Photo: Jakob Owens
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, joined host Meghan M. Biro for the January 17, 2020 #WorkTrends podcast. The topic: Disasters of the workplace kind.
Dr. Tsipursky is a consultant, cognitive neuroscientist and expert on behavioral economics. Noting that we’re still suffering from an epidemic of disengagement, he pointed to one glaring omission in workplace culture: empathy. Empathy is critical to a successful workforce, Meghan agreed — while noting that disengagement is absolutely a disaster in the workplace.
Gleb’s take on the lack of empathy is that it stems from something deep-seated in all of us: cognitive bias.
“The empathy gap is one of the biggest cognitive biases out there and one of the worst causes of employee disengagement,” he said, noting that research shows that 80% to 90% of our decisions are determined by our emotions. “But if you look at HR material, if you look at internal communication, it’s very rational, very logical.”
Meghan concurred. “Why are HR leaders not able to deal with employee emotions in an effective way? Where’s this disconnect?” she asked.
Gleb said that two disconnects are at work:
First, the false perception that work doesn’t involve emotions and the workplace isn’t a place for feelings. And second, there’s general discomfort among many of us in dealing with emotions.
“There’s no ’emotional unit,'” He explained. “Even though emotions are incredibly important, HR professionals aren’t comfortable with things they can’t quantify.”
Gleb recounted some examples he’s encountered as a consultant where focusing on emotions makes a key difference in performance as well as engagement. “Even engineers have emotions,” he joked. But it’s a good point. There’s a lot we can all do to improve how we deal with the “feeling” side of work life. Ultimately, that’s how we’ll all get more work done.
Listen to the full conversation. And don’t forget to subscribe to the #WorkTrends podcast, so you don’t miss an episode!