Around the World

“A lie gets halfway around the world before Truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. Not knowing the context, it's an interesting quote to ponder.

Simply put, the truth is buried - we just don't see it as clearly as a lie. We have to go through layers of “digging in the dirt,” like the Medicine Buddha speaks of, to get to our own truth.

This, of course, is not an easy process, and typically a process like this finds you through some downturn of events. Folks tend to not work on themselves when all is well. 

Getting to the truth of who we are is a process and living that truth isn't always easy. This is why I love the Enneagram. It offers understanding and an awareness about how certain types of people are wired (9 types, 27 subtypes). And if you understand how your brain is wired, you’re that much ahead of the game in answering questions that may have baffled you through the decades. In future posts, we’ll be talking about the Enneagram types and subtypes. And honestly, even if you’re not doing the internal work, this should be interesting to follow because there is nothing more complex than the human being. We are complex. We are beautifully made. We are always changing - at least let’s hope so.

Be kind.

More on Listening...

My favorite topic: Listening.  One would think that it's not so difficult but it is.  Why?  For the most part, it's because people just want to hear themselves talk.

This article by HBR gives further insight into the art of listening.  It's a short read so take a glance.

https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

Engaging and Understanding Millennial Employees

Millennials now outnumber Gen Xers in the American workplace. According to data from Pew Research, they constitute more than one-third of all U.S. employees, and by 2025 they will make up 44% of the national workforce. Be sure to manage this up-and-coming generation by knowing their strengths, and applying them creatively to your organization's mission and vision. Share the bigger picture with them because they’ll be sharing with you.

Lead rather than manage. Provide context for projects and feedback during the process. Empower employees and embrace ideas. Embrace teamwork, networking, and online multitasking. And don't forget to listen. This generation has a lot to say.  

What Facebook Knows About Engaging Millennial Employees

Trying To Manage Millennials? Give Up And Lead Them Instead

11 Tips for Managing Millennials

3 Truths About Millennials That Will Change the Way You Manage Them

 

What to Focus on Before and During an Interview

A new year has dawned: new hopes, new dreams, and perhaps a new job. If it's been a while since you've been on the other side of the conference table, don't forget to focus on what actions to take before your interview. Here are two articles that provide reminders about interview preparation.  

However, an important thing to remember during your interview is to be yourself. Ultimately if you're true to who you are and what your values are during an interview, you’ll find an employer who has the same. And when your values add up, you’re looking at a long-term fit.

Good luck!

 

What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Focus on Before a Job Interview

The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Preparation

Start the New Year Out Right: Incorporate Meditation & Yoga into your work

As a new year dawns, make a commitment to yourself and your employee productivity to incorporate beneficial health & wellness modalities into your strategic planning. Initiate the opportunity for you and your employees to take advantage of these stress-reducing techniques for a happier and more productive work environment. 

How Meditation Benefits CEOs: Meditation isn’t just “one more thing to do;” it’s a way to build leadership skills – and achieve business goals. Meditation builds resilience; Meditation boosts emotional intelligence; Meditation enhances creativity; Meditation improves your relationships; Meditation helps you focus. The science and business results speak for themselves! 

6 Yoga Exercises You Won’t Be Embarrassed to Do at Your Desk: These exercises take a total of 10 minutes. Take a break from sitting and staring at a computer screen, and do these 6 yoga exercises to get you breathing deeply and infusing life into your tense muscles and racing mind: shoulder rolls; open chest stretch; neck stretch; chair twist; reverse prayer pose; twisted arms. Take 10 minutes for stress release and more productivity!

Drones are here... Are you ready?

Drones are here. And they’re about to impact many sectors of business, so it behooves you to pause and think about whether your business or industry will be affected.

There’s a buzz and a focus on drones as we head into 2016. Just yesterday, the FAA moved to require permits for all drones, 1 to 20 pounds. This ruling comes on the heels of an increasing number of drone accidents that interfere in the airspace of large aircraft, engendering a lot more questions than answers.  

 

8 Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

US government announces mandatory drone registration

ESG stands for improvement

A study by Sustainalytics (http://www.sustainalytics.com/research-methodology) and Harvard Business Reveiw (HBR.org) finished research on the Best CEOs. What it comes down to (at least 20%) is having a high ESG rating, along with being fiscally responsible (80%) to the Stakeholders.  ESG: environmental, social and governance - we need more fortune companies to take a good and long look at their responsibility to the world at large.

“Corporate social responsibility is nothing but maximizing the value of your company over a long period,” says Sørensen, who has been with the company for 33 years. “In the long term, social and environmental issues become financial issues.”

https://hbr.org/2015/11/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world

Finding your voice

This blog by Steven Pressfield is SO good - I had to share it.

Can you be ... what you want to be?

http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2015/09/all-storytelling-is-about-metaphor/?mc_cid=968ac3a149&mc_eid=177cc31315

 

Make good things happen for yourself!

Engage vs. Engagement

Engagement is a hot topic for organizations these days; the second runner-up is culture.

Fact is - there’s a great deal of money that goes into creating company culture, recruiting & on- boarding the right talent, training, building cohesive teams, etc.  So due to logistics, scheduling, and time-spending efforts, companies need to be targeted and streamlined in their efforts to keep employees engaged.

Let’s look at engagement - skipping over the ‘promise to wed,’ we’ll focus on this definition: a promise to meet or be present at a particular place and time. "A promise to meet," meaning two or more parties gather "to be present," meaning to be an active participant in conversation; it’s not time for day dreaming or gossiping or talking of personal happenings. BOTH parties show up to be in the game, focused, responsive and yes, engaged, to make good things happen, not only for the organization but for themselves and their career.

According to the Herman Trend Alert, in July of 2015 - culture and engagement are the most popular issues of the year.  The need to look at people programs for their ability to engage and empower people is at an all-time high – it’s critical. Here’s the point that’s missing however: there will not be engagement without relationships; there will be no tight relationships without interaction; interaction brings on illumination and employers – that’s what you want. Today's interaction will make it more likely you have one tomorrow, and meaningful dialogue leads to connection, which leads to trust, which leads to engagement.  A domino effect; you can’t have one without the other.  And, if you’re just focusing on the end result - you’re missing the point.

In my opinion, engagement is the hot topic, the buzzword being tossed around at the surface, but the foundational need is the relationships – it’s connection. For employers, solid relationships will keep employees not only engaged but also retained.  So, how do you do that? Instead of having "team building" have what I call "team bonding" exercises and events. Do purposeful things that will assist with and help in connection: learning about self, learning about each other, real relationship building, team bonding experiences.

Now for the flip side of the coin - there is a great deal of focus, if not all the focus lately, on the employer taking the responsibly for keeping their employees engaged; the employer is only one part of the two. How will employees keep themselves engaged? Do they bear some of the responsibility Here’s the deal - if you are not engaged with yourself, you’re not going to be engaged at work, or, in life for that matter. Ultimately it starts with the individual person and flows out from there.

Engagement, along with building a cohesive culture, with both parties being responsible for what they bring to the table, is what’s important here. But, to get to the engagement you need the meaningful interaction that matters, that’s of interest, that is caring – for each other and the organization overall.

 

Retained Executive Recruiter and Professional Coach

 

 

 

 

 

  

Active Listening for Leaders

Listening is a skill, and it takes practice, practice and more practice to be a good, active and empathetic listener.

Leaders bring professionals together who share common goals, and in order to do that a leader has to motivate and inspire. A leader won't accomplish this if he/she doesn't practice "active listening." If being an exceptional leader is something you aspire to be, then there needs to be a desire to have exceptional listening skills.

And, there does need to be a desire to be a great listener.

Think about how we were taught to listen in school - it wasn't active listening we were taught, it was passive listening, "sit down, shut up and listen" - right? Where is the active, participatory listening in that schooling?

Let's break it down - Active Listening Skills 101:

Don't interrupt the person speaking - There is a fine line when it comes to interrupting someone who is verbally streaming a thought. An active listener will "interrupt" but only when the timing is right; when the need of further clarification is required before moving on to the next phase or topic.

Show you are paying attention by asking questions - Engagement is critical when it comes to active listening. The way to show that there's interest in what is being said is to investigate with further inquiry by asking questions.

Acknowledge the speaker by affirming statements - Good leaders will heighten the experience for the one who is speaking, and/or elevate crowd participation if it's a group scenario by sparking up healthy discussion, which ultimately motivates.

Summarize what's been said - Benchmarking is the term. Personally I call it 'clarifying' what's been said in my own words, so that I, in turn, can gather more information.

A way to train for better listening is to listen in new ways, such as: listen to new music, listen to your significant other's voice versus words, stand still and try to hear something out in the distance. Again, listening is a skill that needs practice.

One of the most important questions for a leader to ask him/herself is: Are you ready to listen? Because if the answer is no, what's the point?

Next step is to pay attention. Listening, is a decidedly active behavior, because listening requires focus. There is no need to take notes while listening, because if you are taking notes, that alters the focus and the ability to listen.

And, one of the most important things to realize about active listening is this: it's an interaction between two or more parties. The purpose of an interaction is illumination; to have insight, to walk away with something that you didn't know moments before, which of course, progresses your cause, mission or goal forward.

Lastly, great leaders will have "empathetic listening" - but that's for another post.

Here's a great link to a study called, LISTENING AND LEADERSHIP: A STUDY ON THEIR RELATIONSHIP. It was an applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

 

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo29219.PDF

Bill Murray's talk on "what it feels like to be you"...

 We've gotten to know Bill Murray through the ages; feel goods like Ground Hog's day and Saturday Night live skits all come to mind.  But, there's something different, for me, in this audio - you can hear Bill put the humor aside to feel the weight in the souls of his feet to help you do the same. This audio clip is a delight. 

The question, "what does it feel like to be you", meaning what does it feel like to be Bill Murray takes an interesting turn.  That turn will have you reflecting on "what does it feel like to be you".

Take a listen - it's a 3 minute journey.

http://www.onbeing.org/blog/bill-murrays-dharma-talk-on-what-its-like-to-be-you/7353#comment-1629674

High Performance Superstars

Management has a play when creating and engaging high performing superstars within their organization.  But for the superstars there are pro's and con's to this; the most severe being isolation from the pack.

If you are building a company with superstar players - this is a must read article.  And for all of those gaining momentum in their career, this article is well worth the time to read.

https://hbr.org/2014/10/why-superstars-struggle-to-bond-with-their-teams/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=66375&utm_campaign=0

Neuroscience of nostalgia ...

A great deal of neuroscience is evolving.  I suspect this is partly due to the Mind and Life Dialogues which His Holiness has hosted between spiritual thinkers and scientists.  The research coming out of these dialogues on meditation is changing neuroscience. 

There is no doubt, there are behavioral expressions due to our mental states.  And, in learning more about this topic, I've come to appreciate neuroscientific understanding of the brain's role in mental experience is fairly advanced.  But the question than lies at the base of an assumption in this area; are our mental processes reducible to biology, biochemistry or physical processes?

Our biography becomes our biology.  Caroline Myss has a great body of work on this topic.  This article on Neuroscience on nostalgia gets into this topic; "Our memories are the things that make us who we are. They give us a sense of ourselves and inform our behavior."  Joseph LeDoux, Professor of neuroscience. 

The question I have than is: are we reducible to our biology, our memories?  I have to believe we are not.  It takes a great deal of insight and internal work to move through memories to shift our lives: it's a shift in awareness which ultimately leads to a shift in consciousness.

http://alj.am/1wCTtgk

 

The word "interested" used by candidates...

When a candidate uses the word "interested", what really does that mean? 

When a candidate uses the word "interested", do you dig deeper during the interviewing process?  Do you ask what the word "interested" means to them?  And to what degree are they "interested" in the position they're interviewing for?

The word "interested" being used by a candidate during the interviewing process tells you nothing if you don't dig deeper.  The word is neutral - it gives no indication of degree of interest.  Just because a candidate is "interested" in your company and position and goes through the interviewing process, does not mean that they will accept an offer in the 12th hour.  And if you travel down the road with a candidate that is "interested", extend an offer, only to receive the answer of no then all those resources spent on a candidate who is "interested" is a waste of time and effort.

Clarify what the word "interested" means to you and what it means to the person you are interviewing.  It will prove you well in the 12th hour of the interview process.

 

Make good things happen.

 

Hiring thought ...

If you hire the most technically skilled person, does that mean you have "the best" candidate for the job within your organization?

If you hire the most tech savvy professional in the world whose work style doesn’t fit, no matter how hard you try, they won’t be successful.

We don't have a war on talent - we have a war on character, attitude, honesty AND experience.

Ask solid questions during your interviews - moving forward on a wrong candidate is costly.

 

Make good things happen!


 

Because everyone is doing it ... the subject of C-Level profanity.

Does the "because everyone is doing it" statement give you, or anyone else, the inroad to do it?  The more important question here is, do you want to do what everyone else is doing? 

This recent article on Swearing at Work brings to the forefront that the loss of timeless integrity is in play.  There was a time when you might think of using profanity at home or in the work place but you just didn't do it.  Why?  Because you know better, because your mom raised you not to and because these days you know that every word you say (especially for the a C-Level crowd leaders) will be listened to and remembered for times to come.

People will remember you!  So ask yourself the question - do you want to be remembered for dropping the F bomb for all generations to hear?  Will it really make you feel better, more powerful, by doing so?  It may in the moment but not over the long run.

I'm a true East Coast Jersey Girl who has made it out West.  Being raised on the East Coast gives one an energy per se and it isn't short of people using the F word.  I've used it plenty myself.  Even though I would love to drop the F bomb at times in a meeting as an added intensifier - I wound never.  Why?  Integrity - because of integrity for myself and the people around me.  What does this show? It shows inner strength and tasteful timelessness. It shows forethought and it most definitely shows self control.

Follow the link, take a read then drop the F Bomb in the comforts of your own four walls.

http://qz.com/242637/the-complete-guide-to-swearing-at-work/?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

Make good things happen!

hippocampi ....

Thoughts, brain waves, electrical impulses firing at the speed of light ...

Thoughts seem to dance to a tune we can't hear, led by rules we don't know.  Have you ever considered that all your thoughts may not be your thoughts? 

Is there a way to control those electrical impulses that seem to drive you crazy at times?  There is more than one way but there is at least one answer you know - meditation.  The pure action of taking a moment to stop, quiet, be still, meditate is one scientifically proven way to - calm the mind.  And maybe some of our teachers had it right - can you remember them saying, "sit down & shut up"?

An interesting article by Tom Stafford. Tom is a Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science for the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140815-how-do-thoughts-form?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email