Comstock's magazine 0419 - April 2019 - Page 38

n WELLNESS start to feel, No one here likes me. So then you think, I don’t feel close to this entire company.” Thanks to the social exchange the- ory, you tend to reciprocate the negative vibes, in something of a quid pro quo. “You start thinking that, If I don’t get anything out of this relationship, I’m not going to give much in return, ei- ther.” You don’t work as hard. Your performance suffers. This, in turn, impacts others, as “we catch emotions like a virus,” says Barsade. “Loneliness is influencing their colleagues.” The second mechanism: Lonely people are perceived to be less approachable, and therefore their relationships suffer. “Lonely people don’t have the network around them to get the job done,” Ozcelik says. “For example, they might have a great idea, but they need other people’s input, and they can’t get it.” Curious about this dynamic, Ozcelik then hatched a fol- low-up experiment to tease out why, exactly, lonely people weren’t getting the help they needed. This time he turned to neuroscience. Ozcelik and his team found a group of 20 volun- teers, showing them photos of hypothetical coworkers with de- scriptors like, “an employee who has no one to turn to in the or- ganization” or someone who “feels in tune with coworkers in the organization.” Ozcelik left the L-word out of the descriptions, and “lonely” descriptions were not paired with “lonely” faces. Volunteers mulled over the question, “Do I help this per- son?” while Ozcelik used an fMRI to scan their brains. He no- “As a trusted Act! software advisor, the sound advice and tailored customer service that Chris provides has enabled us to keenly track customers over decades. And with his guidance a over the past year we have seen g significant increase in sales usin to email marketing. It is a pleasure ticed something fascinating. When considering a non-lonely coworker, two areas of the participants’ brains flared to life on the fMRI: the amygdala and hippocampus, which help govern our memories and emotion. “Lonely” descriptors did not trig- ger any activity in these areas. Translation? “It’s like the lonely person is invisible,” says Ozcelik, his voice brimming with ex- citement. “It’s not that we hate the lonely person. It’s that the lonely person doesn’t even register in our brains.” Perhaps in the same way that we quickly walk past a homeless person on the street, we simply choose to ignore a lonely coworker. LONELY AT THE TOP Loneliness might be an equal-opportunity problem. While the Sacramento study (of just two organizations) was too small to draw conclusions about CEOs, a 2011 survey from RHR International (a leadership consulting firm) found that half of all CEOs are lonely, and that of that group, 61 percent say it impacts their performance. So there could be some truth in the old saw, “It’s lonely at the top.” Sacramento- based executive coach Barrett McBride says that among her clients, “The more senior the executive, the more likely they are to bring up loneliness,” theorizing that “the higher peo- ple rise in an organization, the fewer peers they have to dis- cuss issues that arise.” More than a Utility work with a consultant who truly s understands your business goal s play and how your sales software a role in meeting them.” — ALICE BURKHARD CES, INC. CEO, A&A EDUCATIONAL RESOUR CHICO CA Contact Chris Pumphrey | Act! Software Coach chris@actcoaching.com • 406.493.7047 • www.actcoaching.com 38 comstocksmag.com | April 2019 We’re here to help your business succeed. Contact your trusted energy advisor today. roseville.ca.us/energypartner #MOREPOWERFULTOGETHER