Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Harvard Business Review: Are Our Brains Ready To Quietly Give Up?

there some say “leave quietly” While leaving quietly is about establishing healthy boundaries between work and personal time, actions such as stepping away from your team, limiting communication only to what is strictly necessary, and contributing to meetings rather than being silent” Declining motivation and low commitment are excellent indicators.”

Although the term may be new, what is happening here is the most recent manifestation of a fundamental aspect of human nature: Faced with constant, unavoidable stressors, people often give up. Why even try when you can’t do anything?

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scientists call it “learned helplessness”. After enduring an adverse situation in which he does nothing, he remains passive and discouraged, even in new situations where he is in control.

Default passivity provides an explanation for the phenomenon of silent resignation. People have been under stress for years, but they don’t have the freedom to get up and leave. Feeling powerless to escape a stressful situation, they react in a way that we now know to be common and predictable: by becoming passive. They do not contribute ideas to the meetings. They don’t initiate changing teams or actively seek more meaningful work.

Then, How can organizations reverse attrition to reduce silent resignations? Giving employees a direct sense of autonomy, that is, a sense of control over their lives and decisions. Managers can do this in two ways.

First, you can look for opportunities to give employees more autonomy. When possible, let them choose their own hours and deadlines and whether to work from home or the office. Let them make their own decisions about who to collaborate with, how to allocate their time, and how to get their work done.

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In addition to giving employees additional autonomy, whenever possible, encourage them to exercise autonomy to make their own decisions, which psychologists refer to as “internal locus of control.” The brain craves choice, and studies show that even the expectation of actually making a choice activates the ventral striatum, an area of ​​the brain associated with anticipation and arousal. Encourage employees to switch things up, find work that interests them, and focus on learning.

Whatever an employee’s role, let them know that you appreciate their ideas for making their work more meaningful in ways that meet the needs of the team and the organization. That way, when things get stressful and employees feel sad and discouraged, they will take steps to improve their situation rather than suffer silently.

Remember that silent quitting occurs when employees feel trapped. The more freedom you can give them, the less they’ll feel the need to react in unproductive ways.

(David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, and Jay Dixit are senior science writers at the NeuroLeadership Institute and lecture at Yale University.)

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