I interviewed Dagmara Glowacka who discussed Frustration and its Impact on Operational Performance.
Can you first provide a brief background of yourself.
Yes. Hello, Dustin.Thank you for having me here. Generally, I would say I am combining several roles in my life, and I will tell you later when I am starting like this. So, I am a happy woman. I am a wife and mother of two kids, and professionally, I'm Global Logistic Manager in automotive industry, where I'm responsible for several plants all over the world. At the same time, I'm coach, mentor, and trainer. And generally, I am working mainly with the subjectswhich are relatedwith difficult emotions, especially in a business environment. So, that's from where I'm coming.
I'm treating all of my employees and clients as a whole individuals. So, I'm not splitting them between personal and business site, but I'm taking them as a global, one whole person.
From then it's coming as well to the subject of frustration, I suppose.
Can you talk about frustration? What does it mean? And how does it impact operations?
Generally, each emotion we are having is telling us something. So, I know that people are differentiating between positive and negative emotions. I'm more focused on emotions generally, and that each emotion is coming from something. It's willing to tell us something, show you something, and focus our attention onsomething which is happening in our life, which is important.
And frustration generally is just making a point. Look, what you are doing is not bringing you the results that you expect. And that's why we start to feel this frustration. It is not bad. It is just showing us that it's not potentially the way you will achieve your target. Or maybe the target is not the correct one. So, that's what we should take from the frustration.
Unfortunately, very often we have tendency, when we meet frustration in our way, that we start to blame people. We start to look for excuses, etc. So there comes this powerlessness feeling, which is not making the whole situation better but worse.
And then people, especially at work, they start to feel demotivated because I'm repeating and doing all the time something. And that's not bringing the results. Then they start to feel guilty. There is pressure for the result, which is not coming. So, it is really a lot of different things, which are influencing the way we feel.
And then, because we don't feel well, our operation and performance is not the best one. So, there is a direct link between why frustration which is not addressed, which is just the beginning of this period of negative behaviors, is influencing our operational result.
What are other areas from where frustration is coming? For example, we think that we deserve to be promoted, that we deserve to have a salary increase, that we deserve to be appreciated by a boss, and that's not coming. So, once more, we have an expectation that is not met, and then it's really a point when frustration is raised, when it is really just coming to the surface.
Then, when we don't look into it, when we don't understand from where it's coming and what it's telling us, we just go on with blaming and looking for excuses circle, which is bringing us nowhere.
Then we have people who are demotivated, who are not satisfied with work, who don't see a future in the company. And they are leaving, especially with the young people right now, which is very, very visible, as well as with high potential employees, who, when their ideas are not implemented, when it is not appreciated enough, as they expect it should be, they are just leaving the company.
How can you effectively address this problem?
In the easiest possible way, it's just to talk. Because once you start...what you are doing is not bringing you the result; it's not meeting your expectations. And then you differentiate between the things. Have I really impacted it, or is it totally out of my influence? And then really take care of what you change.
For example, I feel frustrated because I'm not appreciated enough by my boss. Is it really something which is so important for me? Is it something I can influence? Because I can always ask my boss directly, "I'm not really sure if you appreciate what I'm doing. Could you give me feedback if it's so important? And then I will at least know."
If, for example, I am making something, and it is not bringing the result, I'm doing the same thing all the time. So the question is, is the way I chose to do this task the correct one? Maybe I can change something, or maybe I can find someone who will help me.
Really to address why the result is not coming and what I can do with it instead of feeling frustrated about this, because frustration, if it's not addressed, will just bring us down with our mental state, with the way we really feel.
But when we start to talk about this... For example, with my employees, they are local logistic managers who report to me. We have quite systematic discussions. What's happening? How do you feel? And what are the subjects that are not really going as you wish. And then we just talk about the way they feel about this, and just speaking about this is bringing a lot of different ideas, it's changing the perspective.
So, you stop looking at the subject from your correct way, as you are right now. And you start to see it from a totally different angle. And then suddenly you discover, I can do this, this, this, and this. And why do I feel so frustrated about this? That's okay.
So, it is really the easiest, from all the methods, to talk about this. Try to understand, and look at the frustration as something which is bringing you some interesting input.
Do you have any other success examples?
From my environment, because I've been working with emotions for four years already, I'm working with my clients in coaching sessions or during the training, where really just addressing this frustration and asking people to talk about this is really improving their well-being and the way that they see themselves.
However, the biggest success I have is maybe not from business side, but from my kids. I have a son who is four years old, and he gets frustrated very often, because that's the age when they really start to be angry if something is not going as they want. And exactly the same methods that I use with managers, I'm using with my kid. And he's able to calm down within a couple of minutes and immediately find another solution.
For me, it is a great example of how the simplest possible method -- just ask questions, give time for reflection, change the perspective -- is bringing wonderful self-reflection and giving access to totally different solutions. So, that's what I'm implementing in my work, and I really see great results in the way that people behave, how they feel satisfied at work, and they are getting wonderful results on the operational site.
Thanks for sharing today of this very enlightening topic, which is useful for managers in their work, to have a happy work life.
Yes. And you can believe me. Frustration is just the beginning of all emotions, which we do have in business; however, they are very often not addressed properly. But I hope it will come. It will come. Thank you as well for this discussion, Dustin, today.
About Dagmara Glowacka
Global Logistics Manager at Kongsberg Automotive