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Business

Connecting the Dots for Business

Although we usually work with athletic teams and schools, many employers today are facing the same problems as these other institutions: many young people today are sad, depressed, and/or anxious, and this results in many college graduates who lack the soft skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.

In fact, many young people themselves know they have a problem. However, almost everyone is at a loss as to why this has happened or how to fix it.

We know both.

It’s no one’s fault. The causes are societal and global, which not only affect children directly, they cause parents to parent differently, which exacerbates the problem.  As a result, many young people today have missed emotional/psychological “lessons” crucial to normal child development and so lack emotional skills that previous generations used to learn by osmosis. This is stressful, and a vicious cycle, because some of the psychological lessons kids don’t learn today are the coping mechanisms to deal with this stress.

“Outcome Fever” is rampant and probably affects almost every new hire today—in certain cases, it is superimposed on family issues and trauma. These issues often play out in the workplace and thus hamper employees’ abilities to perform to their full potential or even enjoy themselves working in their chosen field. Additionally, creating the kinds of close, lifelong bonds of joy and accountability we enjoyed (and still enjoy) in our work has become very challenging, sometimes making employee retention a struggle.

Fortunately, young people today are hard-wired for connection and growth the same way they have always been. In fact, they crave these things. Therefore, we can remedially teach these psychological lessons and thus dramatically improve the mental health of many of today’s employees. And, just as many work environments  throw the problems into high relief, those work environments, with their shared goals and built-in group dynamics, are the perfect venue to teach the lessons and thus help employees both with their jobs and in life.

Thankfully, there are simple, easy, things that can be done to teach these lessons and help young adults to feel better. By simply even starting what we call “The Six A’s,”—Awareness, Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Action, Accountability, and Altruism—employees can start to feel better.

To do this, we need to both cure Outcome Fever and remove the mental/emotional obstacles that are holding the employee back. What does the person do well? What do they need to work on to perform better, be a better teammate, and contribute more fully? What leadership skills do they bring to the team (going on the premise that EVERY person needs to lead, in some shape or form, at some point)?

I work with employees to help them discover what’s holding them back mentally/emotionally and what steps they can take to remove those obstacles. Ideally, we have a conversation with a colleague they trust who can describe the employee’s strengths and weaknesses so the employee and I can tie their performance to those emotional strengths and weaknesses. Now the employee has a concrete Personalized Performance Plan on mechanics and mental skills and their relationship to each other.

I usually work with a combination of one-on-one and groups in my workplace programs. I can also give keynotes and other presentations to introduce these concepts and work with functional subsets, such as departments, as supportive group energy often catalyzes the work. I can also create a customized series of Connect-the-Dots videos that covers material so employees can keep working in between meetings.

Some people need only a couple of sessions to feel better; others decide that their work performance is a springboard for working on bigger issues. Almost everyone finds it enjoyable.

As with all of my programs, this can be scaled up or down. It can be all in-person or a combination of in-person, virtual, and/or Connect-the-Dots short videos. Please contact me to discuss your business’s particular requirements; I will be glad to discuss your goals and how we can achieve them together.

I have worked with employees, firm members, students, student-athletes, faculty, coaches and parents at institutions including:

Northeast Delta Dental
Orr & Reno
Ransmeier and Spellman
Nutter, McClennen & Fish
Alkon & Levine
Biscom
Brooks School
Dartmouth College
Brandeis University
The Farm Baseball Academy
Avon Old Farms School
Phillips Andover
Winchendon School
Bridgewater State University
Wayland High School
Souhegan High School
Lincoln-Sudbury High School
Deerfield Academy
Wellesley High School
UMass Lowell Men’s Hockey
Newton South High School
Newton North High School
St. Paul’s School
Babson College
Watertown High School
UNH hockey
New Mission High School
St. Mark’s School
Lawrence Academy
Curry College
Groton School
Colby College
St. Sebastian’s School
Connecticut Oilers hockey
University of Hartford
UMASS Lowell
Plymouth State University
Bates College
Colgate University
UCONN
Northeastern University