What do you carry (11 cabbages & a grudge against your father for never coming back?)

My attention is always caught by creativity; because it’s a great springboard to unusual ways of thinking & problem solving. This cab driver’s sign is a great example & got me thinking.

 

What do you carry?

 

The things we carry tell stories. They serve up memories from the past & memories yet to be made.

 

There’s the obvious ones – the things you carry in your pocket, purse or wallet.

 

If you were to peek into my purse you’d find a 5 Ringgit bill leftover from a trip to Malaysia (about $1.25 USD) & both a Canadian & a Kenyan driver’s license (where my age is listed as ‘over 18’).

 

What about you? Is there anything in your purse, pocket or wallet that would surprise people? Delight? Mystify?

 

What about the invisible things we carry.

 

Like, for some of us, who carry the invisible backpack (“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”) by Peggy Mcintosh, which seems even more timely now then when she originally wrote it in 1989.

 

And for all of us, we carry our culture – the many elements of culture such as our beliefs, values, faith, gender roles, role of leisure, work, the aged & the young.

 

Some of these elements are permanent, some of them flex. Some are critical to our sense of self & others not so much. And some may be the same as the dominant society & some not.

Some of these cultural elements are visible. Some are not. Like an iceberg, only about 10% of culture is immediately apparent. The rest is under the water line so to speak.

 

We tend to assume though that wayyyyy more is visible than it actually is.

 

Interestingly, if we push this metaphor further, like two icebergs that look miles apart, sometimes people that seem the most far apart, can actually be similar when you look under the water line. Their icebergs are touching under the water but they don’t know it.

 

Culture is shorthand for those that share the same one. For example if I showed you my cultural iceberg & under the water line you could see OCD, what would you think?

 

Probably you’d think I had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Right?

 

Wrong. I have osteochondritis dessican, a weird condition where the blood doesn’t always flow properly o the end of the bones.

 

So what else is on my cultural iceberg? What else do I carry? I’m a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mom, a grand daughter, a big sister who misses her addicted brother, a seeker, a friend, and an entrepreneur. I’m a self-employed, survisor of abuse, ACOA (I’ll leave that one for you to figure out), urban dweller, Canadian living in Kenya, 52 year old human with feet & hips that love to dance, & a lover of my hard won wrinkles.

I’m the great grand daughter of my Granny – a tough prairie woman, who fell in love with the milkman who she exchanged love notes with via her purposely left behind mitten. They hatched top-secret plans to marry & during a community dance that took place during a wild snowstorm, she escaped the watchful eye of her brothers & fled to the train station to elope. Her father discovered she was missing & guessed what was happening. He called the stationmaster who not only ignored his request to not allow them to board but rather had mugs of steaming hot chocolate waiting for them as he whisked them off on the train to elope.

 

I carry these generational imprints.

 

What do you carry?

 

Check out this worksheet I developed that explains cultural elements & gives you your own cultural iceberg to fill in.

 

What you carry, & where you carry it (above or below the water line), may surprise you.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

 

  • Didn’t get a chance to join us for Fiona Jarvis, Canadian High Commission, recent roundtable session on Making Decisions in High Stake Situations? Don’t get your knickers in a knot – you can access the video here.

 

 

 

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How your tribal dynamics affects your decision making

Fiona Jarvis, from the Canadian High Commission, is this month’s Learning & Development roundtable speaker (the group I founded & facilitate for people interested in learning, training &/or teaching).   On Friday, May 18th she’ll guide us through an interactive workshop on Making Decisions in High Stake Situations (feel free to join us in person at the UN in Nairobi OR online).

With Fiona’s session in mind I was curious when I came across Alex Cequea’s video – Why Facts Don’t Convince People (and what you can do about it). Alex is the founder/CEO of Social Good Now & he makes some interesting points. So interesting in fact, that I had the video transcribed.

 

Feel free to:

  • Watch the video below
  • See my highlights &/or
  • Read the transcription.

 

 

Highlights: Why Facts Don’t Convince People (and what you can do about it)

 

  • Find out how your (yes your) decision making is influenced by:
    • Your emotions
    • Tribal dynamics
    • Your brain working to preserve your worldview
    • The surprising backfire effect
    • How empathy relates to ‘other’ through ‘instinctive dehumanization’

 

Most of all learn what you can do about it

  1. Look for & enhance similarities
  2. Consider you may be wrong

 

 

The video transcription:

 

If you’ve spent any time on Earth, you might have noticed that humans are not the most rational of creatures.

We make decisions based mostly on emotion instead of facts and a lot of times we’re guided by tribal instinct.

Part of the problem is that the human brain evolved to help us survive, and not necessarily to help us be factually accurate. So we often respond better to social and tribal dynamics than to intellectual analysis.

For example, if someone’s tribe believes that Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, that person probably thinks the hard proof of his US birth certificate is fake. That conclusion is neither rational nor accurate. But from tribal perspective, it makes sense.

It’s safer to agree with your tribe and stay united ideologically, even if you are wrong about the facts, than to disagree and isolate yourself.

Another part of the problem is that our brain is constantly protecting our worldview and sense of identity.

So when our worldview is challenged, that same part of the brain that processes physical danger gets activated. This is why people sometimes react so aggressively to information that proves them wrong. And this is why it’s often so hard to have an intelligent political debate.

Several studies have also shown that there is a “backfire effect” that happens when people encounter facts that contradict their current beliefs. They actually become MORE convinced of their original ideas.

So fighting ignorance with facts is like fighting a grease fire with water. It seems like it should work, but it actually just makes the whole thing worse.

Lastly there’s the problem of lack of empathy. Several studies have found that when humans are divided into groups of any kind, we instinctively become less empathetic to members of “others” group.

That means that for survival’s sake, we might instinctively empathize less with other races, other nationalities and even other sports teams. This instinctive dehumanization of other groups is what makes things like slavery and genocide possible in our society.

So what can you do?

If you want someone to consider factual information that clashes with their beliefs, first you have to prevent their brain from seeing you as a personal threat.

So look for ways to identify the person as part of your tribe and you as part of theirs.

“Hey, we’re part of the same family.” “Hey, we’re both parents.”  “Hey, we both STILL play Pokémon Go.” Whatever.

Anything that communicates that you’re part of the same tribe. That’s the first step. Second consider the possibility that you may be wrong. Maybe the facts are not on your side. In which case, admitting it will help you model to the other person that it’s ok to be wrong.

I understand that none of this is easy or smooth. But we want to continue to function as a stable society, we have to learn to get past our own natural biases. Only when that happens will we be able to move forward towards a better future. Peace.

So there you have decision making in a nutshell.

Next time you find yourself having to make an important decision try sorting out the tribal aspects & look for & enhance similarities rather than differences. Plus consider that you might actually be wrong.

I know. It’s a tough pill to swallow but your ultimate decision may thank you for it.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

  • Join us in person OR online for Fiona Jarvis, Canadian High Commission, roundtable session on Friday, May 18th 10am to noon EAT – Making Decisions in High Stake Situations

 

 

 

 

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Do you lean in or out? How to tell & what to do about it

 

Are you geared to lean in or lean out? Move towards or away?

 

Here’s what I’m talking about, why it’s important for you to know & what you can do about it.

 

Did you know you’re in the business of change?

 

No matter what you do you’re likely at some point aiming to change behaviours. Or change attitudes. Or get people onboard with your idea.   Or work with a team towards delivering a product, a service.

 

They all involve change. And the more you understand if you tend to lean in or out, move towards or away, the more likely you’ll achieve the change you’re striving for.

 

You’ll have less of that roiling about feeling like your wheels are stuck. And more ease, efficiency & effectiveness.

 

(Plus you’ll likely have better communication, be able to include more diverse opinions & have less conflict.)

 

Think of it like a finely tailored Italian suit- custom made to fit you to a T. It’s the same with striving to reach your goals- you’re SO much more likely to get there if the path towards them is custom fit for you.

 

So back to my original questions.

 

In general do you tend to lean in or out?

 

Do you have an approach mentality or an avoidance mentality?

 

Research from ‘Your Personality Explained, Exploring the Science of Identity’ (National Geographic), tells us that people generally fall into one or the other – an approach or avoidance mode.

 

Here are two examples of each. See which ones resonate.

 

 

Goal: let’s say you want to loose some weight.

Which one of the scenarios below fits you the best?

  1. You decide to loose weight because you want to feel healthier, more fit. You want to experience new foods & have your clothing fit better. You want to be more comfortable, & be able to stay out longer on the dance floor. OR
  2. You decide to loose weight because you don’t want to have a stroke or a heart attack. You want to lower your blood pressure & not have high medical costs resulting from health problems caused by excess weight. You also don’t want to be made fun or dread having photos being taken of you.

 

Which scenario is more like you, 1 or 2?

 

Let’s try another one.

 

Let’s say you are getting your website redesigned.

Which one of the scenarios below is the best fit for you?

  1. You are super excited to have an aligned, strategic new look. You’re eager to use new ways to engage people through your website & use technology in cool, creative ways. You look forward to expressing your creativity through your website.
  2. You are getting your website redesigned because you don’t want to loose traffic with your old website or put people off by the old design. You don’t want to get left behind with technology.

 

Which scenario sounds more like you, 1 or 2?

 

If you picked number 1 in either of the scenarios, those are approach strategies.  Approach means that you’re more likely to lean in, to move towards positive outcomes.

 

If you picked number 2 in either of the scenarios, those describe avoidance strategies. Avoidance means that you’re more likely to be motivated by leaning back & avoiding negative consequences.

Spoiler alert; speaking of website redesigns,

I’m soooo close to unveiling my brand new look.

Stay tuned for a new look very soon.

 

 

Here’s the kicker.

 

Research tells us that approach motivations last longer & are more effective.

 

So if you tend to pick approach motivations, carry on.

 

And if tend to avoid, think of how you can turn your motivation into more of an approach.

 

With a better understanding of your lean in/approach or lean back/avoid motivation, you can more easily reach your goals because you can create customized ways to get there that fit you like a finely tailored Italian suit.

 

So go on, lean in & approach, because the world needs more of your gifts & talents.

 

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

 

 

  • Take my grit assessment & find your GQ (grittiness quotient) to also help you understand what motivates you so you can continue customizing how you reach your goals.
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It’s been a tough week; here’s my response (& an interactive gift to you)

 

Last week I wrote about drive. And how, if you know which of the 6 different types of drives you respond to, you can customize your own way to achieve the goals you want.

 

One of the types of drives is affiliation, which got me thinking.

 

Draw close – pull up your chair & gather round.

 

This week has been tough. For me & some folks close to me.

 

Nagging health issues have had me strapped into several ominous machines while being injected & having my head in a vice with a Silence of the Lambs type mask over my face. All of which are not my idea of fun (though important caveat: I’m very grateful to have access to the tests).

 

If things have been tough, complicated, overwhelming &/or stressful for you too, here’s a quick pick you up.

 

Join me …

… in our very own dance party, to the tune of this uplifting song.

‘cause while things may be rough,

I have faith –

in you, in us & in this messy, complicated, beautiful world.

 

Have faith (if it’s a really sucky day, pretend if you have to) & know I’ve got your back & this tune for you.

 

And see you next week with the second way of finding out what drives you.

 

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

 

 

  • And have faith.
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How to id & harness this powerful force that drives your everyday behaviour

 

Think of a goal – something you want to achieve? (And yes, I know goal setting isn’t a sexy topic & it can be confusing but hang in there because it’s important.)

 

Got one (a goal that is)?

 

Have you been slogging towards it? Feeling unsuccessful? Held back? Discouraged?

 

I may have your answer.

 

Think about what motivates you to achieve your goal.

 

Your level of & type of motivation is uber important because it will make a massive difference to your chances of reaching that goal.

 

So let’s match your goal setting to what drives you. If you do you’ll significantly up the chances of reaching your goal.

 

Plus it’s easy. Truly.

 

I’ll share two ways to find your motivation style; one in this week’s post & one in next week’s.

 

So back to the task at hand. Put that goal to the side for a minute while you ponder the next question.

 

What drives you?

 

Not sure? Take this 4 question motivation assessment I designed based on Nat Geo’s research.

 

“Learning about our drives- our motivations & strivings toward a goal – can help us understand what we want.  Although we don’t always recognize our drives, they are potent forces behind our everyday behaviour.” Your Personality Explained, exploring the science of identity, National Geographic.

 

If you know what drives you you can more easily reach your goals.

 

There are 6 key drives:

 

  1. Achievement

 

  1. Power

 

  1. Affiliation

 

  1. Autonomous Motives

 

  1. External Motives

 

  1. Future Focus

 

Need an example? Let’s take two – one on the professional front & one on the personal front.

 

Here are two examples of how you might proceed based on the 6 different drives. In each case I’ve used a different drive to illustrate how you might reach your goal.

Example A: professional – imagine you set a goal for yourself of changing careers

 

  1. Achievement: you conduct informational interviews with 6 power people in your field of interest.

 

  1. Power: you organize & lead a weekly group of people considering career changes to swap tips & advice.

 

  1. Affiliation: you find a volunteer opportunity in your field of choice.

 

  1. Autonomous Motives: you make a list of top companies in your new field & go for it – you start applying for jobs.

 

  1. External Motives: you check in closely with your community to look at the impact shifting careers would have.

 

  1. Future Focus: you discover there’s a big wage gap between men & women in your new field, so you write an article about it, advocating for change & pitch it to media outlets.

 

Example B: personal – imagine you set a goal for yourself of getting in better shape.

 

Here are some examples of working towards that goal using the 6 drives:

 

  1. Achievement: you find a highly rated app that lets you set your goals & your daily progress towards them.

 

  1. Power: you organize & lead a weekly (insert preferred exercise here) group.

 

  1. Affiliation: you bring together a group of close friends to discuss challenges & successes related to fitness & diet.

 

  1. Autonomous Motives: you make & follow your own exercise program.

 

  1. External Motives: you find a workout buddy to hold you accountable.

 

  1. Future Focus: you organize a weekly workout for inner city kids & take part yourself

 

Did you notice how different the means are depending on the drive? Imagine how much more successful you can be if you match your drives to your goal.

 

So about that goal you’re wanting to achieve for yourself; take the short motivation assessment I designed for you & once you get your (immediate) results – custom tailor your way to success.

 

Go for it! And let me know how it goes.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

  • I’m offering an online course called Working Better Together, where we’ll tackle issues like conflict & communication, in part to amp up our grit. It’s based on my work with more than 20,000 participants in & from 115 countries. Email me if you want to get more info laragan (@) rpsinc.ca

 

  • How gritty you are also affects your success in reaching your goals. Take the grit assessment I put together & find your GQ (grittiness quotient)

 

 

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Getting it on with GQ (but not the way you think)

 

There’s IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) & now GQ (guts or grit quotient).

 

A little girl puts her nose to the table, eyes wandering everywhere but the fluffy marshmallow in front of her face. She’s part of the famous marshmallow experiment, which showed that kids that could delay gratification for double the treat, overall fared better later on in life.

 

Now it’s called grit. And having it is tied to all sorts of good stuff.

 

When you have grit it can help you reach your goals, sustain your attention & buckle down in order to blast off.

 

Tomorrow is a luxury without grit

Early on in my career I worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Canada’s poorest postal code, & with street involved youth & youth in prison for committing sex crimes. I noticed that thinking about tomorrow was a luxury few could afford because today loomed too large in terms of addiction, violence etc. In other words it was a tough place for grit to call home.

 

It makes sense. Our school system is based on it. Study for years & get a degree (or 2 or 3) & you’ll earn more moola. It takes grit though to make those Monday 8am courses with a prof lecturing from notes so old they’re yellowed (not that I’m speaking from experience!).

 

So what is grit anyway?

Grit is:

  • firmness of mind or spirit, unyielding course in the face of hardship or danger
  • having backbone, fortitude, guts

 

So what’s the big deal? And why is grit an issue?

 

Grit – the ability to persist in working toward goals—is associated with all sorts of positive outcomes in life, from success in school to longevity on the job to steady personal relationships. (Your personality explained.)

 

Attention, attention

More than ever we have reasons for our attention to be drawn away from diligent, persistent, consistent focus. Enter the ping of your phone announcing a new text message or in my case the endearing yet ghastly daily call of the ibis birds that constantly fly by my office window. (Think of the sound a pig being swung around by its tail while on fire could make & you’ll start to get a sense of the racket they make.)

 

And even when we are able to pay attention our focus can be misplaced. We can easily put our attention in the wrong place.

 

 

We now live in an attention economy says  Matthew Crawford“Attention is a resource—a person has only so much of it.”

 

So do you have it, do you have enough grit to focus, pay attention & reach your vision?

Take this quick assessment, adapted from Your Personality Explained, exploring the science of identity, National Geographic.

 

How’d you do?

 

Need to amp up your grit? Here are some ways to do just that:

–      How to Banish Pinball Syndrome & Rock Your Pinball Wizard

–      Telling shiny objects apart from true illumination

–      Shiny Object Syndrome – why it’s hard to tell the difference between Styrofoam and gold

So go for it, get your GQ on. Because you deserve to make your vision a reality & reach your goals & grit will help you get there.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

  • I’m offering an online course called Working Better Together, where we’ll tackle issues like conflict & communication, in part to amp up our grit. It’s based on my work with more than 20,000 participants in & from 115 countries. Email me if you want to get more info laragan (@) rpsinc.ca

 

  • Great communication skills can help your grittiness. single.time this communication technique wins out over the actual words I’m saying. Do you know what it is? Listen to this 20 second clip & then listen to this one to see if you can figure it out & then find out more here.

 

 

 

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Sshhh don’t tell your brain ears this effective communication tip

 

When my kiddos were little I told them about our brain ears. You know, the ears that are buried deep inside your brain that aren’t so smart.

 

The ones that hear you (or someone else) say ‘you can’t do that,’ ‘you’re not smart enough,’ ‘there’s no way you’ll succeed at that,’ ‘you suck at math,’ or ‘better quit while you’re ahead you foolish person you.’

 

While brain ears are really good at listening, they’re not good at deciphering the flotsam from the jetsam, the good stuff from the bad, the true from the daft & outright absurd.

 

Worse still they have a direct line to our brain & so they are very good at convincing our brains of nonsense.

 

Enter crisis of confidence, crappy self talk & other untruths.

 

On another note can you guess what the following are reactions to?

 

  • Pull up the proverbial draw bridge & arm the cannons
  • Flee & hide in the closest closet
  • Cautiously peer out from behind a curtain
  • Stand tall & confident (wonder woman arm bands optional)
  • Fists ready, eyes ablaze & anger erupting
  • Curious question marks dance above your head
  • Eyes & ears wide open

 

Communication.

 

Yep. Depending on who’s doing the talking, how they’re saying what they’re saying & what they’re saying, our reactions are as varied as the animals in the Maasai Mara, here in Kenya.

 

Words come into your brain & your reaction depends a lot on not just what they are but how they’re said. From fight or flee to flight or faint to face saving or face off.

 

So what’s a real ear (as opposed to a brain ear) to do?

 

Pay attention to the third, little known type of communication that often has wayyyy more weight than the other two.

 

You probably know the first two.

 

  1. Verbal communication – these are the actual words you use when you communicate

 

  1. Non-verbal communication – this is how you hold your body (e.g. how much or how little space you take up), what your face is doing while you’re communicating etc.

 

 

Do you know the third one?

 

When I’m teaching trainers I demo this third one. I’ll use the same words (verbal communication) & hold my body the same way (non-verbal communication) but I’ll completely change up the third method.

 

Every.single.time the third technique wins out over the actual words I’m saying.

 

That is, 100% of the time, people put wayyy more importance on this technique than my actual words or body language.

 

Can you guess what it is?

 

Here’s an example.

 

Listen to this 20 second clip & then listen to this one. Pretty obvious now right?!

 

  1. It’s called para verbal communication – it’s everything about what I’m saying except for the words. It’s how fast or slow I speak, how many pauses I leave, my tone, my cadence etc.

 

Para verbal wins, hands down, over verbal communication.

 

And guess who’s exquisitely attuned to para verbal communication? Your brain ears.

 

When my kids were little & they spoke harshly or lashed out, I told them they were speaking so loudly that while my brain ears could hear them I couldn’t & to try again.

 

Next time communication isn’t coming easily check your brain ears & check your para verbal communication. I guarantee it’ll make a difference.

 

Try:

  • Varying your volume: speaking more quietly or a little more loudly (tip: it’s surprising how much power speaking more quietly has. I’ll often grab a group’s attention by beginning to speak loudly & then slowly lowering my volume.)

 

  • Varying your pace: speak more slowly (tip: it’s truly magical how we unconsciously equate speaking slowly with more confidence).

 

  • And watch your tone.

 

Et voila. Brain ears are happy. Communication improves. Easy peasy.

 

 

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

  • I’m offering an online course called Working Better Together, where we’ll tackle issues like conflict & communication. It’s based on my work with more than 20,000 participants in & from 115 countries. Email me if you want to get more info laragan (@) rpsinc.ca

 

 

  • Click on this link to access a fun tool that’s designed to open up communication with your supervisor or use it for opening communication channels in general.

 

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An unpaid bill, life lesson #38 + continuum thinking

 

This November it’ll be 20 years I’ve been self-employed (insert a loud & raucous woot woot here; & more on that later). In all that time I’ve never not been paid for a service I’ve delivered.

 

That recently changed.

 

I have a client who hasn’t paid me for a training I delivered & won’t respond to my emails. As I’m diving into what to do, I decided to apply my tried & true technique of continuum thinking.

 

 

What’s continuum thinking?

 

It’s avoiding a one size fits all approach. As a 5’ 10” tall woman I can tell you that one size fits all nylons decidedly don’t fit & neither do one size fits all conflict resolutions.

 

Continuum thinking is opening the fan, as Holly Weeks puts it, to find more than one resolution, more than 1 way to move forward. I write more about this concept here & here.

 

Continuum thinking is avoiding black & white thinking, dichotomous thinking to embrace the gray areas.

 

So what did I do to start continuum thinking in the case of my unpaid bill?

 

I posted about the situation in a well known, high profile women’s biz group. (And yes I kept my client’s name private.) The myriad of responses have been thoroughly enjoyable (from forget about it & wish my client well to take her to court).

 

It’s spurred my own conflict resolution responses & broadened my thinking.

 

It’s helped me take into account context, for context is Queen with a capital Q.

 

And speaking of context, this life lesson #38, sent to me by a friend, has also helped.

 

There’s a very narrow range where you can maybe, just possibly, avoid criticism.

 

You have to have the right amount of confidence. Too much & you’re arrogant, egotistical. Too little & you’re timid, milquetoast.

 

You have to have the perfect amount of empathy. To little & you’re aloof, insensitive. Too much & you’re a sap, a pushover.

 

You have to have the right amount of humour. Too much & you’re a joke who never takes anything seriously. Too little & you’re a soulless robot.

 

You have to have the ideal amount of generosity. Too little & you’re selfish. Too much & you’re just trying to show up other people, or, worse yet, you have an agenda.

 

And to top it all off, what’s too much to one person can easily to be too little to another, so you’ll never please everybody. Not even close.

 

So don’t worry too much about criticism. But don’t worry too little, either. Worry just the right amount.  Source

 

So what do you think? Have you applied continuum thinking to your own conflicts?  Here’s how.

 

Next time conflict rears it’s gnarly head try continuum thinking:

 

  • open the fan & brainstorm a bunch of possible ways to move forward (unlike multiple choice exams where your first impulse has a higher change of being right, your initial response to a conflict may not be!)

 

  • ask others for suggestions (like I did by posting in a high profile women’s business group)

 

  • check your confidence (as conflict can be rough on it)

 

  • hold onto your empathy & add a dose of humour if you can

 

  • let me know how it goes; I’d love to hear

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

  • I’m offering an online course called Working Better Together(c), where we’ll tackle issues like conflict & communication. Email me if you want to get more info laragan (@) rpsinc.ca

 

 

  • Want some more tips on dealing with conflict? Check out this post & then add your input here.

 

 

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Your employee engagement via a 4 act play

 

You’re sitting in a really comfortable, deep red, crushed velvet theatre seat. You look up when you hear the swish of matching red velvet curtains open to display an imaginary scene set at a workplace.

 

Relax. Settle back & watch the four act play about employee engagement that’s about to unfold before your eyes.

 

Act 1

 

A busy office scene unfolds. You notice that people aren’t paying attention to one another. They are glued to their screens, stressed, staring vacantly about, rushing around in circles or arguing.

 

No doubt about it overwhelm & disengagement are on overdrive. You notice a magazine article on the office table, which reads 6 reasons your employees hate coming to work & what you can do about it.

 

Sitting in the audience, you stir as you recognize bits of yourself & your colleagues.

 

Act 2

 

Employees gather around a table while loudly debating what percentage of employees across 142 countries reported themselves as engaged at work.

 

They’re given four options:

  • 8%
  • 13%
  • 26%
  • 31%

 

Engagement is alternately defined as to hold attention, induce participation, bring together, or to offer one’s word as a backing to a cause or aim.

 

You find yourself wondering as well. So you take your guess at this survey.

 

The curtain closes again. It’s time for intermission so you grab a glass of vino & talk to your friend who’s there with you, about where you’re both at with regards to engagement

 

Act 3

 

The curtains open again to reveal the same group of people who’d been debating the employee engagement question, now hushed as they wait for the answer.

 

All eyes are on one woman as she announces the answer: the percentage of employees who feel engaged at work is only 13% a recent Gallup poll found.

 

You find yourself wondering if your shirt was this scratchy when you put it on this morning as you wriggle with discomfort. 13! You’re dismayed at the lost opportunities.

 

Act 4

 

The same woman who announced the 13% engagement rate is now talking about employee engagement like vitamin C, it’s good for everyone.

 

Engagement & it’s cousin working better together© benefits everyone – individual staff, solopreneurs, clients, funders, teams & organizations. It’s a big, broad topic though so she breaks it down.

 

Working better together© comes about through a strategic combination of the 6 C’s.

 

The 6 C’s are:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication
  • Culture (e.g. intercultural communication & conflict resolution)
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Celebration

 

The more skilled an individual, team & organization is at the 6 C’s the higher the engagement & working better together© factor.

 

Alter a lively discussion staff drift back to their work stations more content & on track for higher engagement in part because they’ve rated themselves & their organization at this easy peasy short survey, which has automatically shown them how they stack up against some 250 other people & teams.

 

As the curtains close for a final time you add another C – curiousity, because you want to learn more.

 

You promise yourself you’re going to take the survey because you’re curious & want to see how you compare to others. You also think of a few other folks you’re going to share it with as well.

 

As you walk out of the theatre with your friend, you have a hopeful, satisfied light in your eye because you’re going to satisfy your curiousity & get more engaged.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

 

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Your 7 day tech challenge for life hacks (+ a gift)

 

I never meant to get so involved with tech. In fact when a university came asking if I’d design & teach a course on how to use social media for learning, my first thought was ‘who me?!’ That was about 9 years ago & since then I’ve been on an intriguing, useful, practical path towards harnessing tech tools to make life easier.

 

I figure we only have so many hours in a day to offer up the unique & special gifts we have to offer the world. So if tech can save time, hassles & heartache, why would you not harness the power of these tools?

 

Okay I get it. You might be leery because you’re scared, overwhelmed, you feel like tech controls you instead of the other way around, &/or you don’t know where to start.

Voila (she says with the flourish of a gorgeous red cape & magician’s wand)!   Here you go. That’s precisely why I created this 7 day easy peasy challenge – 7 steps for 360 life hacks.

 

Ready?

 

Below you’ll find 7 simple challenges. Do them one a day or a bunch at a time it’s up to you. Each challenge has a question, which you can access here. Answer all seven questions & get a fun, little gift.

Here we go so buckle up.

 

  1. Toe dip dive; find out what starting place fits you. Read this post to find out about my toe, dip & dive method (plus how I caught a thief) & pick your starting point.

 

  1. There are three key ways to use tech tools. One is for research & listening. Read this post to find out more & think about how you can use the example for your own use. 3 ways you should be using digital tools for life 360 hacks.

 

  1. Another way to use tech tools is for communication & learning. The example tool I give in this post is podcasts. Check it out to find out one of my favourites & which special person was recently featured on it.

 

  1. A third way to use tech tools is for ease & efficiency. Check out this post & download the worksheet that explains how to help you find your flow & identify your uhm, ughs & areas of torture.

 

  1. Here’s a way to start a conversation about your relationship with your supervisor, plus a way to use a fun, easy tech tool all at the same time. Check out my post on the supervisor blob tree, then click on the link that leads you to the tool. Leave an arrow & a comment.

 

  1. Intrigued? Starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel? Check out my online course ‘From overwhelm to organized; technology tips & techniques to serve you’ & register if you wish. But hurry, the course is March 27th. Find out more at the link above (including the 2 for 1 registration special).

 

  1. Answer the questions (based on the challenges above) you’ll find at this link & get a fun little gift.

 

Thanks for playing.

 

Intrigued?

Want to learn more? Register for my upcoming online course: ‘From overwhelm to organized; technology tips & techniques to serve you’ on Tuesday, March 27th. Get details & register here, including how to take advantage of the 2 for 1 special deal.

 

Annnnnnnd take action

 

 

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