Back to Human Summary By Dan Schawbel

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Back to Human is a book that aims to explore how workplaces can become more human-centric and, in turn, foster better business results.

It gives workplace leaders an in-depth guide on how to go about building and cultivating a corporate culture that values human connection—something that may seem like an increasingly difficult task, given the modern day's reliance on technology for communication.

Through practical steps and advice, readers of the book will find invaluable insight into creating a business environment where both employees and employers alike feel supported.

Back to Human Summary

Book Name: Back to Human (How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation)

Author(s): Dan Schawbel

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 21 Minutes

Categories: Corporate Culture

Author Bio

Dan Schawbel is the author of the best-selling book Back to Human and has built a career as an expert on all things workplace.

He founded, making it the world’s largest aggregator of research related to employee needs.

Dan has also contributed to companies as an entrepreneur, speaker, podcaster and author for over two decades now.

He is credited with 3 previous best-selling books about career growth; Promote Yourself, Me 2.0 and Back to Human being his latest effort in shedding light on how one can improve their social well-being and relationships at work.

A thought leader in this space, Dan has made tremendous strides in helping individuals understand how the future of work will look like.

The Human Side of Business: How to Create a Workplace That Acknowledges Our Need for Interaction

Human Side of Business

In the age of technology, it’s important to understand the impact that it has on our lives– both for good and bad.

While technology can make it easier for us to connect with people across the globe, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Email and instant messaging allow us to communicate quickly, but can sometimes lead to misunderstandings due to a lack of face-to-face contact.

And remote work may provide flexibility, but it makes interpersonal collaboration more difficult.

It’s time for leaders in the business world to figure out how best to balance the positives of technology with these drawbacks.

Leaders need to use their best judgment when deciding which techniques will create a more human approach in their businesses while still reaping all the benefits of modern technology.

In this book, readers will explore solutions such as keeping up personal connections at work, improving communication using simple acts of kindness like compliments, and managing distractions caused or exacerbated by technology in the workplace.

Get back in touch with your human side and learn how you can lead an organization effectively while still having an open mind towards modern technologies!

How Digital Technology Is Affecting Our Relationships and Limiting Our Fulfillment

As digital technology becomes more integrated into our lives, it has had both positive and negative impacts.

On one hand, technology allows us to stay connected with people all over the world.

But on the other hand, increasingly we are relying on our devices and social media accounts over real-world interaction, leading to a rise in social isolation.

Research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 found that individuals spending two hours a day on social media had twice the risk of experiencing social isolation compared to those who spent less time online.

Social isolation is further linked to depression – research by university of Houston in 2015 found a correlation between being more active on Facebook and higher levels of depression.

The forging of strong relationships is essential for both satisfaction and progress in life, with Grant Study -75 year-long project from 1938 onwards led by psychiatrist George Vaillant finding that these type of relationships were the strongest predictor for life satisfaction among participants.

In professional settings, having meaningful relationships leads to better performance at work because business revolves around connection building.

2017’s Wharton Business School study reveals that employee loneliness directly affects their working performance negatively.

It appears to be clear then that as we use technology more than before, our human relationships are being weakened consequently reducing achievement and personal satisfaction in our lives.

This affirms why it is important now more than ever for us to get back in touch with a greater sense of humanity if we want to be successful!

Building Human Relationships Is Key to Employee Fulfillment

Human Relationships

Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that their teams achieve true fulfillment in the workplace.

To do this, it’s important to understand the psychological needs of employees and build relationships with them focused on giving and receiving love, respect, and understanding.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that after basic survival needs are met, what matters most for humans is the sense of belonging and being accepted – which can be achieved through strong connections with colleagues or other members of the team.

In fact, research conducted by Gallup back in 2006 shows that those who had a best friend at work were seven times more likely to report they are engaged in their job as well as being more productive and innovative.

In order to foster a culture of fulfilment among its workforce, leaders need to focus on building these relationships between themselves and their employees.

Use face-to-face conversations instead of technological ones in order to get to know each other on an even deeper level – delve into goals, aspirations, fears and really listen intently when someone shares something about themselves.

Only then can true fulfilment be reached for both yourself and your team!

How Technology Can Be Just as Detrimental to Our Productivity as Beneficial and What We Can Do About It

It is true that technology has helped make life easier and more efficient.

We can now write an email in significantly less time than it would take to draft, sign, and send a letter.

However, there is so much more to being productive than just quick-fix technology.

Studies have shown that office workers receive over 100 emails on average per day, most of which require thought processing even if not responded to.

This can lead to a situation where focus is difficult to sustain and productivity is hindered.

Technology provides distraction from certain tasks but what is needed is an optimistic approach which focuses on prioritization rather than multitasking.

Optimizing productivity requires more than just blindly using quick-fix technology; turning off notifications for periods, writing down priorities for the week or day, and having diverse outlooks are all recommended solutions as well.

If we take the time to consider these approaches combined with technological advances in our workflow, then productivity improvements may be seen!

The Benefits of Embracing and Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Benefits of Embracing and Managing Diversity

Diversity in the workplace remains an untapped source of fresh ideas and a competitive advantage that many businesses underappreciate.

Studies have shown that companies with a diverse employees who bring different perspectives to the table are often more successful than those who lack diversity.

Take Facebook’s Head of Performance Management, Vivek Raval, for example.

He believes that one has to consider how to serve customers, who are often much more diverse than the team of employees, if they’re going to be successful.

That requires all types of diversity not just gender or race but different backgrounds and viewpoints.

Diversity not only brings essential fresh insights but it also leads to greater innovation, better decision-making, improved problem-solving capabilities, and a more engaged workforce.

To make sure you take full advantage of this valuable resource companies need to create a safe space where everyone is comfortable expressing their ideas without fear of rejection or judgement.

For instance instead of focusing on traditional interviews try new techniques such as an anonymous brainstorming exercise in which everyone writes down their thoughts anonymously and then discussing them in a meeting afterwards.

The Key Benefits of Encouraging Collaboration in the Workplace

Benefits of Encouraging Collaboration

Technology has certainly made it easier than ever for us to work remotely, but it has also weakened our workplace collaborations and communication.

We no longer have the same opportunities to build personal relationships with our colleagues face-to-face.

Nor do we experience those small moments ofinsight that can only happen when people talk together in the same space.

But all is not lost!

There are ways to fight back against technology’s influence on collaboration and communication in the workplace.

To start, businesses can encourage their employees to share physical spaces often, as Apple obviously did by designing its headquarters to facilitate easy connection between 12,000 employees.

This was backed up in a 1977 study from MIT, which found that engineers within close proximity of one another were much more likely to communicate than those farther away.

It’s also important for companies to foster open avenues of communication among their staff – having people write down successes and struggles on a regular basis will create an encouraging environment where everyone feels comfortable discussing both success and failure openly without judgement.

And finally, employers should never underestimate the benefit of simply having informal chats with their team members every now and again – real human contact is essential for any workplace collaboration!

Leaders Need to Embrace Personal, Human Recognition to Boost Employee Satisfaction and Success

When it comes to boosting employee motivation and satisfaction, genuine recognition that goes beyond financial incentives is key.

This conclusion has been backed up by various research studies, including one 2011 paper from Maritz which found that employees who are consistently and meaningfully recognized at work are eleven times more likely to stay with their company long-term.

In 2016, professor Dan Ariely conducted an experiment at an Intel factory to test what kind of recognition works best.

One group was promised free pizza if they hit their targets in a day, another group was offered a cash bonus, and the third was promised nothing but a rare compliment from their boss.

By the end of the week, the group offered the managerial compliment had achieved the best performance – showing that personal, human recognition can be worth much more than money.

So for leaders looking to motivate their workforce, it’s clear that taking time to personally recognize your employees is essential – whether that means surprising them with public thanks or leaving a personal note on their desk.

Showing appreciation in this way will not only make employees feel appreciated and important, but will inspire everyone around them to strive for success.

Make Empathy The Cornerstone of Your Leadership Style to Boost Employee Performance

Leadership Style

In our modern workplace, we often forget that empathy is just as important as career successes and profits.

Too many leaders are focused on achieving their own individual goals and often disregard the effects of their decisions on employees’ well-being.

But as research from the Center for Creative Leadership in 2007 has shown, leaders who demonstrate empathy towards their employees are positively correlated with job performance productivity.

Elon Musk is a perfect example of an empathetic leader.

After Tesla faced issues with employee safety, he wrote to his staff — not only did he declare safety as a priority but he also made himself available to speak with his injured workers face-to-face.

He even offered to join them in performing the tasks they were doing every day!

Even small changes like talking to employees about how they feel about their workload or family commitments show them that their leader cares and is willing to support them through good times and bad.

Making conversations meaningful also requires eliminating any distractions; according to research from Virginia Tech, simply leaving a cellphone on the table while talking reduces the feeling of interconnectedness between people.

Wrap Up

The Back to Human Book Summary is a helpful guide for leaders of today.

It emphasizes the need to foster meaningful, human relationships in a tech-dominated world and provides actionable advice on how to do so.

The key message here is that in order to create an environment of trust and collaboration, leaders must first build those kinds of relationships among their teams.

As far as actionable advice goes, one way is to ask your team for feedback about their workspace and act upon it.

Make sure they have a say in how things are arranged and show them that you are listening intently by actually implementing their suggestions.

Everyone wants to feel comfortable and happy at work, so this kind of effort will go a long way in building trust and loyalty with your team members.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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