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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mindset: Post #6--Entitled Kids

Entitled Kids in the Workforce. Raised on a constant diet of praise, these kids want a pat on the back for just showing up to work! They need constant validation and are incapable of taking criticism. Leaders should praise them for struggle and effort and not for “being” smart or talented. When it comes to negotiations, fixed mindsets underperform growth mindset negotiators by 50%. Believing that talent is static and inborn, fixed mindset managers don’t attempt to coach or develop employees, whereas growth mindsets invest in the future of others by coaching. The good news: A growth mindset can be learned.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mindset: Post #5--Big Findings

Big Findings about Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset People: #1: They get their motivation from trying and learning. #2: They see setbacks as wake-up calls and motivational. #3: They take charge of success processes. Whereas, fixed mindsets want to validate their status and act like superstars, afraid to just be a team member. Dweck refers to the somebody-nobody syndrome: “If I win, I’ll be somebody; if I lose, I’ll be nobody” [p. 105].

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mindset: Post #4--Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset People don’t believe that they’re stuck with the hand they were dealt. Rather, they believe that you get better with practice and that you can cultivate qualities through effort and engagement. This attitude creates a real thirst for knowledge, as opposed to being recognized as merely smart or intelligent. Growth mindsets will eschew looking smart in favor of truly learning and getting better. They stretch themselves, confront challenges, and take risks rather than play it safe, thus opening up new and exciting doors to walk through.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mindset: Post #3--Fixing Failure

Fixing Failure. Comparison is the first technique that fixed mindset folks often use to “fix” their failure by comparing themselves to less successful people. Blame is another technique. John McEnroe blamed any failure on everyone and everything from empires to the coarseness of the sawdust used to dry his hands! It was never his fault.  But, John Wooden, the amazingly successful basketball coach at UCLA, used to say that people were not failures until they started to blame others. Avoid Risk and Disdain Effort: Fixed people “aspire to effortless perfection” [p.41]. They think that only people who are not perfect or smart need to work to succeed. They disdain effort because they see it as risk and a potential for failure.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mindset: Post #2--Fixed Mindset

Fixed Mindset People continuously try to prove themselves and support their self-image of success. This leads to trying to “look smart,” constantly building an image, and even putting others down to preserve our own standing. All encounters become matters of success or failure, looking smart or stupid, being accepted or rejected, or feeling like a winner or a loser. Such a fixed orientation makes people avoid risk, stop learning and experimenting, and defensive, eventually leading them to fall behind and become less relevant—the very thing they are trying to avoid.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mindset: Post #1--Overview

Overview: What’s the difference between failing and learning? Your mindset! According to Carol Dweck, famed Stanford psychologist, it all boils down to whether you think of talent or intelligence as either a fixed ability or one capable of growth through effort and practice. Often it comes down to whether you seek validation or a challenge. Whether you look at people on teams, at work, at school, in marriages or any relationships, fixed vs. growth mindset is a VERY important concept to understand—only if you want a better life. Every leader, parent, and teacher should read this book.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Ballantine Books, 2008) by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #14--Check in, not up

Checking in, not checking up: Leaders sho
uld set goals and monitor them but not micromanage people. Some traits of micromanagers include: failing to allow autonomy; asking about the work but never giving help; fixing blame on employees but not sharing info about their own work. Micromanagement is a toxin that poisons inner work life and stops creativity and innovation dead. Virtuous cycles start when positive inner work life is nourished. Conversely, vicious cycles result from inhibitors and a toxic climate. “Managers can’t help but influence subordinates’ inner work lives; the only question is how.” 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Progress Principle: Post # 13--Organizational Climate

Organizational Climate: Culture and climate are the words and actions of leaders that create a corporate signature, or ‘the way we do things around here.’ IBM and Google have distinctively different cultures. Three climate forces that either act as catalysts or inhibitors are 1) Consideration for people; 2) Coordination of systems and procedures; 3) Communications that are honest, respectful, and establish trust. Nourishment comes when you support and encourage subordinates. People want to be cared for and respected. Four major nourishers: 1) Respect (attention, civility, recognition); 2) Encouragement (enthusiasm and confidence); 3) Emotional support (validation, safety, and acknowledgement); 4) Affiliation (appreciation and affection).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #12--Addiction to Progress

Addiction to Progress: Video games are addictive because they show regular progress and achievement markers. Same with merit badges of the Boy/Girl Scouts. Every manager should be measured by how much help s/he gives to employees making progress at meaningful tasks. Leaders negate progress when employees’ ideas get dismissed, they lose ownership, or they feel way overqualified for tasks they’re performing. Progress and inner work life are self- reinforcing and feed each other in a repeating loop. Great leaders and companies understand this “progress loop.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #11--Three Key Principles

Three Key Influencers of Inner Work Life: 1) Progress toward a meaningful goal (small wins, goal completion)—Setbacks have the opposite effect; 2) Catalysts support the work (autonomy, clear goals)—Inhibitors have the opposite effect; 3) Nourishment of the person (respect and emotional support); —Toxins have the opposite effect. Most people have positive inner work life when catalysts and nourishment are going on…setbacks happen when inhibitors and toxins dominate.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #10--Progress

Progress: Being productive and creative (making progress) enables a progress loop—a virtuous cycle that spirals up to more creativity. Progress stimulates positive inner work life, but setbacks fuel negative work life. Frustration caused by barriers to making progress can lead to a lack of creativity and productivity. Removing the progress obstacle (even another’s bad behavior) has to happen for creativity to thrive. Progress and setbacks make the big difference in inner work life—perceptions, emotions and motivations. Research: In 76% of the “best days” diaries, entries mentioned progress.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #9--Teams

Teams: When people have to work together to solve problems, performance depends on 4 factors: creativity, productivity, commitment, and collegiality. Of the four, creativity is most important in the 21st century. But all four are affected by the big 3 of inner work life—emotions, perceptions and motivation. Emotion: people performed 50% better on positive than negative days. Students who watched a comedy improved their problem solving. Incubation effect: Being more positive and creative on one day increases the likelihood that it will extend to the next day or two. Perceptions: When people saw leaders as collaborative and cooperative, they got more creative. If they perceived negativity or infighting, creativity took a hit. Motivation:  People are motivated by the intrinsic interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself—not by threats or rewards! Just focusing on extrinsic motivations lowers creativity. Creativity actually gets worse with carrot-and-stick approaches. Individual creativity and productivity lead directly to corporate productivity (Harter, 2010). Mood and health: Mood affects the immune systems. Dissatisfied employees get sick—plain and simple. Monitor health, and you’ll get a clue about inner work life.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #8--Good Day

Had a Good Day—Got a lot done! People mostly want to make progress at work every day. The more positive the inner work life, the greater the feeling of progress. People are working “under the influence” of their emotions. Positive inner work life produces people who are motivated by the work, not incentives.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #7---Dynamics

Inner Work Life is Dynamic—a mixture of perceptions (making sense of events), emotions (positive, negative and mood) and motivation (desire to do the work). (See the diagram on p. 37.) Emotion areas of the brain are strongly connected to how we perceive and learn. Inner work life impacts dramatically on performance. In the “memorable event diary” response, most people described emotional events either positive or negative. Meaningful work supported by leadership enhances the lives of employees. Such managers become heroes, of the best sort, to their employees.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #6--Components

The Components of Inner Work Life: Emotions, Perceptions and Motivation. Emotions can be both positive (like the joy of accomplishing a tough task) or negative (frustration in not making progress toward a goal). Emotions begin to form a mood and those emotions and that mood have an effect on creativity, productivity and decision making. Perceptions also work in concert with emotions. Perceptions are your mind sense-making what’s happened. You pose questions and answer them internally, creating your perception of an event. We all have a backstory at work—a series of experiences and perceptions that color our reaction of today. We interpret what happens every day against our own backstory/filter. Motivation is about your choice, desire and drive to get a task done. Intrinsic motivation derives from the work itself and not an external motivator. Such motivation starts deep within us and drives us toward extraordinary results. Extrinsic motivation is about doing something to get something else, like a promotion. Altruistic motivation is about doing something to help others and society. When extrinsic motivators are very strong, they can snuff out intrinsic motivation; thus, money can actually stifle creativity and progress. Leaders who pose creative work to employees, facilitate progress, and remove obstacles don’t have to create lavish motivational programs.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #5--Little Things

Little Things Matter: Over 28% of small events at work had big impacts on people. Regular, small positive or negative events have a big cumulative effect on people. Positive or negative inner work life spills over into our personal lives. People try to make sense of any event (good or bad) that happens to them at work; often, this sense-making reverberates long after the event. If people feel respected, valued, supported toward progress, they’re motivated to work hard and long. Otherwise, they are demotivated and produce little. Often, managers do NOT understand the enormous effect of a poor inner (unspoken) work life of an employee.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #4--Inner Work Life

Inner Work Life is greatly influenced by 3 types of events: Progress in meaningful work; catalysts that help a project work; and nourishers—positive interpersonal boosts at work. The MOST important influence is progress in meaningful work, or what the authors call The Progress Principle. (Negative opposites are setbacks, inhibitors, or toxins that undermine progress.) Leaders must manage for progress or no amount of emotional intelligence or incentives will motivate productivity.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #3--Positive Inner Work Life

Positive Inner Work Life results from certain conditions that “foster positive emotions, strong internal motivation, and favorable perceptions of colleagues and the work itself “(p. 1). Such a positive inner work life for employees translates into better creativity, productivity, work commitment, and collegiality at work. Facilitating progress is the best way to motivate people, but most (95%) managers and leaders just don’t get it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #2--Inner Work Life

Inner Work Life is composed of the unspoken perceptions, emotions, and motivations of people at work and has a great effect on creativity and productivity of both people and companies. “Inner work life is the mostly invisible part of each individual’s experience—the thoughts, feelings, and drives triggered by the events of the workday.” To study this phenomenon, the authors’ study conducted research with 238 people and 26 project teams in 7 companies in 3 different industries; they asked employees to fill out a daily diary/questionnaire, especially responding to this question: “Briefly describe one event from today that stands out in your mind.” The event had to relate to work and could be positive, negative or neutral. Fully, 75% of responses were returned with nearly 12,000 responses about the emotional inner work life of people.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Progress Principle: Post #1--Overview

Overview: At work, what do people really want? After extensive research, these two distinguished professors at Harvard conclude that people want to make progress toward meaningful work every day.  Such progress gets enhanced or thwarted by employees’ emotions, perceptions, and motivations (inner work life). Further, their inner work life is directly affected by their managers’ inner work life.  Effective leaders provide greater possibilities for progress by providing catalysts and nourishers, and prevent setbacks by removing inhibitors and toxins. The authors conclude that keeping a daily journal to record and reflect on one event (good or bad) that stands out will aid perceptions, emotions, and motivators and enhance inner work life. Great advice going forward for any leader!

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (Harvard Business Press, 2011) by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer, reviewed by 
Steve Gladis, Ph.D.

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