Shifting Your Lens

At the risk of setting off a Geek Alert:   I read Popular Science magazine. In a past issue Erin Biba’s article, “Not Just the Facts,” really touched a nerve. Biba explains that we largely favor scientists whose conclusions match our own existing beliefs. Think U.S. Climate Change debate. Otherwise rational people, it seems that “selective perception” rules us – if we let it. Walter Lippmann, a Pulitzer-winning journalist and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 1964 said, “We do not first see, then define, we define first and then see.” Bibi makes me want to add "hear" to Lippmann’s statement. Being Human Means Using Selective Perception Selective perception is very human. We put facts through a personal lens that is so influenced by our own beliefs, our own worldview, that even in the face of incontrovertible evidence we’ll distort what we see and hear to conform to what we expect, what we already believe. Bias, stereotypes, or just plain mindlessness – selective perception can hurt us. It can limit how well we connect with others. Our decision-making capacities might be hampered. It may stop us from reaching our full potential, our joy in … [Read more...]

5 Practices to Cure Worst Criticitis

“Oh @*#+!” I berate myself just prior to taking a trip recently. Why did I put off some work I wanted to get done before leaving? Why did I wait until the last minute to buy gifts I wanted to take with me? “Oh joy! You procrastinated,” proclaims my meanie-in-mind, “I get to run wild right now!” My meanie-in-mind uses words like "always" and "never." It lies glibly and smoothly. It takes its show on the road too. No doubt about it, procrastination exposes the worst critic I have: ME. Worst Criticitis If we're honest with ourselves, we may find that we're procrastinating to create situations that give us a rush of adrenaline and a chance to feel super successful:  Procrastination, after all, generates a problem that we then get to solve.  There are a zillion pieces of advice on time management, on doing what's important not what's urgent. I love the thought of saying "no" to free up my time to say "yes" to what really matters most. But if you're anything like me, the real danger procrastination presents is not that you don't get things done, that you don't produce great results. The danger is that procrastination promotes 'Worst Criticitis,' a term I'm coining to … [Read more...]

Lead With Kindness: You’ll Get Better Results

What happens when we put kindness at the center of our leadership? There's plenty of hard evidence that kind leaders get better results. Emma Seppala, Ph.D, a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, details several studies in Being a Kind Boss Pays Off: A kind leader may actually be good for "followers" hearts. In fact, a study out of the Karolinska Institute conducted on over 3,000 employees found that a leader’s qualities were associated with incidence of heart disease in their employees. Employees feel greater trust with someone who is kind. Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and her research partners have also shown that leaders who project warmth—even before establishing their competence—are more effective than those who lead with their toughness and skill. Why? One reason is trust. Employees are inspired by kindness. Jonathan Haidt at New York University Stern School of Business shows in his research that when leaders are self-sacrificing, their employees experience being moved and inspired. As a consequence, the employees feel more loyal and … [Read more...]

Women Work Your Connections

Imagine that I’m strapping you into the pilot’s seat of a 747 right this second. I expect you to fly and land the plane safely with no instructions, no experience, no co-pilot (auto or otherwise), and no radio to contact with the tower. How does that feel? How successful do you think you’ll be? For women, being told we need to work our connections to better business and professional advantage—to advance ourselves and our causes—feels an awful lot like putting our buns in that pilot’s seat. Go on gals, take that solo-flight. You’re educated. After all, you have a graduate degree in, say, psychology so why can’t you smoothly pilot this (business) plane? Why is it so critical that we women get much better at working our connections? Connections become relationships, relationships equate to success: sales, promotions, new opportunities, more champions and alliances, and growth-to-results that we really want. What I (Unfortunately) Hear Women Say I have so many conversations with creative, talented, sharp-as-whip women where a “connections” issue flared up. During these conversations, here are the types of things I most frequently hear: The Self-Doubter: “I know, I should … [Read more...]

Acting Fearless

My nephew Connor insists that he suffers from Coulrophobia: fear of clowns. An actor in university, recently he played the part of Rainbow Sprinkles, an ebullient clown trying to get hired to perform at a children's birthday party. Interviewing with a hyper-politically correct mother, poor Mr. Sprinkles' cheerful spirit is crushed by the end of the play as every conceivable part of his act is deemed potentially offensive to some child (or child's parent). Admittedly biased, I thought he was a magnificent clown, especially in light of his purported clown phobia. The mental health community does not, however, recognize Coulrophobia as an official diagnosis. This fact compelled me to ask him, "Is this a real fear or is your fear of clowns, perhaps, just a wee bit of dramatic tendencies at work?"  With a 'duh' look on his face (if you've ever been around teenagers, you know the duh look I'm talking about), Connor says, "How one feels is always real." I went for the double-duh, "How can you play a clown if you're terrified of them?" "It's called acting, Aunt Jone," he snorts. What if you act fearless? Dictionaries define fear as a painful emotion caused by impending … [Read more...]

READY TO GROW?!
Sign up now to receive articles, tips and inspiration right in your inbox!
We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Never display this again
Find us on Google+