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The Power of Engagement: How to Find Balance in Work and Life

The Power of Engagement: How to Find Balance in Work and Life

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The Power of Engagement: How to Find Balance in Work and Life

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Lançado em:
Jul 24, 2012


In todays chaotic world, we are all trying to balance work and life. But it is not easy. With constant technical distractions and work demands, it can be difficult to focus on one priority at a time. In his comprehensive guidebook, The Power of Engagement, relies on the practical and relevant daily experiences of people from all walks of life in order to demonstrate power-of-engagement techniques that can be applied in relationships, social settings, and workplaces.

Agbanyim focuses on the importance of what is essential to achieving daily balance by offering techniques for incorporating intentional living and spirituality, realizing healthy relationships, making good choices, and using innate abilities to enhance an idea.Through a step-by-step process, Agbanyim offers ways to

create a sense of presence;

navigate uncertainties while focusing on the big picture;

perform self-inventory;

face the elephant in the room and discuss challenges; and

live a life of gratitude.

The Power of Engagement provides valuable tools, practical techniques, and sound advice for anyone willing to embark on a journey of self-discovery that leads to the ultimate goalachieving a healthy balance in both work and life.

Lançado em:
Jul 24, 2012

Sobre o autor

J. Ibeh Agbanyim earned a master’s degree in general psychology with emphasis in industrial and organizational psychology; he is currently a PhD student in I-O psychology. He is the founder of Focused Vision Consulting, a senior logistics associate at UPS, and author of The Power of Engagement. Agbanyim lives in Mesa, Arizona.

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The Power of Engagement - J. Ibeh Agbanyim


Copyright © 2012 by J. Ibeh Agbanyim, MSc

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

iUniverse books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:


1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403


1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677)

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2974-4 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2975-1 (e)

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2976-8 (dj)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012909625



Chapter 1 Set Your Eyes on the Prize

Chapter 2 Be Prepared, Expect the Unexpected

Chapter 3 The Drum-Major Instinct

Chapter 4 The Elephant in the Living Room

Chapter 5 Intentional Living and Spirituality

Chapter 6 The Fish-and-Water Relationship

Chapter 7 Leading by Example

Chapter 8 Self-Inventory

Chapter 9 It’s All about Choices

Chapter 10 One Sound Idea

Chapter 11 Acknowledge Gender Differences

Chapter 12 The Mysteries of Gratitude



Author Biography


Engagement is synonymous with commitment. The amount of energy devoted to a particular project determines the outcome. In this context, a project could be in the form of a relationship, a social group, or a workplace. Napoleon Hill noted, Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. It is evident that engagement is first established in the laboratory of the mind before there is any physical manifestation.

On the other hand, disengagement is also first conceived before it is actualized. With these thoughts in mind, it is conceivable that every success and failure starts with engagement. For example, a student who spends time in a library tirelessly studying for exams will eventually graduate (after fulfilling the requirements of the degree program). A student who passed his exams did so by engaging in activities that fulfilled his quest: his thought of graduating started the day he decided to pursue his education. A couple that ends up in a divorce court does so due to marital discord, unresolved issues, and relationship disengagement. The separation process started the day one partner decided to stop working on his or her marriage. An underage son moves out of his parents’ home as a result of domestic violence, family dysfunction, or peer pressure. The child had already conceived of the idea of moving out before the actual move. An employee discontent with his or her boss leads to disengagement in the workplace. In essence, the employee was already disengaged the moment he or she became discontented. The result of such disengagement is low productivity, low morale, presenteeism, and absenteeism.

To further the discussion of engagement, one can explore relationship anecdotes. For example, a flight attendant was attending to a couple at the ticket counter with their two kids. The husband was holding their two kids while the wife reluctantly stood at a distance without talking until it was time to board the flight. The flight attendant noticed that the husband was not talking to his wife, but the kids clung to their father. The husband later confided in the flight attendant that his marriage had been in disarray for some time. This scenario depicts an act of relationship disengagement.

As another example, a supervisor was appraising his employees’ performance. One employee did not agree with the scores she received, so she confronted her supervisor. But the supervisor justified his judgment. On the next appraisal, the employee decided to have her assistant supervisor evaluate her performance. The assistant supervisor decided to have the employee self-report her performance while he discussed the results with her. In the end, the employee and the assistant supervisor discussed the areas that the employee identified as her weak spots, and she agreed to develop a plan for improvement. The assistant supervisor’s approach suggests that engagement is mutual.

The thought-provoking question is how can we engage in day-to-day activities and still find balance in work and life?

This book is intended to demonstrate the power of engagement in all facets of life. First, the techniques presented in this book are applicable in relationships, social groups, and workplaces. Having observed how engagement is essential in our daily lives, I deemed it fit to share my views using evidence-based studies and examples. Second, my intent is not to bore you with untested assumptions. Instead, I offer practical, simple, relevant, and daily experiences of people from all walks of life.

My Background

I confess I am more of a responder than a reactor to situations. I like to assess situations internally before opening my mouth to say a word. But sometimes I find myself flitting between responding to situations and reacting to situations. This type of problem-solving approach led me to ask questions. Why do people behave the way they behave? Why do people say the things they say? And why do people change their minds in the middle of a relationship, a business deal, an employment opportunity, a friendship, or an academic pursuit? You might ask why these questions are important. Let me share a bit of my background.

For almost twenty years, I have witnessed married couples getting divorced, teenagers dropping out of high school, employees resigning, senior executives resigning from high-paid jobs, etc. On the other hand, I’ve also seen couples who were on the brink of divorce reconcile, school dropouts regain confidence and graduate from high school, and unproductive employees and managers become involved and productive again. As a workplace supervisor for a logistics company, and senior logistics associate, I have gathered sufficient data by interacting with workers, clients, and management in the realms of coaching, customer service, and training. As an entrepreneur, I learned why people survive or fail in business. As a graduate, I learned what pushes some students to graduate from college—and what discourages some students enough to abandon academic pursuits. The quest for practical answers to my questions established the foundation for writing this book.

The Approach

During my undergraduate years, in one of my psychology classes, my professor asked the class to find a chemical dependency rehab center, observe a session, and write a report based on the findings. I chose Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Rehab Center. In the session, one of the patients reported that one of the reasons why he stayed sober was because he made a conscious effort to stop and disengaged from active alcoholics (outside the AA center). Because merely associating with them put him in a vulnerable position, that interaction might lead to temptation and cause him to drink alcohol again. Consequently, the predictor of successful and unsuccessful people is their commitment to whatever they are pursuing. In addition, the comments and questions I gathered from readers further expanded my understanding in terms of the importance of engagement in our daily activities. Other observations recorded in my journal were also incorporated into this book.

Book Overview

Chapter 1 focuses on the importance of what is essential in everyday life from the perspective of relationships, social groups, and workplaces. Focusing on the priorities of everyday life challenges causes a person to tune in to the present. Dealing with life events one issue at a time creates the sense of presence—whether in a relationship, a casual meeting, or a boardroom. Examples drawn from ordinary people will be used to demonstrate the relevance of engagement.

Chapter 2 discusses how to navigate uncertainties while focusing on the big picture. It is those uncertainties that can make a weakling a warrior, depending on whether that individual handles the issues properly. If you handle challenges from a pessimistic perspective, fear will overtake your thoughts and defeat you. But if you are optimistic, you will position yourself to expect the unexpected.

Chapter 3 focuses on the drum-major instinct. There is an instinct to be identified in a crowd for one’s excellence. But when that praise is insufficient, a person might end up engaging in activities that could bring destructive or constructive attention to himself or herself in order to garner recognition.

Chapter 4 discusses the challenges in organizations and relationships that people do not want to talk about. There are unspoken words management tries to avoid in any organization. This set of words is the elephant in the room—no one wants to talk about it. The elephant stares at us every day, but we choose to look the other way to avoid addressing the issue. I say we should face the elephant in the room.

Chapter 5 centers on intentional living and spirituality. At the beginning of chapter 1, I mention that engagement is first conceived in the laboratory of the mind and then becomes a physical manifestation. By implication, believing that

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