Chicka Elloy Explains Ego Depletion & How It's Ruining Your Small Business

ego depletion small business hr tips team management Nov 23, 2022
Ego Depletion Explained

Decision fatigue is a common topic in business - you've probably heard about Steve Jobs notoriously wearing the same uniform daily in order to avoid it. But have you heard of ego depletion?

Chicka Elloy is an award-winning HR consultant, VP of People & Employee Experience at Mavrck and Chief Learning Officer at CLO Media. He has helped multiple businesses streamline talent management and leadership development with impressive results.

Chicka defines ego depletion as an overwhelming sense of exhaustion - feeling like you're into your reserves and the battery life is way down. It's not being able to work because you're worried about stuff that you need to do in two months. 

Now, it's worth noting that when we say 'ego depletion, we're not talking about ego in the Freudian sense. Rather, the concept comes directly from the Greek word 'ego,' which stands for 'self.' So, you can think of ego depletion as self-depletion.

To better understand ego depletion, Chicka refers to a 90's study regarding willpower by a researcher called Baumeister. 

Baumeister's studies involved putting people in a room with a bowl of radishes and a bowl of chocolate chip cookies and instructing half the group to go for the cookies and the other half for the radishes.

The experiment revealed that the people eating the radish radishes were constantly looking at the cookies, more intensely each time. 

Baumeister hypothesized that since they spent so much time thinking about the cookies while eating the radishes, they had almost depleted their mental capacity. 

Let's go back to the workplace. We spend most of our workday making decisions. We spend all day discussing processes, systems, and sometimes even irrelevant stuff. But all that decision-making, no matter if it's about small or big decisions, takes a toll on our mental health.

So when we get home, and somebody asks us to make a decision, we're incapable of making the right choices because we've depleted ourselves focused on the day of work. Therefore, it's easy to see how ego depletion is slowly but steadily affecting our work and private lives. 

The ultimate consequence of ego depletion is that an unfocused, unhappy and burnout team will find it challenging to perform at the level a business requires. So, what can we do about it?

Tune in to this week's episode of 'While We Were Working' to find out!

Chicka joins Sommer and Joey to discuss more about ego depletion and what we can do to prevent it.

In this episode's Consultant Corner, Chicka shares his 3 C's of positive company cultures. You'll learn what a positive company culture looks like, some of the critical factors, how to know if you've got a great culture, and more.

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