What is endowment, and how can I use it to succeed in the workplace?

Ask any NIDA-trained actor what endowment is and they’ll tell you that they use it to create truthful and engaging performances with their co-stars. But how can this help in the working world?

Endowment is about the way we relate to one another, and how our expectations and preconceived opinions shape our responses and interactions with others. When actors are creating a character they endow the other actors in the scene with a relationship and with an emotion; this then colours the reactions/interaction between the actors throughout the scene.

In life we often respond in anticipation of a specific reaction and this has an impact on how we interact and communicate with each other, especially in the workplace.

We often endow our colleagues, managers or clients with power, status or perhaps, disapproval. These endowments/preconceived expectations can negatively affect working relationships and cause breakdowns in communication. But you can use endowment as a way to positively influence the outcome of your conversations, meetings and introductions.

When attending a board meeting, if you endow the other members with being hostile or waiting for you to make a mistake, you will respond defensively and hinder your ability to respond coherently with information or an opinion that is within your area of expertise. However, if you endow the other members with wanting to hear what you advise and with valuing your expertise, you will respond with relevant information and ultimately influence a more positive outcome for the meeting.

You may begin a business presentation with the expectation that your audience will be bored, expecting mistakes. In fact, audiences are ready for the presenter to succeed – so you will present with more confidence if you endow your audience with openness and warmth.

A job interview is another great example in which endowment can help you to put your best foot forward. If you endow the interviewer with difficulty and not wanting you to succeed, you will restrict your interactions. Instead, endow them with wanting you to succeed – so you can be alive in the moment and react accordingly.

It’s a funny thing how often people live up to your expectations or even fulfil your preconceived opinion. So endow your colleagues, clients and even friends and family with positive actions and behaviours, and be open to truthful, engaging communication every day.

You can learn more about endowment at one of our upcoming public courses, including Persuasive Negotiation and Networking Skills: Working the Room.

All views expressed are authors own.

Lyn Lee
About this author:
 Lyn Lee, Course Manager & Training Consultant, NIDA Corporate
Read Bio
Want to know more? Give her a call today on 1300 650 357