ClearRock hosted Dr. Edward M. Hallowell on Wednesday, April 1 to share the latest research from his book Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People. Dr. Hallowell is a bestselling New York Times author, world-renowned ADHD expert, and founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health. Dr. Hallowell's premise is that everyone has the possibility to "shine." He suggests a five-step, scientifically grounded "Cycle of Excellence" that managers can use to improve employee performance and productivity. The advice is clear and cumulative: 1-find the right job fit, 2-build connection, 3-foster play, 4-commit to work, and 5-reward excellence.
During his presentation, he spent considerable time talking about the first two foundational elements: job fit and building connection. He described "fit" as the intersection between what a person is good at, what they like to do and where they are meeting a business need. He suggested that managers could engage employees in the conversation by simply asking the question: "Are we getting the most we can out of your talent?" He then emphasized the importance of connection, stating that, we are more connected electronically than ever before, but at the same time, people are more lonely and isolated emotionally. As a result, many workers are disconnected, unproductive or inexplicably stalled. Dr. Hallowell suggested that managers can help by creating environments/opportunities for people to connect in meaningful ways; monthly gatherings for lunch/dinner/team events would go a long way, he also offered a group conversation starter that was simple and had a positive impact. He then asked everyone in the group to "think of an object that is meaningful to you and describe it." Each person discussed their particular object and its meaning with the group and, in less than five minutes, found that they absolutely felt more connected to people at their tables.