounts of laundry, meals to be made, floors to be kept clean, making beds for others and the chores are endless.  This has not changed much as even for those who have had house help handy.  Supervising them and getting all of it done would have been more frustrating than managing employees and/or colleagues at work.

Many I know of have done away with such help as they always felt that the work done was not according to the standards that they have in mind. 

This problem was accentuated for all those who have ‘Perfectionism’ as a personality trait.  It is starting to take a toll on their physical and mental wellness.

It is also resulting in increased levels of absenteeism at work leading to piling up work and stress.

Do you ever experience a day where you feel as if you have provided your kids with the love and attention they require, in addition to delivering excellent work and getting some time alone to unwind and recharge? The answer may actually, be a no.

On numerous occasions, one or two of the topics have been addressed while the others have been neglected. More often than you’d like, you would have found yourself losing your temper with children, and possibly have trouble concentrating fully on your work.

I frequently get the impression that we could never realistically attain decompression and recharge.

The hardest lesson in all this is to learn on this quest for balance is that you can’t be flawless. The true fallacy is that balance is a kind of perfection in and of itself.

Giving 100% to everything all the time is out of balance; you need to take from some areas and contribute to others to balance them. That has been a hard truth for most to accept.

Can you truly achieve the elusive work-life balance?  Is it a mirage that you have been chasing?

One way I have been able to get a semblance of balance is to not expect a perfect life.  I would like to take life as a continuous journey where I am able to soak in the experiences as they come along.  The breaks for me are just pitstops to cool the engine down and not as another means to goals like having a bucket list (aka to-do list) as some would have it.

Balance can be achieved by doing nothing – a sort of ‘stillness’.  It is like the handheld weighing scale held by the street vendor.  He has to hold it ‘still’ to get the measurements right.

There could be many more ways to understand whether you truly can accomplish the so-called work-life balance or what could be potentially coming in your way of dealing with this mirage.

Becoming self-aware and understanding what in your inherent nature/trait contributes to your sense of well-being and of the environment you live in.

By the way, it’s not just the working women but men too who have been at the receiving end of this elusive mirage.

DM me for a self-assessment if you are one among many who seek balance!

Exponentially Boost Your Employee Success

Looking to Boost Your Employee Success?

It could well be the game changer!

Great. Tell me how? Let’s meet over a Zoom Call. Here is how to contact me 👇🏽

Looking to exponentially boost your employee success? As a human resource manager and business leader, the one thing that runs in your mind is about boosting employee success which would eventually lead to your business success.

If that resonates with you, then you are also confronted with managing the critical balancing act on one of the ‘competing values’ as Quinn’s Model illustrates – that of ‘Results’ Vs. ‘People’.

You notice that when you fiercely drive business and that becomes your only focus, the people side of the story does get hit – though that is never your intention. The problem is that you are so intensely in pursuit of achieving the results that you almost always lack the time to invest in your ‘People’.

You may argue that you do have a strong employee engagement program in place.

Why then do we see an increasing rise in attrition and the level of stress in employees?

Why are more and more people looking for and talking about the need for work-life balance?

It’s time that you started looking beyond the obvious and the ordinary.

Employee Family Wellness Program

Families are important in our lives because, for better or worse, we often adopt the routines and demeanors of those who are close to us. They influence everything about us, including what we think, feel, and even do.

Therefore, incorporating the families of employees in those activities might be a wise option for those who lead employee wellness programs in organizations and are considering potential initiatives to help employees stay on the path to better health and wellness.

Why? Because absolutely nobody can better affect the physical and mental wellness of your employees than their family members.  No not even you or your employees’ doctors.

The effect of Family on Health and Wellness of employees.

Have you ever tried to kickstart a new habit, like an early morning exercise routine?  If you see your spouse or partner still in bed when you wake up, it will be much more difficult for you to drag yourself out of the house to exercise.  You may be tempted to stay back as well.  On the other hand, you’ll both commit to going together it may be a lot easier and you can push each other on days when one feels a little lazy.

The same is valid for other facets of well-being and health. Consider what happens if you advocate healthy eating at home but your spouse keeps bringing home ice creams and cheeseburgers for the kids.

According to research, when one member adopts a healthy practice, the other partner is more likely to follow suit. For instance, the study discovered that about 70% of men were inclined to increase their level of activity if their spouse did the same. However, without spousal influence, only about 30% made such alterations.  That is almost 50% lower rate of success.

If your employee has a happy family life that is healthy, supportive, and strong then it is more likely to spill over to their workplace.    When employers are able to extend wellness programs to family members, it clearly demonstrates to the employees that their organization cares about their well-being which goes beyond the workplace.

Including families in Wellness Programs

Organizations must find ways to extend the wellness programs to include families which can be an important and very strategic initiative toward a happier and more productive employee.  When an employee knows that there is a whole ecosystem working behind the scenes to keep him and his family safe, he/she would be able to work at his/her full potential.

There is a lot to learn from the Indian Armed Forces in this regard from where my experience of such programs and the immense benefits that it has to offer.

One such benefit is definitely a highly motivated workforce that is physically and emotionally strong!

Interested in rolling out a comprehensive “Employee Family Wellness Program”
in your organization? 
Let’s talk about it.

I can show you how to

“Exponentially Boost Employee Performance”

Toxic is your work culture?

Looking to assess your Team Culture?

Ask me for a customized online assessment

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It is time to STOP living in ‘denial’

“The key to being a good leader is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.”

HBR describes Culture as “consistent, observable patterns of behavior in businesses”. It affects the way we interact, communicate, and handle one another. Our decision-making processes, our tolerance levels, and our day-to-day emotions.

Toxic work culture

You’ll see that this definition excludes free lunches, endless vacations, and snacks. These benefits make it easier for people to put up with a bad culture. Driving continual disruption, transformation, digitization, and innovation as a business may seem fantastic.

Not so much, though, if the typical employee isn’t prepared to handle the challenge. Globally, businesses have expressed to us their concern that they are losing their culture. More workplace cultures are becoming a terrible mashup as a result of rising stress.

In my conversations with top HR executives in the last 30 years, I’ve posed the question regarding organizational culture, and they all seem to agree that over 80% of companies suffer from toxic work cultures.

If you were to ask employees privately to describe their organization’s work culture, more than a few might answer; high stress, overload, low morale, insecurity, and toxic leadership.  Though the executive leadership may almost always deny that such a thing even exists in their organization.  They would like to believe that all is hunky dory and would like to use the cover of ‘business results’ to affirm that all is well.

Studies have shown that everything from employee contentment, fatigue, and teamwork to objective metrics like financial performance and absenteeism is influenced by emotional culture.

Numerous empirical studies demonstrate the major influence of emotions on people’s performance on tasks, level of engagement and creativity, level of commitment to their organizations, and ability to make judgments.

Better performance, quality, and customer service were invariably linked to positive emotional cultures. Similar to how unfavorable emotional cultures were linked to high turnover, poor performance, and group anguish, despair, and dread.

When the subject turns to company culture, ongoing stress and negative emotions translate into people not treating each other well.  The leadership styles do have a great influence on company culture.  The question is do leaders influence the culture or does the culture influence the style of leadership?

If we believe that the company culture is made of consistent, observable patterns of behavior, then it is more likely that stressed-out employees and managers may contribute immensely to the toxicity of organizational culture.

In the face of a tough culture where “faster and cheaper” is the norm for businesses, it is easy for leaders to slip into styles that may not serve them in the long run and turn not just their behaviors but also the culture into a toxic one.

Leaders, therefore, need to urgently get out of ‘denial’ and become ‘mindful’ of the influence they have on building the culture in organizations.  They need to own up to the responsibility at all levels.

The problems of toxicity in work cultures are more pronounced than ever post-pandemic.

If you want to assess your team’s culture?
DM me to arrange for a customized online assessment and report.

If you want to develop ‘Mindful Leadership’ in your organization?
DM me to arrange for a customized assessment-centric workshop for your key leadership resources.

What according to you is the fallout of a toxic culture and leadership?

  1. Low morale
  2. High stress
  3. High turnover
  4. Poor performance