When you’re confident it’s the right thing to do, what keeps you from doing it? Your answer will give you an unsettling gut check about your risk for the future.
I sat across the table from a very successful business leader at a casual lunch. He…
Are you an executive or business owner? Are you a leader with supervision responsibilities? If you are an executive, owner, or leader, you know the challenges come with the position’s opportunity.
One of those challenges is the sense of isolation, sometimes intense, that goes with the territory. Thanks to the current global pandemic, we all know more about the impact of isolation on a personal level than ever before.
Nobody wants to be isolated. People are just not wired for it. You can get lost in it. And it just doesn’t seem right for your job to keep you from relationships. But it will, and it does.
At True Course, we guide executives, business owners, and managers to move from the dangers of isolation to a lifestyle of engagement, confidence, healthy perspectives, and nurturing habits. They decrease doubt and worry and get the sense of belonging and esteem they need. For them, the mantra “be more, see more, achieve more, and finish without regret” is reality. It can be real for you, too.
If you are like most, you won’t realize the reality of isolation before it takes a big toll on your health, job performance, and relationships. And, if you do realize it, you may not admit it. Like most human beings, you’ll wait until the train of your life has jumped the tracks before you try to do something about the isolation. You don’t have to wait to avoid the dangers.
Dr. Philip Zimbardo, psychologist, and professor of social psychology emeritus at Stanford, speaks to this issue:
I know of no more potent killer than isolation. There is no more destructive influence on physical and mental health than the isolation of you from me and of us from them. It has been shown to be a central agent in the etiology of depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, rape, suicide, mass murder…
It’s important to note that isolation and loneliness are not the same. But isolation can certainly create feelings of loneliness.
Isolation has powerful effects on a person. It can
From the literature, experience, and common sense, I’ve identified at least eighteen reasons for executive isolation. Here are seven:
Be honest with yourself – Recognize and acknowledge your isolation.
Don’t be the victim and don’t settle – Isolation may come with your job, but you need not be the victim of it or settle for the status quo. Use the steps below to take responsibility and take charge of the situation.
Get a coach – A qualified executive coach can be a reliable, confidential sounding board for you. You can be vulnerable, transparent, and unload. Your coach will not judge you and will treat you with unconditional positive regard. The coach brings an unbiased, listening ear, and because they don’t have a “horse in the race,” they work without agenda except for success as defined by you.
Assess and Develop Your Emotional Intelligence – You can learn to be more aware, authentic, expansive, resilient, and empowering. These qualities don’t sound like isolation. All of these are competencies of emotional intelligence. True Course can help you with assessment, training, and growth using world-class resources and concrete actions for developing these competencies.
Identify and Interact with Peers – Gather a small group of executives who are not in competition with your business and explore common victories and challenges. A third-party facilitator, like a coach, can make this more efficient and meaningful.
Practice Extreme Self-Care – You must be in top shape to stand the stress of the job – physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, mentally. If you are unwell in any aspect of your being, it affects every other aspect.
Get out of the Ivory Tower – Put a time on your calendar to socialize with people in your organization, in-person, by phone, or virtually.
Let people in – The ability to be authentic, full of integrity (same on the outside as inside), and appropriately vulnerable and transparent are character strengths.
Socialize strategically – A single person or a few people will not fulfill your needs as described above, so don’t expect it. Strategize to structure your social relationships engage different people to address individual physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual needs. Any single person may fulfill more than one need but cannot and will not fulfill every need. Only a few of these will be at work.
Make appointments with yourself to spend time with people who can help with your isolation. Don’t wait for them to step up. Take the initiative and make standing appointments with your coach, therapist, peers, and others who help you most.
“I don’t have time” is one of the most common excuses I hear from people for not improving their situation. If you take the time for this, you will multiply your productivity in the time that remains, have better relationships, better management of stress, and you’ll feel better.
Contact us today to start dealing with the issue you know is real – Isolation. We’ll help you design a strategy for doing your job well and managing the challenges that go with it.