The vast majority of U.S. workers that are not engaged at work fall into the catabolic range, identified as having an E-Factor of less than 3.0. They have a way of being that’s destructive, draining, and de-motivating, and they’re typically associated with one of two catabolic profiles.
The first catabolic profile depicts employees who have low confidence and tend not to be engaged in their careers, as they’re not satisfied with their abilities. They may go to great lengths to avoid any type of challenges or conflict, and they often show signs of being removed and disengaged in the workplace. This disengagement and despondent approach leaves them with considerably less ability to lead others when compared to those whose E-Factors remain in the anabolic range.
The second catabolic profile may be more challenging to identify, as it is seen in employees who appear confident in their career and decisions. Instead of appearing dispassionate, they use their “confidence” to be argumentative, opinionated, defensive, or controlling. Those who exhibit the second catabolic profile tend to be hardheaded, only seeing things from their own perspective, and they often attempt to squash others with conflicting viewpoints.
As they demonstrate low emotional intelligence, they tend to get things done by force instead of by engagement. The conflict they create ultimately shows itself through disengagement, gossip, and criticism. This catabolic profile is the one most prevalent in the workforce.
These catabolic profiles may create conflict and challenges when identified in a subordinate role; they’re even more disruptive when manifested in the leadership of organizations.
A catabolic temperament can cause a ripple effect that may ultimately suppress the creativity and independence of junior staff; without instilling confidence in supportive roles, productivity can deteriorate and innovation can be stifled.
Understanding catabolic profiles helps us to intervene, effectively, to help leaders tap into anabolic energy, and to help them to become better engaged and also engage those around them.
Which catabolic profile do you encounter most often? How has this impacted your organization? How has it impacted you?
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)