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Employee Engagement: Disengagement as Self-Protection

Let’s view employee disengagement as self-protection.

Larissa Thurlow sent me an image from Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong. Larissa underlined one short sentence.

We disengage to self-protect.

I got to know Larissa when I was doing some work on employee engagement in Doha, Qatar for the College of the North Atlantic – Qatar. I appreciate her sending this sentence.

Rather than looking at disengagement as laziness, malingering, or apathy I encourage you to think about disengagement as self-protection. What might the employees in your workplace be protecting through disengagement?

Disengagement as Self Protection

Let’s transform disengagement from a punishable offence into a trigger for a conversation. Let’s also increase the level of psychological safety in our organizations so that employees will feel less need to protect and more need to express and engage.

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert.

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