Dr. Tracy Maylett and Tim Vandehey: Embracing Engagement In A Swipe Culture
The million-dollar question is…how do we change our behaviour? By understanding it. Swipe shows us how to re-engage, escape the “hamster wheel” trap, and attain our ambitious goals.
When the going gets tough, why do we give up? We all know what it is like to quit or to make excuses for why we failed. Th ere are even times when we find ourselves put in situations outside our comfort zone, and we pursue trivial distractions to make it easier for us to endure; e.g., by sticking our noses in our smartphones.
So why do we disengage from the important things in our life? How do we change this behaviour?
Dr. Tracy Maylett and Tim Vandehey provide a comprehensive explanation and solution to this daunting universal human behaviour in their new book, Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don’t Finish What We Start.
Dr. Maylett is the CEO of a global consulting firm, DecisionWise, which focuses on employee experience design and evaluation. With his background in organizational development, organizational change, experience design and assessment, industrial psychology, executive coaching, HR and psychometric assessment, he routinely advises leaders throughout the world on employee engagement strategies and organizational effectiveness.
In addition to teaching at Brigham Young University and at Pforzheim University in Germany, he has authored previous award-winning books, including two bestsellers: The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results and Engagement Magic: Five Keys for Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations.
Co-author Tim Vandehey is a journalist and New York Times bestselling ghostwriter with an array of works in such genres as business, finance, advice, outdoor adventure, religion, memoirs, parenting and health. He has won several awards, including multiple Axiom Business Book medals and Independent Publisher Book awards.
Their new book, Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don’t Finish What We Start, is a self-help and business book that thoughtfully combines neurobiology, organizational psychology, business statistics, journalism and storytelling. It is written with the goal of helping readers understand and then escape the current “swipe” phenomenon.
[Engagement] is an emotion in which people choose to dedicate their hearts, spirits, minds and hands in what they do
Maylett and Vandehey have identified the swipe as a reflex that is a result of our evolving high-tech culture. They describe this phenomenon as a self-destructive “hamster wheel” of disengagement that is hindering our human growth within our workplace, our family life and our social life. Defeating the swipe is all about being more human.
The swipe poses a crippling barrier between the employer and the employee. On-the-job swiping occurs when the employee feels overwhelmed, unsupported, incapable or disrespected. Naturally, one of the jobs of the employer is to bring the best out of his or her team. However, the employer cannot force the employee to engage, in which employees choose not to swipe. Ultimately, swiping should be understood as a preconditioned impulse or reflex to refuse, reject or disregard something or someone. It is not a choice.
The meaning of “engage” or “engagement” differs from person to person. Maylett says, “Our definition of engagement is that it’s an emotion in which people choose to dedicate their hearts, spirits, minds and hands in what they do. The hearts being that love they have for the job. The spirit being the passion that’s there, that flame. The hands being the actual, physical work piece of this. And the minds being, ‘I’m thinking about this. This is part of me. This is part of what I want to do.’ That’s really the basis behind our concept of engagement.” (Profitable Happiness™ podcast, hosted by Dr. Pelè.)
Maylett and Vandehey propose a solution to counter this disengagement: “MAGIC,” which stands for Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection. Maylett explains that if we find meaning in what we do beyond just the job itself then this will get us excited about our work and give us something to look forward to. Autonomy should be understood as the power to shape the world in front of you in a way that is going to allow you to use your talent to succeed. Growth is essential in every facet of our lives. If we are not growing, we are stagnating and will fail to engage with what is in front of us. Impact is the feeling of knowing your work is making a difference and serves as a reminder of the results of our hard work. Lastly, connection is a sense of belonging to something beyond us. Whether that connection is to the people with whom we’re working or the tasks we perform, there is a reason why we are a part of it.
Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don’t Finish What We Start was released on March 21, 2023, and is available at Indigo and on Amazon.