Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

From http://thefutureleadershipinitiative.wordpress.com

As Adam Vaccaro points out, diverse workplace might ultimately create better results, as some new studies suggest.

“The study, detailed by NPR, looks at the work of scientific researchers and finds that papers written by multicultural teams were cited in other research more often than those written by homogenous groups. In the world of research, citations are seen as a metric of quality.

Ethnic diversity wasn’t the only harbinger of success. The same study also found that groups with members from geographic areas-perhaps three cities in the same country-also created better papers than those with members from the same place.

“It’s a matter of looking at individual teams and making sure they’re different perspectives, different points of view, different backgrounds,” NPR’s David Greene says.

The principle isn’t an entirely new one. The idea that different perspectives result in better work has been explored from a more macro-economic perspective, as research shows that diverse cities experience more economic growth. The idea is also at play in research showing that companies with females on their boards financially outperform those that don’t (have females on their boards).

From http://www.meritor.com

People tend to think of diversity as simply demographic, a matter of color, gender, or age. However, groups can be disparate in many ways. Diversity is also based on informational differences, reflecting a person’s education and experience, as well as on values or goals that can influence what one perceives to be the mission of something as small as a single meeting or as large as a whole company.

Diversity among employees can create better performance when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary creative tasks such as product development or cracking new markets… The researchers found that informational diversity stirred constructive conflict, or debate, around the task at hand. That is, people deliberate about the best course of action.

Diversity is the crucial element for group creativity. Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view. This is the opposite of groupthink, the creativity-killing phenomenon of too much agreement and too similar perspectives that often paralyzes otherwise great teams.

From http://www.nissan-global.com

 According to McKinsey Quarterly, between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That’s probably no coincidence. There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a company’s strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.

Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

😉

THE END

Mid-Week Giggle with Laziness

Laziness
From http://jokeallucan.blogspot.co.nz

Laziness is truly a mother of all bad habits – a habit of resting before getting tired. 🙂

One of my favourite old cartoons is about laziness – a very cheeky laziness indeed. This cartoon has English subtitles that can be turned on and off via the menu button at the bottom of the YouTube screen (in the right-hand side corner).

Did this cartoon remind you someone you know?

A family member? A neighbor? Or may be a colleague?

Hope it gave you a good laugh as well 🙂

Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it's only kept a secret from the person who fails.  - Robert Half

 From http://izquotes.com

😉

THE END

My Comfort Zone

From http://barbarawallace.com

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.
The same four walls and busywork where really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone good-bye and closed and locked the door.

If you’re in comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile;
Success is there for you!

From AimToBe


From http://volunteersnevada.blogspot.co.nz

THE END

 

Be Assertive!

“It is a mistake to look at someone who is self assertive and say, “It’s easy for her, she has good self-esteem.” One of the ways you build self-esteem is by being self-assertive when it is not easy to do so. There are always times when self-assertiveness requires courage, no matter how high your self-esteem.”

Nathaniel Branden


From http://www.outstand.org

“Those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families may have never learned to communicate effectively in relationships. We may be passive and not advocate for ourselves, aggressive and attempt to run roughshod over others, or passive-aggressive and smile while sabotaging others behind their backs. No wonder we have so many problematic relationships and feel so isolated! In order to build healthy relationships, we must learn to be assertive – that is, to be clear, direct, and respectful in how we communicate.

From http://www.hrdqstore.com

Let’s have a closer look at these four communication styles:

1. PASSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, and identifying and meeting their needs. Passive communication is usually born of low self-esteem. These individuals believe: “I’m not worth taking care of.”

As a result, passive individuals do not respond overtly to hurtful or anger-inducing situations. Instead, they allow grievances and annoyances to mount, usually unaware of the build up. But once they have reached their high tolerance threshold for unacceptable behavior, they are prone to explosive outbursts, which are usually out of proportion to the triggering incident. After the outburst, however, they feel shame, guilt, and confusion, so they return to being passive.

Passive communicators will often:

– fail to assert for themselves
– allow others to deliberately or inadvertently infringe on their rights
– fail to express their feelings, needs, or opinions
– tend to speak softly or apologetically
– exhibit poor eye contact and slumped body posture

The impact of a pattern of passive communication is that these individuals:

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

A passive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:

– “I’m unable to stand up for my rights.”
– “I don’t know what my rights are.”
– “I get stepped on by everyone.”
– “I’m weak and unable to take care of myself.”
– “People never consider my feelings.”


From http://maccorleymathieu.blogspot.co.nz

2. AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others. Thus, aggressive communicators are verbally and/or physically abusive. Aggressive communication is born of low self-esteem (often caused by past physical and/or emotional abuse), unhealed emotional wounds, and feelings of powerlessness.

Aggressive communicators will often:

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive
– have low frustration tolerance
– speak in a loud, demanding, and overbearing voice
– act threateningly and rudely
– not listen well
– interrupt frequently
– use “you” statements
– have piercing eye contact and an overbearing posture

The impact of a pattern of aggressive communication is that these individuals:

– become alienated from others
– alienate others
– generate fear and hatred in others
– always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature

The aggressive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:

– “I’m superior and right and you’re inferior and wrong.”
– “I’m loud, bossy and pushy.”
– “I can dominate and intimidate you.”
– “I can violate your rights.”
– “I’ll get my way no matter what.”
– “You’re not worth anything.”
– “It’s all your fault.”
– “I react instantly.”
– “I’m entitled.”
– “You owe me.”
– “I own you.”


From http://empoweringwomenlawjournal.wordpress.com

3. PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way. Prisoners of War (POWs) often act in passive-aggressive ways to deal with an overwhelming lack of power. POWs may try to secretly sabotage the prison, make fun of the enemy, or quietly disrupt the system while smiling and appearing cooperative.

People who develop a pattern of passive-aggressive communication usually feel powerless, stuck, and resentful – in other words, they feel incapable of dealing directly with the object of their resentments. Instead, they express their anger by subtly undermining the object (real or imagined) of their resentments. They smile at you while setting booby traps all around you.

Passive-Aggressive communicators will often:

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– use sarcasm
– deny there is a problem
– appear cooperative while purposely doing things to annoy and disrupt
– use subtle sabotage to get even

The impact of a pattern of passive-aggressive communication is that these individuals:

– become alienated from those around them
– remain stuck in a position of powerlessness (like POWs)
– discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature

The passive-aggressive communicator will say, believe, or behave like:

– “I’m weak and resentful, so I sabotage, frustrate, and disrupt.”
– “I’m powerless to deal with you head on so I must use guerilla warfare.”
– “I will appear cooperative but I’m not.”


From http://squareone-learning.com

4. ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION is a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others. Assertive communication is born of high self-esteem. These individuals value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and are strong advocates for themselves while being very respectful of the rights of others.

Assertive communicators will:

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– express feelings clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– use “I” statements
– communicate respect for others
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– have good eye contact
– speak in a calm and clear tone of voice
– have a relaxed body posture
– feel connected to others
– feel competent and in control
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

The impact of a pattern of assertive communication is that these individuals:

– feel connected to others
– feel in control of their lives
– are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise
– create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

The assertive communicator will say, believe, or behave in a way that says:

– “We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”
– “I am confident about who I am.”
– “I realize I have choices in my life and I consider my options.”
– “I speak clearly, honestly, and to the point.”
– “I can’t control others but I can control myself.”
– “I place a high priority on having my rights respected.”
– “I am responsible for getting my needs met in a respectful manner.”
– “I respect the rights of others.”
– “Nobody owes me anything unless they’ve agreed to give it to me.”
– “I’m 100% responsible for my own happiness.”


From http://mindfulcogitations.blogspot.co.nz

Assertiveness allows us to take care of ourselves, and is fundamental for good mental health and healthy relationships.”

(From The Four Basic Styles of Communication)


From http://www.how-to-assertive.com

Here are 10 assertiveness tips and techniques that you can put into practice:

1. Clear Communication
When communicating your opinion, complaint, etc ensure that you are being direct, clear and precise.

2. Take Responsibility
Don’t shy away from the point you want to make or action you want to take. Commit to it and take full responsibility. For example, say “I think” rather than “we think”.

3. Don’t apologise when you don’t need to
Don’t apologise before of after you talk to someone about something as again this takes away any strength or emphasis from you.

4. Use strong verbal and body language
Use the correct tone of voice and body language when talking. For example, don’t talk into yourself or have a tremble in your voice. Maintain eye contact and use a solid strong voice but with normal volume.

5. Are you being listened to?
Check with people that they have listened to what you have said by encouraging them to summarise your opinion, complaint, request, etc. Don’t allow people to make excuses for having misunderstood and stick to what you’ve said.

6. Get out your comfort zone
Don’t avoid particular people or situations that you don’t feel confident in. In fact push yourself into as many of these situations as possible and practise your new assertive self. If there are certain people you find difficult to approach then walk up to them confidently and smile at them before you start talking.

7. Stick to the facts
Being assertive doesn’t mean making things up to support your opinions, complaints, etc. You should stick to the facts and not exaggerate. It’s good to be seen as objective rather than emotional.

8. Keep it objective
When you’re in a difficult situation with people don’t make personal references. For example, don’t say “I find you really annoying”, say instead “Please refrain from talking to me like that.”

9. Observe assertive role models
Watch assertive people and pick up words, tones and body language that you think makes them successful at being assertive. Keep a list of these attributes and add them to your portfolio.

10. Reward yourself
Each time you’re successfully assertive, note this down and reward yourself. Try and exhibit your new assertive behaviour so much that people start giving you feedback. This is your ultimate reward! Also, don’t get disheartened when you’re not successful. Just realise where you went wrong and correct it next time.

by Rebekah Fensome

 

From http://peraltasecondstep.wordpress.com

THE END

‘Till Death Do Us Part’ or ‘Till The Kids Part’?

Till.jpg
From Pininterest

As Jill Brooke points out, the words “Till Death Do Us Part” have defined how we look at marriage for generations. But in fact, they are five of the most polarizing words. “Why?” you may ask. Because if you look at the stats, almost 50 percent of you may not stay married to the person you are lovingly gazing at. Instead, there is a possibility you may get tangled in a divorce.

Don’t you think it is unrealistic to have the expectation that love will flourish for a lifetime that now runs into our 80’s and 90’s? We’re living longer than generations before us did, and “till death do us part” could mean 60 or even 70 years together instead of 20 or 30 years. It is very hard to fulfill that promise, till death to us part, for such a long time.

When a marriage lasts decades, it’s a gift, but no longer the norm. However, when people break up because they have had the expectation of forever, deep inside they feel like they failed.  Why do we focus on failure rather than acknowledging and celebrating the decades of success?

As Jill Brooke points out, it’s time to say what a success these marriages were for lasting as long as they did and accumulating memories and milestones.

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you and your ex don’t have a relationship. It just means that it’s changed. You won’t stay married, but you will always be parents to your children. You will always carry your histories.


From http://cyndi10.hubpages.com

Stephanie Coontz, one of the great sages and scholars of relationships and the author of Marriage, A History, points out that “by having high expectations that marriage should last, we may work harder,” she said. “But studies have also shown that those people who have the strongest sense that marriage is sanctified and should last forever are most likely to see it as a failure and betrayal and have more anger and disappointment.”

From http://drhurd.com/

For Jill Brooke, second marriage has now lasted 15 years. “Till Death Do Us Part” were not in the vows. Why has this marriage worked? “Luck, compatibility, a commitment to family and each other,”she writes, “One big reason is that I don’t feel entitled, I feel grateful. That has helped me manage expectations and not take anything for granted, which I believe is essential for long term marriages to stay alive and thrive.”

So may be, as proposed by Vicki Larson, instead of wringing our hands about so-called gray divorces and seeing those long-term marriages as failures, perhaps we should consider marriage as more “till the kids part” than “till death do us part.” The partner we need in our 20s and 30s, when many of us are looking to settle down and raise kids, may not be the partner we need in our 50s, 60s and beyond, when we’re free to explore new passions or reinvigorate the ones we gave up when the kids came along.

Can’t we just be honest about that and move on?

Relationship
From pinterest

Sources:

Taming paradoxical creativity for business success


Creative_mind__by_Uribaani
From DeviantArt

Creativity is the common theme that drives both entrepreneurs and artists alike. But creative people are often also paradoxical and full of contradictions.

Eminent psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that creative people ‘contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.’

Mihaly describes ten traits often contradictory in nature, that are frequently present in creative people. In Creativity, Mihaly outlines these:

 1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.
 They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

 2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.
“It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure and that most workshops try to enhance.”

 3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
But this playfulness doesn’t go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, and perseverance.

“Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not. Vasari wrote in 1550 that when Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello was working out the laws of visual perspective, he would walk back and forth all night, muttering to himself: “What a beautiful thing is this perspective!” while his wife called him back to bed with no success.”

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.
Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.
We’re usually one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.
It is remarkable to meet a famous person who you expect to be arrogant or supercilious, only to encounter self-deprecation and shyness instead.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.
When tests of masculinity and femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.
It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. Yet without being objective about it, our work is not very good and lacks credibility.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.
It’s impossible to be creative without having a deep understanding of an area of culture, but a creative person has to be rebellious and iconoclastic to break away from the safety of tradition and make something different.

Although a creative person’s contradictions are perplexing and frustrating to others, they are the source of their creativity. They can see the world in all its complexity. There is pressure in our culture to be clear what you stand for, make a decision and stick to it. It’s practically a criminal offence to change your mind. The result is rigid thinking. The creative mind has to contain multiple perspectives simultaneously. Contradicting yourself is a sign that you are thinking creatively.

CreativityFrom Creativity at Work

What is Creativity in Business?

Creativity is a crucial part of the innovation equation. Creativity requires whole-brain thinking; roght-brain imagination, artistry and intuition, plus left-brain logic and planning.

Creativity is a core competency for leaders and managers and one of the best ways to set a company apart from the competition.

Corporate Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Generating fresh solutions to problems, and the ability to create new products, processes or services for a changing market, are part of the intellectual capital that give a company its competitive edge.

EmployeesFrom 6 Ways to Cultivate Creativity in Your Company

Are you looking to hire creative employees at your company?

As Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner points out, “if you want to find and hire exceptionally creative people, you need to find people with diversity in their backgrounds. This is not only a sign of creativity, but it also indicates a potential employee with more diversity of experience, knowledge and thought than a person who has followed a clearly defined career path.” He suggests to look for the following:

  1. Diversity and International Experience
    “The most important thing you should look for is international living experience. Not international travel, but living and working (or studying) experience. Research has demonstrated that living overseas permanently boosts an individual’s creativity. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only proven way to boost permanently creativity. So, look for foreigners living in your country as well as nationals who have lived and worked overseas. Presumably, though it has not been tested, doing multiple international stints and living in very different cultures further enhance creativity.The second best characteristic to international experience is diversity of experience. Rather than look for people who have followed a very narrow career path, look for people who have had more varied experience. Look for people who have done work significantly different from that of the position you are seeking to fulfill. If you want an IT manager, someone who has spent two years selling furniture or a year teaching skiing and has additional IT experience is likely to be more creative than someone who has only had IT experience. Moreover, she will bring diversity of thought to the IT department — and that boosts collaborative creativity.Aside from work experience, look for evidence of diversity and unusual points in education, hobbies and elsewhere. A marketing manager who has a degree in philosophy followed up by an MBA will probably be more creative than the marketing manager who has a business administration degree and an MBA. She will certainly bring new perspectives to the marketing department.”
  2. Humour
    “Having an original sense of humour — that is, being able to make jokes or be funny on your own, rather than repeating well known jokes — is an indicator of creativity. Humour is about seeing things in unusual ways that are unexpected. To be able to do that requires creativity. This does not mean that every creative person has a sense of humour. Many do not. But anyone with an original sense of humour is almost certainly very creative.Having a sense of humour will probably not be apparent in an applicant’s CV and most people believe they have a sense of humour. But if the applicant keeps a blog, is active on Twitter or participates publicly in other social media where she demonstrates an original sense of humour, she is probably more creative than most.”
  3. Rebelliousness
    “Highly creative people tend to be rebellious. They think differently from averagely creative people, they tend to do things in unconventional ways and they are not afraid to provoke others, including senior management. This is not usually because they choose to be rebellious. Rather, highly creative people think differently and make decisions differently than do averagely creative people. Often, highly creative people are blind to the relevant conventions. They are likely to believe their ideas are better than more conventional ideas.”

“That pretty much sums up highly creative people: they are different. They will have different backgrounds from averagely creative people — and that background may very well include international living and working experience. They will behave differently from averagely creative people and they will offer different results: creative results. If you keep this in mind, it will not be hard to find and hire creative people. The challenge will be challenging them sufficiently to keep them!”

Employee
From Forbes

THE END