Podcast: “The Encouragement Engineer.”

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I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog — it’s somewhere around 2,400 right now, and I only started writing in October 2013. I’m prolific. (I think that’s a good thing, but I am sure sometimes it’s not.) Periodically, people will ask me my favorite post ever. I honestly can barely remember maybe 100 total posts out of the 2,400, but one of my favorites is this one about “new people features.”

The idea is that workplaces become obsessed with product launches and rollouts, and those are obviously really important to the business — but every day, people go through stuff too. They get married, they get divorced. They raise kids, they (hopefully not) lose kids. Their parents age. Friendships change. They fight with their spouse. They reconcile with their spouse. All this stuff happens to us day in and day out and it changes our connection back to the work we do every day.

I actually thought I wrote that post in 2016, but when I just looked it up, I wrote it on April 7, 2017. That’s funny because April 2, 2017 was when I got back to my apartment and my ex had moved out. Clearly there’s a reason I wrote that specific post at that specific time. Wow.

This idea of “new people features” is a big part of my discussion with Bob Brumm, a speaker and coach and “Encouragement Engineer.” The origin story of that branding is within the episode.

A couple of other themes in this episode

  • Work-life balance: We talk a lot about work-life balance in the beginning, and whether it should be called “work-life integration.” Mollie Bentley and I talked about similar themes in Episode 2 of this show as well. And to go back to my blogging history again, back in April 2015 — which feels like sixteen lifetimes ago — I wrote this post about how work-life balance can be a competitive advantage for companies. That was one of the first work-related posts I wrote here where I thought, “Man, some of my stuff is speaking differently about these topics than other people do.” Humble-brag, baby!
  • 110 percent vs. 70 percent: This is the idea that young, single people — or women without children — can give more to their job (110) than married people with kids (or just women with kids) can (70). This is a huge theme of work that we brush under the rug often because it’s a difficult conversation, but it touches on the role of women at work and honestly, on ageism too. I’m about to be 39 (less than a month) and I can’t get a sniff on work really, so I’m right here feeling it, baby.
  • With time, things get better: My girlfriend and I host this thing called “Grace Groups” for our church, which is basically young couples talking about life and faith and all that. About two weeks ago, someone talked about how really bad life events can happen (naturally) and usually the person who it happened to is generally OK/better in six months to a year. I wouldn’t say this is always true, no — some things hit harder — but I would say I’ve been divorced and you can get through being punched in the mouth. It’s possible.
  • The value chasm: One interesting topic in this episode is “the value chasm,” or the idea that oftentimes people have a lot to offer their company, but their company only sees them as a set of specific tasks. That’s how we hire, right? Responsibilities and bullet points? But what if someone has great value and has no avenue to show it? It’s going to lead to frustration and burnout. Man, I’ve been there.

Take me to the audio!

Here it is:

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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