Dan Schawbel (@DanSchawbel) is a New York Times best-selling author and host of the 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel podcast. His latest book is Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.
What We Discuss with Dan Schawbel:
- How loneliness sneaks up on us and what it costs in terms of health and well-being.
- The human need for recognition and how something as simple as a phone screen can be a barrier between work colleagues, friends, and even your own family.
- Why great leaders hire for personality and lead with empathy.
- How to find a balance between the usefulness of electronic tools as a means of connecting us socially and outright addiction to the tools themselves.
- Why one face-to-face conversation is more valuable than 34 back-and-forth emails.
- And much more…
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The 21st century workplace has tools that allow us to connect with our coworkers in ways never before possible. In spite of this, research has shown that electronic and virtual communication actually contributes to a stronger sense of isolation at work than ever before.
Dan Schawbel joins us for this bonus to talk about his latest book, Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, which explains how a more socially connected workforce creates greater fulfillment, productivity, and engagement while preventing burnout and turnover.
Please Scroll down for Featured Resources!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
THANKS, DAN SCHAWBEL!
If you enjoyed this session with Dan Schawbel, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation by Dan Schawbel (Free download of the book’s introduction here.)
- 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel Podcast
- Future Workplace
- Millennial Branding
- Workplace Trends
- Dan Schawbel’s website
- Dan Schawbel at Instagram
- Dan Schawbel at Facebook
- Dan Schawbel at Twitter
- Back to Human ’80s Office Party
Transcript for Dan Schawbel | Making Connections in the Age of Isolation ( Bonus Episode)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger, and today, I'm glad to welcome my friend, Dan Schawbel back to the show. He's the author of Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, and the host of the 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel Podcast.
[00:00:15] Today, we'll discover loneliness, how it sneaks up on us and what it costs in terms of health and well-being. We'll explore the human need for recognition and how something as simple as a phone screen can be a barrier between work colleagues, your boss, and even your own family. And we'll uncover why great leaders hire for personality and lead with empathy. If you want to know how I managed to book all these great guests and manage my relationships using systems and tiny habits, well check out our Six-Minute Networking course and that's free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. So make sure you get on that and enjoy this episode here with Dan Schawbel.
[00:00:53] Dan, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Dan Schawbel: [00:00:54] So happy to be here again with you, Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:56] So we've been friends for a while and you're kind of like knee deep and all this work related research. And so when we were talking about doing the show, I thought “Well, I don't cover business that much,” but the title of course of the book is Back to Humans. So there's got to be some human element here. And as I was going through the content, through the book, through the embargo to galley the secret version that you get before the real book comes out, there are a lot of interesting concepts in here, and I don't think it's lost on anyone that we're becoming more isolated, communicating more, but somehow feeling more lonely. What is going on and how is this affecting us as workers, but also as individuals? Because there is this part of me that thinks, “Screw it, I got my phone with me all the time. I'm in touch with everybody.” But yeah, there's another part of me deeper inside that says, “Do I really know anyone?” And gets really philosophical while smoking a cigar and drinking martini with my pinky popped out, right? Do I really know anyone? Do I even know myself?
Dan Schawbel: [00:02:01] Yeah. Technology has created the illusion of connection when in reality the overuse or misuse of that technology can make us feel more isolated and lonely and really disconnected from ourselves to people around us in society as a whole. And so the real core message in the book is use technology as a bridge to human connection, not a barrier. Let it get us on a podcast like this, but like talk as humans, like that's how real relationships are formed. You and I, and you're a wife eating Greek food in New York City, like that happened. But first it started off as maybe a few emails and texts. And so I think technology can be really powerful as it is a channely means to connect with people on a more human basis.
[00:02:50] The problem is people are addicted to their phones. Every time you get an alert on your device, it releases dopamine, and that is reward system and we just want to keep getting more rewards. We want more alerts, and so we become addicted to that instant gratification. And that in the sense is limiting us because every time we're checking our phones, we tap our phones over 2,600 times a day. We look at our phones every 12 minutes in the workplace, and what we found in the study we did with Virgin Pulse of over 2000 managers, employees globally, is that people would much rather send an email and say that email is the preferred method of communication over face to face in the workplace. Yet a study in the Harvard business review found that one face to face conversation is more successful than 34 emails back and forth.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:44] One face to face conversation is more effective than 34 back and forth email?
Dan Schawbel: [00:03:49] Yeah. And think about it. I mean, we just want to be understood. We want people to understand what we're saying and in the workplace take action outside of the workplace. We want people to know what we're about, what we stand for, what the message we're trying to convey. And if we just use texts and email that message, that voice, that tonality can be lost. And it's so funny, it's like everyone's using all these emojis but is that really conveying true emotion? And there's been research that shows that if you email someone an emoji, you're seen as less competent. So yes, my mom sends me a quadrillion hearts every day, like someone at the Apple store told them how to send emojis, but there's nothing like me calling her up and saying, “Mom, I love you. Like how are you today?” That's game changing, that's real human connection. And no matter how much technology we have now and 10, 20 years from now, our basic human needs need to be met. And that is to have friends and be loved.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:51] That's really interesting. I knew that people were becoming more isolated, but not necessarily that tech was less efficient. I thought we were trading maybe our feelings of comradery for efficiency, but we're actually not really doing that either from the sound of it.
Dan Schawbel: [00:05:09] I think it's using it at the right time for the right purpose. So I think if you want to meet up with a friend texting, “Hey, I'll see you in three minutes or five minutes.” But I think if it's a more intimate conversation, let's say you are breaking up with a girl, you don't want to do that over text, and I've been broken up, someone dumped be over text an hour before I had a big speaking engagement or a few thousand people. That's awful. That's not how you handle things after a few months of dating. And so I think it's -- I think it's really important to use technology when it makes sense, but then avoid it if it's something that requires more emotional intelligence and human connection. If you get into an argument with someone, texting is probably not going to solve it. It could make it even worse because of, again, the misunderstanding that could happen and the amount of texts and emails you'd have send to try and clarify what you're trying to say. You can avoid a lot of that for intimate, personal conversations by just picking up the phone, maybe even video conferencing or actually talking with someone in real life. And this certain things that will remain constant in our society no matter what, is we have 24 hours in a day, we're born, we die, and we pay taxes. Because these things remain consistent. I think that people need to figure out new ways to divide their time and they need to use technology in a way in which, it’s not – they don't want to be isolated. They want to use technology to meet people in a way that feels very personal to them. And it's hard to empathize with people if you're just communicating over technology. It's hard to understand where they're coming from because you're not with them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:48] I think I'm still stuck on the idea that you got dumped over texts before a giant speaking engagement in front of thousands of people. You have a vendetta against technology, that's probably why you're writing this book. I understand that. But what the heck? That is so tone deaf of -- it is such an almost cruel way to handle this because to give everybody a little bit of background here. You're not 18 years old, right?
Dan Schawbel: [00:0:07:12] 35 years old.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:0:07] Right, yeah, you’re 35.
Dan Schawbel: [00:07:15] 35 years young is what they say.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:17] Yes. So yeah, that's what old people say. That's right. Years young. That's what we do. I forgot about that. But you get this and you think how -- this is like a revenge book. You get this message, and you think, “Wait a minute, this can't be happening,” because as an adult having something that is so emotionally devoid of content like that when it's such an emotional or intimate subject, that is insane to me.
Dan Schawbel: [00:07:43] Well, and posting to my friend was dating a girl for five months here in New York City and she just randomly ghosted him. She never heard from her.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:53] Five months!
Dan Schawbel: [00:07:54] Five months. Ghosted. I don't remember ghost flat happening when I was 22 years old, now ghosting is a thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:01] No.
Dan Schawbel: [00:08:02] And the other thing is from a dating perspective, people feel like others are disposable. Swipe left, swipe right. It's almost like they're not people anymore. So we need to bring more humanity into how we handle relationships strategically online or offline. I think we have to be more aware of how people are feeling and some of those feelings that those emotions and the empathy has lost through technology and that can be very dangerous and make people feel terrible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:33] If somebody goes to me after five months, I would literally think they just died. I would be like, this is the only explanation. They're dead. That must be what happened.
Dan Schawbel: [00:08:42] It happens so much more often than you'd think too. It's even though we live in a bubble here in New York City, I think New York is an amplification of what's happening in society. I think people view technology as something that's convenient, but just because something's convenient and maybe a little addictive doesn't mean it's the right thing to use at that given time in order to connect with someone else.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:05] So loneliness is obviously not going anywhere. Technology is making it worse. I again thought we were trading in favor of efficiency, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Dan Schawbel: [00:09:15] Half of Americans are lonely, 9 million Brits are lonely, 200,000 Brits haven't spoken to a close friend or relative in the past month. This is affecting all sorts of communities over 30,000 people in Japan die from loneliness every year. It's really a global epidemic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:37] How does one die from loneliness? That seems like one of those causes where it's pretty hard to give proper attribution to the cause itself.
Dan Schawbel: [00:09:46] Loneliness, leading to depression and then suicide.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:49] Oh, okay. That got dark really fast, but I'm glad that we—
Dan Schawbel: [00:09:53] Even my tone, you can tell them my tone. I'm like, “Oh, do I have to go there?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:56] Sorry, should've put that together.
Dan Schawbel: [00:09:58] So one of the things is I talked to the former US surgeon general of the United States and he said that loneliness has the same health risks and reduction of life as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:11] So make friends and smoke 15 cigarettes a day and you end up in the same place as you would be.
Dan Schawbel: [00:10:17] It neutralize it, no.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:18] It neutralizes it, yeah. I always wonder how they make those calculations. I seriously do. I see, of course that they're just going by life span and life expectancy, but that's serious business because it's really easy for someone like me to take the phone out and forego and/or forego a social event and be like, I have too much stuff to do. And then later on in the day go, “Well, I did a bunch of work during this event. I should go on social media and be a little bit social.” But really I'm doing the opposite. I'm actually not increasing my quality of life by doing that. I'm not keeping in touch with people. I'm just comparing my blooper reel to the other people's highlight reels on my social media feed or comparing my life to someone else or something like that. So yeah, that actually does make a ton of sense. I just think that it's beyond an addiction because we rationalize it so well that we actually believe the rationalization. Like if you're doing heroin all the time, you know you've got a problem most of the time. If you're tapping your phone, you don't necessarily think there's a problem. You think I'm just doing work. I'm actually work right now.
Dan Schawbel: [00:11:23] It's a big illusion that technology is created for us. Like there was a study that showed that if you have 150 Facebook friends, only three, you could actually rely on a time of emotional crisis. So if you end up in the hospital, only three of your 150 Facebook friends would at least even call you to check if you're okay. So again, we think we have all these friends, we think we're so connected, we think we're productive, but social media can be very distracting. We don't have as many friends as we think that are like really close friends. And that's an issue especially as you get older or especially if you're a male after 25 years old, you start losing friends rather quickly, and so that can be pretty terrible. And the research shows that the whole study by Cigna that found that young people are more affected by loneliness than even senior citizens. So I think that's really fascinating. We're losing community in society. People feel disconnected. Technology is part of it, but it's really, our behaviors are changing and it can be detrimental to our health.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:28] So you said we tap our phones or we look at them every 12 minutes and we choose email over face to face conversations. What can we do to sort of remedy this? Because it's not just as easy as being like have a face to face conversation, right? I'm still going to tap my phone. This is my habit that I've gotten accustomed to do. Do we have to do something in our office? Do we have to do something in our house that's going to change habit here? Do we have to set up our environment differently? What are we talking about here?
Dan Schawbel: [00:12:52] Yeah, habits. I think it's all about habits. Everyone and including us, we look at our calendars and we were like, if it doesn't exist in our calendars, it doesn't exist. We live and die by the calendar. And if that's true, why wouldn't we make our calendar reflect our personal life, not just our professional life, add in a 30 minute call for your parents every single day at in an event you're going to go to every Monday, add in a sports league you join that you see every other week, add in all the personal things to your calendar so you ensure that you're able to best integrate your personal professional life. You're making time to be with people and you have some time for solitude. It's been a lot of research on this. You need time for solitude and time to collaborate and be around others. And that proper mix can make you highly effective and happy at the same time.
[00:13:44] One of the things I focused on actually for the book is about friendships. I was just saying about how we have an illusion of friendship because of a quote unquote Facebook friend. In the workplace, 7 percent of the global workforce has zero friends at work. Half of the global workforce has five or fewer friends. You have friendship we know is very important. We spend a third of our lives working, and the time we don't spend working, we're either thinking about work or we're bringing things that happen at work, home with us. So if you have a bad day at work, if your manager yells at you or your teammate takes credit for a project, that negativity, that feeling of being upset comes into your home. It affects the relationships you have with your husband or wife, your children, your family, your friends. And then if you suffer outside of the workplace, if you're in a fight with a family member or you're depressed, that comes into the workplace. So work, leaders need to be more empathetic to employees and realize that people will bring their full self into the workplace and you need to support that. And then the reason why I focused so much on this book and my previous work on improving workplace cultures is because if we get work right, if we get a third of our lives working for us, we're doing work that's meaningful with people we care about that will support us. Our whole life improves.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:09] Okay, so let me break that down a little bit because I think for a lot of us we're going to, “Okay, okay, I need more face to face time with my friends and things like that.
But what if we work remotely? Is it as simple as going to a coworking space and working alongside others? What is a research born out for you when you went through back to human and tried to stuffed it.
Dan Schawbel: [00:15:30] Biggest finding of the book, Jordan, this was so big, because I've worked for home for eight years, so I can relate to the finding and the [indiscernible] [00:15:37]
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:37] The lonely bastard. Yep.
Dan Schawbel: [00:15:38] I know, I know. So I've had to figure it out for myself, which is enabled me to write about it and support others. So what we found is a third of the global workforce works remote, yet two-thirds are disengaged, many of whom were lonely. And the big finding is that if you work remote, you're much less likely to want a long term career at your company. So working remote impacts career longevity at accompany or impacts loyalty and tenure. And I think that's so important because if you're working remote and you aren't getting human connection, if you don't have strong bonds with your team, you just are not going to be as engaged, you're not going to be as excited about work, you're going to, it's much easier to leave a bunch of acquaintances than leave good friends.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:29] That makes sense. So it increases turnover as well.
Dan Schawbel: [00:16:32] Exactly. And the thing is what employees want at work are more social events. They want to be more social, but it has to happen in an authentic way. And like as you would imagine, it's like let's just throw birthday parties to get people more engaged. That doesn't work. What you need is good leadership, that's empathetic, that’s someone you can trust, giving people a sense of belonging, making sure people are set up for success in their roles and people are able to take risks at work and share things that all is very helpful to getting them opening up, getting them to feel like they're part of something bigger than them. And when that happens, you have a team that will naturally want to support their colleagues, they will want to do social events. And if you have leaders that say, “Okay, let's do an offsite. Let's do a workation. Let's do something fun and social where people get to know each other on a personal level, not just professional that's when real bonds happen and that's when people stay at companies longer. Because here's the thing, and I was just having this conversation earlier today, it's like even if you invest, let's say you do an offsite and you invest $50,000 to fly all your remote workers to one location, that 50,000 is nothing compared to how much it would cost to replace three workers that have a weak connection to your company and in your team that ended up leaving. Losing an employee can cost up to a hundred thousand. So to me, having these social events, investing in those types of team building activities is so important because it ends up saving you way more money over the long term and increases productivity rather than you having to replace employees.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:16] What if we feel disengaged in our working environment? Like what if I'm not the boss? What can I do about any of this?
Dan Schawbel: [00:18:23] Well, you want to find the right boss and if you aren't in the right situation and you've been there for two years, you may want to look elsewhere or you won't want to give, depending on who your boss is, obviously if you get along with them, maybe you’d trust them, then have an open conversation with them. Like talk about boundaries, talk about like what you can do to help create a more social atmosphere. But of course, if you're in a big organization and it's not structured to be flexible and to support socialization if they don't have video conferencing technology, if they don't have offsites, if they don't have company parties and all hands events, then it's really hard to change that if you're not in a leadership position. So it's much better to find somebody who works for a company and who's a great leader that wants to provide that type of culture, because people who are our age, they in the workplace, they see their team as their work family and their boss as the work parent in a way and especially for people who are even younger than us. And so it's much easier to lead people that you don't have a strong connection with than people who you have a really, really strong friendship and bond with. And there was a whole Gallup study called vital friends many years ago that found if you have friends, especially best friends at work, you're more productive, happy, fulfilled, and we'll stay at the company longer as well. So all of this points to, okay, let's create a more social environment, yet only 20 percent of companies do it. They're not really invested in it yet when you create that environment, you have a culture that people get excited about and you end up being more profitable as a result.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:59] You've got the idea, the practice of shared learning that also increases retention, helps people stay relevant, increases people's attitudes at work. And you mentioned that the half-life of skills is now only five years. What does that even mean? What is the half-life of a skill?
Dan Schawbel: [00:20:14] What it means is the average relevancy of a skill. So if you just gained a new technical skill let's say, it will serve you for the next five years on average, and then it won't be as valuable. It won't translate into more money and career opportunities for you. And so that's why in the shared learning chapter I preach, we in order to keep up with the speed of business and to stay relevant in our jobs, we need to rely on each other and learn from each other so we can get smarter together. The best example I can give is at Google, they have the GTG Program where employees teach other employees various skills. And to me that creates a really good culture of learning where everyone is supporting everyone else. And every time you teach someone or you learn from somebody or you recognize someone in the workplace, these are all touchpoints which created deeper human connection, and make people more engaged in their job.
[00:21:12] So I think that shared learning is a very easy low stress way in order to form a bond with a colleague because everyone knows something, you wouldn't get a job unless you have some sort of scale. Now if you can share that skill with someone else, you become more valuable to your team and that individual, and then when you need help, that person will come to your aid. Now again, of course, there's people who take credit for your work, there's people who don't want to share, but what's really fascinating and you'll -- this will resonate with you like decades ago, people who held on to all the information had power and influence in society. Now the more information you give, even for free, the more influence and power you have. And we see this on social media and podcasting, people can listen to this and don't have to pay, but because you're giving it for free and you're kind of supporting your audience, you gain more authority and influence and it's because of your generosity. So if you're in the workplace, even if you're establishing friendships, being generous and sharing what you know is extremely important. Even the act of someone who's listening to this, sharing this podcast with someone who could benefit from it on their team, it could make a huge impact, and it takes two seconds of your time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:33] I love this because it is kind of like the dig the well before you're thirsty. My favorite phrase of sharing knowledge inside a company or organization, but you have to build that shared learning culture by encouraging other folks to do this. So it's the rising tide lifts all boats mindset, but I think a lot of people are competitive with one another inside the office environment. So how do we start to shift that culture if that's the environment that we're in? Because maybe I don't want to help other people, I know I should, but I'm worried about them getting a leg up on me somehow.
Dan Schawbel: [00:23:05] We all have to get a leg up together because that's the only way we'll remain competitive and the way the workforce is constructed now is everyone's in teams. So teams are starting to get evaluated more noxious individuals and if you have a high performing team, everyone will succeed together. And in order to keep up with everything, like for me, I didn't have TV anymore. In order for me to learn about the biggest events in society, the information comes to me because I'm also open to sharing everything I know with other people. So this passing along of information, feeling like you can hoard information is just not a way of going about life. You want to share because by sharing you are showcasing that you're an expert, that you know something or that you can be resourceful. And of course, you don't want to work with people who are closed off because it stalls your learning and theirs, everyone loses when that happens. And that's why you need a leader who will take charge and say, “Okay, let's be very open about sharing.” I mean, it could start off as just as a Slack channel of just sharing articles that people see that they think will benefit the whole group, if a whole group is working on artificial intelligence is a lot of data's a lot articles written about it, just share those really. And then it could be more into maybe a brief meeting where everyone share something new and gets five to 10 minutes to share it in front of the team in a meeting, where everyone's very attentive and not using the technology.
[00:24:34] And so I think that -- I think that sharing what you know benefits you and everyone else and it creates a culture, especially if you're the leader that everyone else feels comfortable sharing and not feeling like they're dumb or I think everyone's afraid to ask questions because they don't want to be seen as incompetent yet the smartest people. I mean, you and I have asked thousands of questions in our careers, are the ones who ask the most questions, and then listen like you're doing right now, like listening to what other people have to say. And so sharing and listening and letting people teach you and then sharing more of your knowledge with others, getting into those habits are very healthy and you'll have them forever. If you build healthy habits now, you'll have them forever. It's like trying to get my dad to change his eating habits, not going to happen at 75 years old.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:25] No.
Dan Schawbel: [00:25:26] But now I have great eating habits and I can have that for the rest of my life. So I always think about what can I do today to change one or two habits, to change my calendar, to have more personal related things, do make sure I'm going -- I'm signed up for two social events per week to get me out of the house. As a leader, making sure that every quarter we have an offsite, like getting into these habits is so important because then you can maintain them from a longer period of time and those healthy habits create a healthier work environment, family relationships, friend relationships, and just for your own personal fulfillment and wellbeing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:01] I know that part of this is recognition and your research shows in Back to Human, that you need to recognize the team regularly, not just annually. Okay, that seems like a no brainer, especially for younger teams, full of millennials. We can't just do the annual banquet where somebody gets a plaque. But what I thought was interesting was the research you did on recognizing team performance in addition to individual performance. That was something brand new because I think a lot of us, we either recognize the whole company fine, and then somewhere in the 60s or 70s probably they were like, “Hey, let's recognize individuals.” Now you say everybody is assigned in teams and we have to recognize that as well. And that sort of went hand in hand with who recognize and how you do it with the compliment issue. I would love to hear a little bit about that because that was surprising to me.
Dan Schawbel: [00:26:51] Yeah, I'm happy you picked up on that. People want instant gratification. So that's the behavior, that's the mentality. So no one's patient enough to wait for an annual performance review. No one wants to wait a whole year to know what their status is in the company or what they need to improve on. People want to constantly hear what they're doing great at and then maybe hear some criticism so they can improve and they want this regularly after meeting, after a conference, after some sort of event or just spread out maybe once a month. They need this type of feedback to improve and people have no patients. So what's happening now is more and more corporations like Cisco for instance, they're evaluating full teams. They're saying, okay, well of course we want to evaluate an individual standpoint because people need to know where they stand if they're going to get a promotion, what they can work on, but teams are really important. Is this team a high performing team? Are these people rising up together? Are they able to perform at their very best together? Are some of their strengths bounce off some of their weaknesses? Is this team a rock star team? And so by evaluating full teams, not individuals, it shows and demonstrates, “Hey, this is a team effort.” The fact that even evaluating a whole team, not just individuals shows that it's a team effort, and by knowing that, by performing that action, by hearing that team feedback, you're less likely to take credit because it's not about you, it's about everyone. And actually sharing credit is something that is highly, highly praised and looked at well upon. Like if you're trying to promote, of course you're promoting individuals, but those individuals are part of a team and the team holds more of a reputation now than it ever used to be within corporations.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:42] Is there still something to be said for recognizing individuals or do we have to be careful about that at some level? Because this sort of compliment caveat was interesting. I didn't see that coming, but it does make sense that that could build resentment.
Dan Schawbel: [00:28:55] Yeah. I think that you have to evaluate in the individual and the team level, the individual level because people, whether they want to admit it or not had self-interest. So you have to serve that self-interest and ego and make sure that they feel like if they're doing a really great job that they're rewarded for that. But at the same time, if they're not getting along with their teammates, if they're taking credit, if they're getting in arguments, if there's a disconnect between them and the people they're working with on a daily basis, that's an issue too. And that's why I think you have to focus on the team. Is this a high performing team?
[00:29:35] And so Google, they did Project Aristotle so they're like, “Okay, what makes the highest performing team?” And they found that it's having a leader that creates a safe space where people can freely share ideas without being punished. So that's a huge part of it. It's like can you create a safe space where people can take risks and share ideas and feel like they belong? Because that's what people really want to do. If you're going to work every single day and you don't feel like you belong, you don't feel like you are one member of a rock star team that is like a family, you're going to start to check out.
You just pick up your phone and the average person -- the average job seeker looks at their phone for four hours a week searching for jobs, so you're out if you're not part of something. And really work has become the work you do and who you do with, and as a result, teams are becoming really important and teams also have to get along with other teams. And that's how you build reputations, like while it could be under the leader's name at some point, the leader's responsible for orchestrating the team, but the team, each team member holds part of the overall team's reputation. So you don't want to hire someone with a bad attitude. If someone's acting up there, they're going to be a big problem for everyone else.
[00:30:53] And that's why I have a whole chapter called Hire for Personality. Hire for Personality train for skill, make sure these people have a great attitude, they're good team players. They really just get along with other people. It doesn't matter what background they come from, what their skin color looks like or gender. Are these people have a good attitude? Do they really want to be here? Do they want to be part of something that's bigger than them and really share their ideas freely and be themselves? And people, again, people want to bring their full self to work. People don't want to be one person in one setting and another person in another setting. It becomes very stressful and a lot of work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:34] How do we screen for personality? How are we hiring for personality? How does that get done?
Dan Schawbel: [00:31:39] One of the traits that you look for is curiosity. In an interview, is this person asking questions about you and your company? And if they're not, that means they're not that interested in working for your company, and if they're not curious and don't show signs of curiosity, then how much are they willing to learn when they actually have a job there? So I think curiosity is important. I think confidence is important. Confidence is connected to competence, as long as they're not putting up a front and it shows like mastery of a certain area, but also willingness to learn and be curious. So I think confidence is another really important thing. Attitude I think is, I mean I've done a lot of research on attitude. Attitude is one of the most important things that made us look for when promoting actually is this person have a positive attitude, are they bringing good vibes into the workplace? And actually what I've noticed overthinking about how attitude connects to likability is my friends who are the most likable are the ones who have the most positive attitude. You just want to be around these people and you have many in your life, I'm sure, where you're just like, “Oh my God. Like I could hang out with this person for a week.” Because they're bringing out the best in you and they're really genuinely excited about being part of this.
[00:32:58] Professionalism is another trade I would look for, and this is somebody who has good manners of course, who dresses apart and is respectful to other people. And one of the ways to show disrespect to other people in today's society is when they're talking or giving a presentation, we'll look at your phone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:19] Yeah.
Dan Schawbel: [00:33:20] If you're looking at your phone, you're saying, what's happening on the phone and who I'm communicating with is more important than the person speaking right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:28] I loved the idea that you should interview candidates in different settings outside of your office. You're seeing how people behave outside the office. You'll get to know their personality a little bit better outside the office. That I thought was pretty slick. Nice little hack there. Plus it gives you an excuse to not sit in your office while you're interviewing a new candidate. Is this something that you'd seen tested by company?
Dan Schawbel: [00:33:50] It really happen to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:50] Did it really?
Dan Schawbel: [00:33:51] It happened to me, yeah. My first job out of school, my then Manager Joe Marci, he is like, “Meet me in the cafeteria.” I'm like, “Really?” I couldn't believe it. And so it was really interesting is he just wanted, and this is -- I was like 22 years old and he's like, “Oh, I just want this to be a very casual meeting, so I can get to know you.” But like for me, I wanted a job at EMC, EMC down now so bad that I treated it like an interview. I didn’t know what it was. I didn't know if it was a test or not. And I eventually got the job, but it was just -- it was interesting because since I was in a different setting, I was more likely to open up to him naturally. If you're hanging out in a coffee shop instead of an office, it's a different feeling. It's a different environment and you become more comfortable in that environment and it feels more human and you're able to connect on a personal level, even a professional level. So I think it can serve to your advantage. And it's something that I could picture you doing too, if you were to hire someone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:55] Oh yeah, this got me written all over it. Interviewing somebody, and I'm trying to think of the most creative place I can interview somebody. I'd be like, “Meet me at Disneyland and meet me at Magic Mountain.” We'll see what you're made of. I mean, that's ridiculous of course. But it would be so interesting to find somebody. You know what? I guarantee you there's somebody out there right now that's like, “Yeah, when I interview people, they come to the gym where they work.” It's probably a fitness gig or fitness job, but it would be super interesting to interview somebody during a run or some sort of light workouts. It makes a lot of sense. If it makes sense for the niche, I don't think you can even get away with it. You can't surprise anybody with it. But if you're in a fitness niche or if you worked at a sporting goods store, be like, “Yeah, let's do this job interview while engaging in something that we all are kind of here to do and to support” I think that would be a completely different side of the person, or at least part of the interview could be that and the rest of it could be in the store where they're going to be working, but it seems like a wise choice.
Dan Schawbel: [00:35:56] You know it's also a question of effort too. If this person's willing to put in more effort to interview for your company, they're more likely to be a good candidate because they're going to put the extra effort and that indicates that if you hire them, they might put the same effort into their job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:12] A lot of this is geared towards leaders and a lot of this is geared towards teams. But I think the big sort of takeaway is that we have to treat the people we work with as humans, which should sound really obvious and yet is actually not happening in offices around the world. We're treating them as cogs in a machine as employees. We have to be generous with them as their leader and if we're not the leader, we still have to bring our full self into the workplace and support each other team or not because that's what's building the connection. That's what's building the loyalty. So we're almost bridging the professional personal divided bit from the sound of it.
Dan Schawbel: [00:36:46] It's happening whether we like it or not. I mean, it's something that's a necessity in today's world where we're spending so much time at work, the average work week in America is 47 hours a week and not having your phone as the new vacation. We're always kind of plugged in. It's gotten so bad that in France they have the right to disconnect so that after the Workday you get fined if you email one of your employees, and so I think people are just getting burned out, people are working more hours without an additional pay that's led to burnout and half of all turnover is due to burn out based on one of our studies. And so I think we need to become more human, treat people like adults and establish the human connections through social activities, off-sites, team building activities, birthday parties, you name it, in order to reconnect with the people we work with and view them as not just workers but people and potentially friends knowing that if you don't, you'll be less connected, you'll be less fulfilled and that'll affect your whole life, not just work. So the connection between work and life is getting more and more strong. And so we have to be aware of that and we have to stop treating them as so different and start figuring out how one can complement the other one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:10] Dan, thank you so much Back to Human. We'll link to it in the show notes. Really appreciate it.
Dan Schawbel: [00:38:14] Thanks Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:17] Great big thank you to Dan Schawbel. The book title is Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation and check out his podcast, The 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel Podcast. We'll link to that in the show notes of course. If you want to know how I managed to book all of these great guests and manage my relationships well, system's tiny habits, that's where it's at. Checkout our Six-Minute Networking Course which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course, and I know a lot of people think “I'm already good at this.” Well we teach this to the special forces, intelligence agencies, entrepreneurs. The problem with kicking the can down the road is you just can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking. Got to dig that well before you get thirsty. And these drills only take a few minutes per day. So go check it out, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:39:05] Speaking of relationships, tell me your number one takeaway from Dan Schawbel. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason DeFillippo and Jen Harbinger. Show notes by Robert Fogarty, and I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't lots more in the pipeline. We're very excited to bring it out to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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