I am a member of a wonderful business book club and each quarter we read a new business book. We discuss not only the book, but what specific material in the book would be helpful to our clients. Many times after reading a book, I offer to conduct a book club at my clients’ places of business. In these corporate book clubs, I construct the program so that the participants don’t even need to read the book to glean the highlights!
Imagine my surprise when I received the email declaring that our next book would be Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang. I wasn’t sure how the book would play out with my corporate clients, but I ordered it anyway.
The book arrived and sat, as many of my books do. Then my son Jeffrey and I visited my colleague Karen Jacobsen and the very book was sitting on her coffee table! Karen and Jeffrey started raving about it, as they had both read it! When we left Karen’s NYC apartment, Jeffrey continued discussing the book and said to me, “You should read it, Mom.” Now I knew I needed to shake the dust off and start reading.
The book is about Jia Jiang and his intention of making requests to people who were likely to reject the invitation. He did this daily for 100 days to build his resilience muscle. In the book, he also explains the neuroscience behind why we initially feel rejection and how with practice, we can build our own resilience muscles.
Not surprisingly, fear and rejection are first cousins in our brain chemistry. Once we learn to overcome rejection, our capacity for fear – healthy fear – increases.
It is typical in organizations to avoid failure, especially costly failure. But avoiding failure intentionally creates a culture that is risk-averse and stagnant. What does your organization do to encourage failure? What do you do personally to take more risks and to allow failure?
So I just came back from having the most incredible meeting. We had done an employee engagement survey and what had happened is the organization felt like no one was going to participate, no one was going to say what they thought and in fact just the opposite happened. We got 97 percent engagement.
Do you know what the typical response rate for something like that is? It’s 30 to 40 percent and we had 97 percent. So how did we do it? Well, we created a few incentives. We met ahead of the survey and told people it was important and we built trust from the very beginning.
If you would like to find out what’s on the minds of your employees and create a better working environment for everyone, let’s do an employee survey. I look forward to working with you.
I’m Karen Snyder, helping people be more productive at work.
Can you take a look at the setting? This is such a beautiful place and I get to go in in a few minutes and share the results of an employee engagement survey.
The particular group I’m working with came up with eight distinct categories of ways they wanted to improve and here’s something people don’t always understand.
The leadership team at some organizations thinks they are the only ones who want productivity to improve. But in fact, that is not true. Employees like to be productive.
This particular group said things like, “We want people to return our emails. We want people to respond more quickly. We want to make sure the results that we roll out are accurate.”
They want increased accountability too just like their leadership team and they said so in the survey. If you would like to improve, if you would like your organization to improve, please give me a call. I’m Karen Snyder and I help people to be more productive at work.