Season 1, Episode 10

How to make work from home – work.

0:00 Marie: 

Work from home, no matter how much employees want it and love it, it comes with huge challenges, even for them. Research has shown that people aren’t getting along with their colleagues as well as they once did, and they are feeling disconnected. The impact on companies is equally huge. It includes poor culture, reduced customer satisfaction, and the inability to retain or attract staff. My co-host Dr. Ben Palmer and I spoke with leading behavioral scientist Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks. 

0:30 Marie: 

Jeffrey is a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. His research, courses, and executive leadership development all center around the human dynamics of designing and driving change with an emphasis on the role of EI. We talk about the complexity that comes with work flexibility and how emotional intelligence is more important than ever to build connection with a physically disconnected team. 

1:00 Marie: 

Oh, and spoiler alert, a monthly get together for drinks just won’t cut the mustard. Welcome to Emotional Intelligence at Work brought to you by Genos International. Welcome, Jeffrey. Thank you for joining us. 

1:17 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Thank you for having me on. 

1:19 Marie: 

And Ben, nice to see you again. 

1:21 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Likewise, Marie, and Jeffrey, I want thank you for coming on today. I’m really looking forward to this discussion. 

1:26 Marie: 

I think this is a topic that everybody is clearly talking about. I think a lot of businesses want their people to return to the office and people don’t want to go back to the office. Work from home has certainly been great and had its advantages from a flexibility point of view and lack of commuting point of view, but it certainly comes with some pretty big challenges culture wise. What’s the impact on organizational culture been you think Jeffrey? 

1:55 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Well, I mean, I have my personal observations, but looking at the global data, it’s quite remarkable that following the pandemic has been a global wave of discontent, of worry, of concern, of stress, of exhaustion, and difficulty in collaborating and increasing engagement. From the Gallup surveys on, this seems to be very much something that is on the minds of many organizations and that human beings generally are facing. There’s definitely an opportunity to try to better understand ways in which we can reboot, restart, and reimagine the ways in which we go forward. 

2:40 Marie: 

What about from a health impact, a mental health impact? What’s that been like globally of both employees and their leaders? 

2:50 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

There’s this very interesting set of data that shows that on one hand, people are reluctant to go back to work or reluctant to go back to work full-time. And at the same time, they say they’re miserable, they’re lonely and disconnected, and not really part of the culture of the organization. There’s not a clear cut sense of going forward. 

Because even though work from home seems to be going to be part of the norm going forward, at the same time, it can’t clearly just be continue as we are because it’s really affecting negatively people’s mental health and their ability to really make these high quality connections. 

3:32 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

I would agree. I think here in Australia what we see is people wanting to work from home, but reporting not being any happier doing so per se. Of all the big findings that really come out amongst others, perhaps one of the most pronounced is people don’t feel like they’re getting along well with their colleagues. I think obviously that’s partly a result of the distance and the natural disconnect that comes from working from home. 

But I also think that working behind a screen and working and communicating more electronically amplifies poor behavior. It amplifies I think where listening isn’t as good as it could be. I think it amplifies assumptions that people make about the way others are thinking and feeling around their work. I think just generally people aren’t connecting as frequently and as well and in ways that are meaningful in this working from home environment. 

4:35 Marie: 

How is this coming to light? I mean, you guys obviously see research from a global or national perspective. But as an organization, are corporates running surveys to uncover whether staff are feeling this way, or are there signs that they’re just looking out for and picking up on? 

4:55 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

There’s a lot of improvisation going on, well-intentioned improvisation, much like when we were trying to figure out ways to find ventilators. Organizations are somewhat randomly picking, how about everyone show up on Tuesday, Thursday, or just Friday, or every other week, or work from home and do this? There’s well-intentioned guesses at what might work, but everyone is struggling with Ben had said is a real trouble getting people to return to high quality connections that can enhance collaboration. 

Even traffic accidents are up globally. We know that the more distance you put between humans, the easier it is for harm and bad behavior to happen. Anonymity, if anyone’s ever looked at anonymous post on the internet knows this doesn’t lead to necessarily positive behavior. There’s a real need to understand what are the levers to building connections, even if they might have to be more often remote. 

5:59 Marie: 

What are those levers? 

6:00 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

I think one of those levers is bringing people together to discuss our experiences of working from home, what’s going well and what’s not. I think there’s always knowledge within the group that can be drawn on, first and foremost, to improve how the group is working. I was really impressed by someone I came across at one of the big insurance companies that we’re working with the other day that has indeed done exactly that, just brought everyone together. 

They’re sort of having a quarterly review around how is working from home going, what’s going well, what’s not going so well, what could we do differently in the next quarter to enhance our experience of that, and that sort of pulling of just the knowledge that exists within the group is working well. I think leaders who are really trying to tackle this, of course, are also connecting with other leaders in some organizations, in adjacent industries. 

They really are searching and looking for things that are going well and trying to bring that to the group as well. Some of the very obvious ones, making time for connections, deepening that up, exploring how people are going with deeper questions. How are you going this week, Marie? Fine. What’s been going well? What’s been weighing on your mind? What things are you a bit concerned about? 

I think using frameworks like that is another thing that I’ve come across leaders who I think are doing better in this environment and really slowing things down on a little bit and actually taking the time to explore a little bit more deeply. I think average leadership is being rated as poor leadership in the work from home environment. If we look at our EI data and our EI assessments, there seems to be a greater preponderance of people who are getting rated low in EI, a greater number of leaders who are coming out low. 

Are they really more low in emotional intelligence? I don’t think so, but I think where average leadership in the office was okay, average leadership from behind the screen is not. I don’t know, Jeffrey, if that resonates with you, but that’s something we’re noticing here. 

8:18 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

No. 100%. I mean, we know from the work most recently of Alison wood Brooks at Harvard that the most powerful type of question you can ask is just exactly what Ben had said, follow up questions. You can’t fake a follow up question. You have to have listened to what the person said, processed it, and then allowed the conversation to go where they wanted to go rather than what you had thought about a priority. To me what is the big differentiator here is attunement. 

We are not used to being attuned distantly. It’s very hard. I was working with this one female executive who had a brilliant set of examples. Actually it ties into Australia nicely. She basically said, “When I’m in these remote calls, I’m trying to be attuned to any cues about what this person might care about.” One person, she said, one of her members of her team said in the Zoom call in the background, rather than books, everyone wants to look very professorial and have books in the background, this person had a bunch of sneakers. 

When it was her birthday, bought a gift certificate from The others, one had a venture travel, but this one employee of hers talked about missing family in Australia. After five minutes of Google research discovered a beloved chocolate, as some may know on this call, as Tim Tams. Bought some Tim Tams and had them delivered. These were very inexpensive, but extremely meaningful gestures that followed only from a leader who was emotionally attuned to what the other person cared about. 

One, they’re attuned, and then two, they followed up with actions, whether it’s, as Ben had mentioned, follow of questions or behaviors that clearly recognize, hey, I’m paying attention as best as I can to things I’m seeing, things I’m hearing that reduce the physical distance and help build a better connection. I mean, we know from other research that latency in conversations is a bit disfluent. Sometimes a phone call is better than Zoom because the latency is less. 

We know that when there’s video on, we’re not really looking at each other’s eyes because that would be weird and nobody would be… If they were looking at the camera, they wouldn’t be seeing each other. Some emotionally intelligent leaders that I’ve talked to are very strategic about having camera off. If we’re trying to look at a presentation, everyone camera off. Focus on this. Now let’s talk about it. 

Everyone step away, so you can multitask, which we all do, and we’ll sort of hammer this out and be able to look at each other and see those non-verbals as we would do in a real meeting. We’re having to, in a way, recalibrate how we have non-consciously used our emotional attunement, your emotional intelligence, that in a way that more heavily relies on remote, whereas before remote augmented in person. 

11:08 Marie: 

I guess one of the challenges with that too is that when you’re working remotely, you can’t pick up on the subtleties or some of the nuances or clues that you would otherwise discover very easily when you’re working with someone on the same floor or on the next desk. 

11:24 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Yes. I think poor EI behaviors that are normally kind of perhaps not tuned into or picked up on so much, again, are amplified. For example, Brene Brown often talks very eloquently about the distinction between sympathy and empathy. I think when someone’s not feeling very well from a working and home environment that’s tough, you’ve got your kids in the background, you’re in a one-bedroom flat, et cetera, it’s easy for a leader say average in EI to demonstrate sympathy. “Gee, that seems like a terrible situation you’re in,” rather than empathy, which is kind of feeling with the person. It’s easy for a leader I think who’s not paying attention, who’s not tuned in the way that Jeffrey’s talking about to, for example, overuse reassuring platitudes that can inadvertently diminish and put someone’s feelings in a place where they’re not recognized well. For example, in Australia, “she’ll be, Right, mate. Everything will be fine. Yes, but let’s look on the bright side.” 

Sometimes I think those kind of comments in the office fly over and just get dismissed a bit. But I think in a virtual environment where you’re a bit stressed, a bit burned out, a bit feeling disconnected, feeling like a number in the world, like works bit more transactional, when your boss says something like that, that even unintentionally diminishes the way you feel, that’s amplified. 

I think that’s kind of the… I guess, where I’m going, Jeffrey, is it’s these micro EI behaviors, the good ones and the bad ones, that really are making a difference to the way people feel. 

13:14 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Yeah, no. You raised such important points, before the war and the pandemic, it sounds like we’re talking about the early 1900s, when we did remote you know, there were certain issues that you had to work out with that. But now that’s combined with unprecedented, to use that word that’s overused, levels of exhaustion, multitasking. People aren’t used to necessarily engaging in stressors that are in the personal life because of this work, non-work divide. But because of working from home, that’s not as easy. 

In some ways, the way I think about emotional intelligence and the context of all of this is the following. Leaders in some situations have been able to get away with not deploying emotional intelligence because of all kinds of things, just good labor markets and so forth. But now it’s just not possible. You’re seeing the consequences of those who are not deploying heightened levels of emotional intelligence and the benefits of those who are, who are able to corral teams to build up resiliency, to press on, and so forth. 

It’s not necessarily only that these emotional intelligence skills are more important now than ever. It’s that those who have somehow been able to get away with not deploying those skills are no longer able to have sustainable organizations and teams. 

14:50 Marie: 

Yeah, that’s huge. What is it then? Where would an organization start if they wanted to address this? What would the steps for them? 

14:55 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Well, from my point of view, it’s bringing their attention to emotional intelligence and giving them quite practical tools and techniques. These micro behaviors and giving them some training around it, whether that be through coaching or as a small group going through how do you actually work from home, lead a team from home in an emotionally intelligent way. 

That can be as simple as helping leaders really think about follow up questions to ask, helping leaders really understand the difference between empathy and sympathy, but then really getting them to practice in session two responding in an empathetic way rather than responding in a sympathetic way that disconnects, as Brene Brown talks about. 

I think it’s, as Jeffrey’s been talking about too, helping leaders really understand the importance of deep listening, paying attention, noticing, doing things that really do make people feel valued, consulted, informed, understood, the sort of emotions that tend to flourish engagement and reconnect us as people. 

16:14 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

To just add an extra layer to Ben talked about, which is very important, one-on-one things, it’s actually quite… We’re very fortunate that the skills needed to address these situations are not new human skills, but things in which we have good training available for that. In addition to this one-on-one attunement, what we’re finding in our work is there’s a need to pay attention to emotional landscapes. And by emotional landscapes, I mean, not just one-on-one needs, but how is the team feeling? 

How much diversity of affect? How much complexity is there? This is something that really on the five, seven, eight years research has started to begin to focus on. In order to run a team or an organization, most leaders really don’t have the opportunity to really do one-on-ones all the time. But those that are able to take a holistic view and understand the organization or the team as a whole are better equipped to lead those collectives, much as a rock musician on stage, is the crowd with me? Is it not? 

A teacher in a classroom, do I have a lot of confusion, or a lot of diverse reactions, which means I might be confusing? Is everybody with me? I can go a little bit faster. Reading these most landscapes is critical. Ben and I have been working on emotional aperture skills, which is a component of emotional intelligence. And much like the camera metaphor, you are able to shift your focus from the individual, but also to be able to see the collective. 

One of the amazing things about this is you have to be able to do both. And as a leader, almost all of them know you can’t have enough resources to just focus one-on-one. There’s a lot of benefits to being able to get a sense of the room? The Japanese have a wonderful expression of reading the air. I won’t attempt to pronounce it, but the sense of reading the air is not just reading a person, but having a sense of the room. 

18:19 Marie: 

Do you find that that’s universally understood particularly in the corporate landscape that reading the air and checking the emotional temperature of their workforce is important? That it’s not just a matter of let’s get together every quarter for drinks and give people the opportunity to just see other humans. Do you think they understand just how important it is to read the air? 

18:47 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Some do. Some don’t. I think Ben and I spend a lot of our time working with those that understand it, but don’t do it well and need to do it better, as well of those who find it quite intriguing that a focus on just the work itself isn’t sufficient. There’s work coming out of MIT on collective intelligence, which is quite interesting. Of all the predictors of a team’s ability to perform well on many tasks is how well the team is attuned to one another. 

If you’re attuned to one another, then you can say, “Wait, I haven’t heard from you. You kind of look like you disagree on your face there, but you didn’t say anything. Could you please tell more?” You’re better able to make use of the resources in the team if you’re attuned to these subtle cues. That work, I think, is quite intriguing. I think it even got published because there is an under-appreciation, to your point, of the role of emotional intelligence in driving team dynamics and organizational performance. 

19:47 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Just following on from Jeffrey there, that’s the biggest interesting finding. 57% of people report getting along worse with each other in this working from home. In other words, the attunement is down. I think that’s just a big thing for leaders to be aware of. I think, to Jeffrey’s point, really sharpening up your capacity to read the emotional landscape. How are the group feeling? 

What are those micro behaviors that suggest people aren’t in agreement with each other, or somebody feels dismissed in the group, or somebody hasn’t really been given sufficient air time. They’re the sorts of things to really be watching out for as much as this one-on-one stuff that I’ve been talking about. 

20:35 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

To build on Ben, the business case for this is quite clear. We know that when people don’t get along with their coworkers, they’re less likely to approach those coworkers when they need information that they know those coworkers have. When you scale this up, there’s a real cost of this. Now, this old research was really focused on what happens when there’s a really smart jerk in an organization. 

You would think you’d hire them and pay them a lot because they have this knowledge, but it turns out, the studies show, nobody actually goes to this person because they’re a jerk, and so they actually cost the organization more than benefit it. If you think about that work through the lens of or applying that to what Ben is pointing out, it means that if people aren’t getting along, they’re less likely to reach out to one another for help, which is quite normal. 

As Adam Grant from Wharton talks about, we need people to not only give help, but seek help. The business case for this discontentment with one’s colleagues is extremely costly. Building higher quality connections, which we know flow from a greater emotional intelligence, is critical. It used to be seen from many organizations perspective as a, that would be great if not only we could perform well, but also get along. 

But now organizations are starting to realize more and more that the only way that they’re going to perform, especially with an emotionally exhausted remote workforce, is to deploy some pretty basic, but very sophisticated emotional intelligence skills. 

22:15 Marie: 

Do these skills and the way that they’re taught, does it change now that we are working remotely, Ben? 

22:22 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

I think it has, yeah, because you’re teaching people how to demonstrate the skills through the medium of Zoom or WebEx or Teams or Google Meet or whatever it is that you’re working through, number one. Number two, I think you’re just raising awareness of some important sort of behavioral shifts that need to be made, like paying more attention to the emotional landscape of the team, encouraging people to reach out to each other, as Jeffrey’s talking about, encouraging people and making sure people are interacting with each other as frequently as they need drawing on each other, those sorts of things. 

Yes, that training has needed to change and shift a bit on a basis. 

23:12 Marie: 

Are you seeing that those organizations who are focused on emotional intelligence right now, as they should be, are you seeing that they’re having a different experience or, for example, they’re not challenged with talent retention issues or recruitment issues or productivity issues? What have the business outcomes of an emotionally intelligent workplace been over COVID? 

23:39 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Yeah, it’s an interesting for anyone listening to this to do a sort of a little ethnographic walk through their neighborhood. Globally, fortunately, I’ve been back in the plane and traveling around. You’ll see lots of help wanted signs. And yet you’ll see a cafe with seven lovely people waiting to make your matcha latte with oat milk. At what you’re seeing is not a great resignation, as some have called it, but a identification of leaders who are able to create a culture that attracts people. 

In terms of retention people aside, not aside, but in addition to compensation, realignment as one might say, there is a wonderful hope that being emotionally intelligent as a leader is now more clearly seen as a competitive advantage. Those that are doing it are better able to retain and attract. Those that aren’t are losing people. Maybe going forward, we will have organizations which now understand the importance of this because it was needed in order to rebuild their organizations or keep them afloat. 

24:52 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

What I’m seeing is not only better retention and better employment brand, but I think when people get along well with each other, through better role modeled EI behaviors from the  leader and indeed where the leader is encouraging and perhaps even developing their EI behaviors of others, when people are getting along better with each other, they’re prepared to do work they might not enjoy so much. They’re prepared to step in and help each other more. 

You see silos go down. You see more openness to change as a result of that. There are very sort of untalked about benefits that come from helping people get along more effectively. Like when people feel valued from their boss, the outcome of that is they often care more for others. I’m feeling valued. Therefore, I will reach out, or I will pick up that task that I know is on Marie’s plate and she’s a bit stressed or has kids working from home, let me pick that up, when people feel a sense of purpose. 

I think good leaders in this environment are really helping people understand the purpose and the meaning of their work. When people feel a sense of purpose, they engage with another one. We saw this with the Italians on the balconies in the beginning of COVID. We’ve seen it here, Jeffrey, with the fires and the floods that we’ve been facing. When people feel informed, they become very solution focused. When people feel empowered, they innovate. 

There are many sort of unsaid benefits that come from really lean and focusing on helping people demonstrate care and respect and understanding and patience and those sorts of things that lead to more pleasant emotions with each other. 

26:42 Marie: 

Is it more important than ever to also recruit people with high emotional intelligence as well? Coming into a company now in a hybrid or a work from home model, I imagine would be incredibly challenging. I see a lot of people post, “Oh, look at this lovely care package that I got on my first day.” I often wonder, what else did you get? How else are you being supported in your first month or three months beyond the branded mousepad and coffee cup? 

27:14 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

I think it is very important to recruit emotionally intelligent people in this kind of environment. Absolutely. There are really great assessments that can be used, one of which Jeffrey has developed called the Emotional Aperture Assessment, and that really taps into and measures people’s capacity to read emotional landscapes, to pick up on the emotional dynamics of groups. That’s a really important thing to be looking at. 

I think it’s equally important to develop your existing workforce. And not only that, but to really couple it with workforce changes. You could say organizational development that leads to better employee feelings. We’ve got a big airline here in Australia that shall remain nameless that’s in the papers today because both their contact center people and their customers are incredibly frustrated by the length of time it’s taking to get through to the organization at the moment on the phones. 

If you’ve got a flight that you need to change or a seat that you want changed or whatever, it’s taking two or three hours for a lot of people to get through to the airline. You’ve got an incredibly frustrated customer base there, and you have an incredibly burnt out, exhausted, and stressed contact center workforce. The combination of unhappy customers and unhappy staff can be disastrous for a business. 

It’s important not only to, for example, how people build their resilience, but to look at, well, do we need more people? What are the obstacles here? What’s causing stress in the system, and how do we remove that stress to help people flourish? 

28:58 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Ben’s really adding something that we hadn’t really talked about as much in the early part of this conversation is the business case for external customer focused aspects of the business. It’s not just internal collaboration and colleagues. 

The ability to deal with an equally stressed and exhausted society, which businesses call customers or potential customers, really requires a lot of attunement, a lot of emotional intelligence, not just in paying attention, but in an ability to engage in this, to respond in ways that are appropriate that can help the person manage, that has some self-resiliency for those that have to deal with the very stress workforce. 

Hospitals around the world are struggling with nursing staff who are being yelled at and are quitting the field because of how difficult it is dealing with non-medical aspects of their job. There is a hope that much like out of many disasters, we come up with a lot of innovations, maybe out of all of this, we will have a much more emotionally enlightened set of organizations, society, and so forth, but it won’t just happen by saying this is important. 

As Ben had mentioned, there’s a lot of scientific assessments and ways in which people can see where are my strengths, where are my weaknesses, and having some path forward to improving upon that. I mean, there’s a lot of folks who have highly technical jobs and expertise, thank goodness for them, and now to equip them with the ability to interact on the human side is now needed more than ever. 

30:52 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

I would concur. I think a lot of people are working in what I call heightened emotional environments, whether it’s down at the local hospital or in the local school, or if you’re on the receiving end of a customer for an airline or a bank, heightened emotional environments. I am surprised that organizations haven’t been doing more in helping people cope with that heightened emotional environment, how you recognize when emotions are heightened, how you acknowledge and feel with someone as a way of deescalating. 

And then if that’s not working as a deescalation strategy, what else you do to sort of step in and say, “Hey, this is not how we’re going to interact this.” There’s not I think a lot of empowerment. Workforces aren’t giving a lot of empowerment and a lot of training around things like how to negate, for example, the escalation of emotions with the customer, or if emotions are heightened, how do we acknowledge them and how to deescalate them effectively. I think that’s a big area for organizations to think about working on. 

32:00 Marie: 

100%. You that’s such an interesting point. I had an experience not so long ago where I had an interaction where someone rang me and they were clearly stressed when they rang me. The level of stress didn’t match the conflict or the issue that we were tackling, right? They were coming at something from a highly stressed emotional point of view. I was still in the early days of the pandemic working from the kitchen bench, two kids homeschooling. 

I too was equally really stressed and emotional, and it just made for an explosive interaction that cost us the relationship. I was the customer. They’re the supplier. And that business relationship very quickly went down the toilet completely unnecessarily looking at it now as somebody who’s improved their work from home environment, kids are back at school and reflecting on what’s happened. 

32:55 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

When I walk into the local school or local hospital here, you see posters up around the walls for customers as a reminder of how they need to be when they interact with staff. And that’s great, but that’s not sufficient. That’s not enough. There’s many customers who walk in the door and don’t give a stuff about what posters are up around the walls, or they miss them. Because when you’re in a heightened emotional state, your perspective is narrow. 

You aren’t paying attention to things that are up on the walls. You’re very focused on the issue you have and the problem you want solved. I think that that’s a great step that organizations have done that kind of thing, but they should also know that it’s simply not sufficient. We really need to help people with acknowledgement, empathy, and de-escalation skills in particular if you’re a customer facing person at the moment. 

33:43 Marie: 

I do also wonder with people’s work from home environments are very different. I could be living in a two bedroom apartment with a cat and two children, and someone else might be single, living in their place with a dedicated office space. I also find that stress levels are going to vary due to their external environments. Are those things outside of an employer’s control? 

34:12 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Well, I don’t think so. I mean, yes, some of those things are, but how people respond to it, how people acknowledge it, how people work with it is not outside of people’s control. And that’s where this sort of training comes in that we’ve been talking about. But I think mindset, number one, should be greater flexibility equals greater complexity, and greater complexity equals greater stress, and greater complexity equals the amplification of average to poor emotionally intelligent leadership. 

If you haven’t done more than put posters up around the wall, or if you haven’t done some really thorough discussions and training about how to step into and manage this complexity, particularly with your people leaders, I think now’s the time. Because one of the things we know for sure is we’re not going to back to how we were. This sort of working arrangement is here to stay. 

It really is time, as Jeffrey’s been talking about at the outset, for organizations to really refine, step back, look at, and think about how to step in and lean in and do this more effectively, because undoubtedly, all the research that’s out there around the world are suggesting we need to. 

35:25 Marie: 

Jeffrey, did you have anything you wanted to add to that? 

35:26 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

I’m finding it wonderfully refreshing that these topics, which Ben and I have devoted our professional careers to, are now on the radar of so many organizations. One could say it’s a bit unfortunate that this happened, but it’s very rewarding that there’s now a recognition of how critical these things are. It’s very, very grateful that now there’s an opportunity say there’s ways to help. There’s ways to address these things. 

It’s not a mystery, like the physical health issues. There are ways in which we know how to build better connections. Very thankful for that. 

36:14 Marie: 

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. 

36:15 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Yeah. I think, there’s many, many benefits that can come from continuing to work on how we do this well. Productivity is up, not as much as not getting along with employees is up. It’s been interesting. I think an analogy to think about there is doing more is great, doing things smarter is better. Just because productivity is up doesn’t necessarily mean that we are evolving, innovating, doing things more efficiently, more effectively. 

I think that that’s another opportunity that can come from further refinement in this area. We might not necessarily see improvements in productivity, but we might see improvements in efficiency, in cost reductions, in employee customer satisfaction, and therefore loyalty and profitability. 

37:01 Marie: 

Fantastic. Well, thank you both. That’s all we have time for. You’ve given us a lot of useful insights. Thank you so much, Jeffrey, for joining us. 

37:11 Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on. 

37: 13 Marie: 

Pleasure. The thank you, Ben. 

37:15 Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Yes, it’s been great to have you on here, Jeffrey. Everyone out there who’s been particularly interested in this notion of emotional landscapes and reading the emotion of groups in the room should go and Google search Emotional Aperture and the Emotional Aperture Assessment. You’ll come across Jeffrey and his work. There’s a lot of great articles floating around out there around how to sharpen up your skills at reading emotional landscapes of people. Thanks, Jeffrey. It’s been great to have you. 


You know what? For those listening, we’ll make it even easier. You don’t have to Google. We’ll include links to some of that literature in the podcast description. 

Dr. Ben Palmer: 

Excellent. Thanks, Marie. 


All right, thanks, everyone. 

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks: 

All right. Thank you both. 

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