Have you watched the reality show “The Apprentice” by US Presidential-hopeful Donald Trump?

“It’s not personal, it’s just business!” was his trademark line as he dismissed contestants from the show. In the same vein, many organisations operate with the assumption that professionalism requires an emotional detachment from the work; therefore, a negative result or critical response should be taken in stride, and the professional will continue to press on as cheerfully, motivated and unaffected as before.

At the same time, the words, “Passion” and “Engagement” are thrown around corporate settings. Yet, those are ENTIRELY EMOTIONAL words!

So here’s the underlying message:

“We want you to be emotionally engaged, to invest passion into your work, but if we don’t like it, just deal with it like a dispassionate professional and move on like nothing happened!”

Do you see the contradiction?

Statistically, only 3% of people are truly able to work like this.

86% of people do take business personally; admittedly some more, some less. Consequently, they resonate with the call for passion and engagement in their work and desire to do so. But after a few ‘professional’ (read ‘negative’) experiences and ‘personal attacks’, they disengage from their work to prevent future hurts and frustrations. Corporately, we are now facing high proportions of a disengaged workforce.

This month, Kandidata Asia would like to share some thoughts on addressing the reality of the 86%. It is not about right or wrong, it is the reality of the situation.

InterpersonalThe Interpersonal Composite of the EQ-i2.0 comprises three sub-scales:  Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy and Social Responsibility. Interpersonal Relationships is the key scale to focus on in engaging staff.

How about harnessing the festive mood of this Christmas and New Year period to begin stepping up efforts in building interpersonal relationships among staff and, more importantly, between managers and staff. As they say, people don’t leave organisations, they leave bosses!

Need ideas how to take advantage of this festive season to build better relationships with your staff and colleagues? Watch this space for our next blog …