In this high tempo seminar, Go1's David Hastings is joined by Lauren Waldman, Chief Learning Scientist, and Alex Bailey, CEO of Bailey & French, to discuss supporting employees on their l&d journeys as cognitive and emotional loads increase.
The conversation kicks off with a broad mission and question: what is it that makes us human? Both Alex and Lauren share their thoughts, exploring how our consciousness and our surroundings make us ever evolving creatures; empathetic and understanding beings who grow when confronted with the unknown and the uncomfortable. They conclude that the skills we need, in life as well as in the world of work, are those that make us human.
Alex Bailey provides the audience with a list of skills they should be harnessing to develop their emotional intelligence, including: Inclusivity: being open to others and different schools of thought; Curiosity: constantly looking ahead and stepping into the unknown; Resilience: always remaining open and challenged.
David Hastings makes an interesting comment, stating that, for a long time, none of these skills were ever a focus in the workplace. He asks: why now? Why are we now encouraging people to be their true authentic selves at work?
Here, Alex answers that any company is driven by efficiency and that we are just now understanding that in order to be truly efficient, we need to reduce our cognitive overload. The pandemic has made this even more evident, highlighting the flaws in ‘traditional’ ways of working, demonstrating that we must be open to new channels of communications and learning environments in order to give people the right space in their brains to continue on working.
Lauren Waldman provides scientifique context to the question, bringing the audience in with short experiments and discussing the energy and positive/negative state of our brains and how one can avoid cognitive overload.
The conversation progresses as David brings the workplace back into the fold. He states that people spend a great part of their time at work making it a perfect place to learn about being human. David believes that we are more socially and morally conscious now than ever before and, though companies have seen a ‘Great Resignation’ in recent times, he champions the ‘Great Reassessment’ where businesses now have the chance to evolve by inspiring and upskilling their workforce in a way that is meaningful.
During the session, Lauren is in full agreement and stresses the importance of learning more human skills at work but, she cautions that this cannot be rushed or there won’t be any long term effects. Learning takes time and genuine curiosity which is why any course should also allow time for people to think for themselves in order to properly embrace their learning journey. Lauren believes that some companies over parent people, telling them what they need to learn instead of letting them establish things on their own.
Creativity and innovation in the space of learning is important. Even if there are boundaries, pushing people in traditional routes means they may shut off and forget to be human. The seminar wraps up with a final, unanimous statement: We are all at our best when we are human selves.
You may also like to read Lauren Waldman's article on how joining forces with our brains can help us to be more emotionally intelligent and empathetic in the workplace.