How to Grow the Brain and Learn to Love Learning–10 Life Principles

“Hold on to your own convictions, despite what society and other people want you to believe.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  1. Be more open and curious by embracing the goal of life-long “learning”. Learn something new everyday.
  2. Find Courage and Mental Toughness by embracing Vulnerability and Failure. Learn the lesson form screwing-up  and then show resilience by snapping back into action.
  3. Accept imperfection by building more competence and confidence through increased Self-Efficacy
  4. Feel Compassion: For Yourself and Others
  5. Except Uncertainty and change with more ease
  6. Express and show more gratitude and kindness toward others
  7. Physically Present yourself in a more assertive and positive manner
  8. Be more mindful and present in the “here and now”
  9. Play and Learn More: Take on learning challenges, try new things, be “gritty” and have fun!
  10. Give Trust away…

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ways to Life a more Trusting Life

Two Secrets for Living a more Trusting life:

  1. The 6 word Rule–Don’t take yourself so fucking seriouslyYou trust others unconditionally and firmly believe that most people have your best intentions at heart.
  2. Generally I believe there are two important ways to treat and interact with people: a) Test them until they are proven to have good intentions and you can trust them or trust others without conditions. b.) Give trust away. In this option you believe that people have good intentions until they are proven wrong. I think you will find more people to trust and find life is more interesting and joyful if you follow option b. CAUTION-There is a clear downside to this trusting approach – you might get taken advantage of in the short-term because there are a few looking to con or take advantage of “trusting souls”. However, the upside is huge. When good people feel trusted, they go out of their way to reciprocate.

Remember: You are a gift to the world. Not only can you model more trust and respect by the way you live your life – you bring more happiness and joy to those around you!

Daily Quote– New England Patriots Football Gate

Message for New England Patriots–

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the full light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny…it is the light that guides your way.” Heraclitus

Keep deflating the footballs and other questionable activities and watch your integrity and reputation disappear. The means never justify the ends. Good Look guys in the Super Bowl…

Part II: Building a High Performance Team.

Daily Quote: ” Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together for a common goal is success”.  Henry Ford 

 

What are the four most important factors for building a strong team? If you read Part I where I covered more structural features of building effective teams.

1. Personal Safety. This is genuine belief that we won’t get hurt in participating in this team. The experience will be worth your time and effort.

2. Trust  built on keeping your word and following through on commitments  “We mean what we say and we say what we mean,” you and other members commit to rise and fall together to achieve your collective and shared goals.

3. Self-disclosure as “A willingness to connect both professionally and personally with other members. Team members are supportive of each other and are will to share experiences and stories that make the private public, thus increasing loyalty and bonding.

4. Sense of belonging and acceptance of diversity and differences.

The presence of these characteristics in a team supports the experimentation, risk-taking, shared responsibility and vulnerability that are essential steps toward meaningful learning and growth of team members. When a team develops this type of sharing and supportive culture the team is perceived as a  safer, more trusting and more compatible environment. The value of the team is rated higher than individual accomplishments.  But a challenge is that the steps  required to establish this foundation can appear to take time away from more pressing tasks–and as leaders we can easily get distracted by short-term tasks such as, quarter budget and revenue goals or expenses, project deadlines and request and obligations to bosses or client and other outside distractions. These “do it now” pressures neglect the group’s longer-term emotional and professional development.

In my experience group members themselves sense the need for these factors to be established in the group, and they express that need quite clearly, although often indirectly.  The key for a leader is to listen for and respond to any signals related to members’ needs in these areas, while noting that it may be particularly difficult for members to articulate them in the face of our (perceived) indifference if we seem too focused on just  results.  This aspect of group development is a true test of a leader’s ability to focus on what we know to be important soft skills rather than what appears to be urgent.

Importance of Empathy on Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

Empathy is a building block of one’s interpersonal connections.—for people to cultivate empathy skills, it helps if they can stop and take the time to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is also a key ingredient of successful relationships because it helps us understand the needs, priorities and desires of others. Here are some of the ways that interpersonal communication research has testified to the far-reaching importance of empathy. 

  • Empathy is good for bonding and team development: Managers who demonstrate empathy have employees who report greater job satisfaction and engagement 
  • Tied closely to empathy is the concept worker engagement and positive work climate this  recent trend towards positive psychology, where the concern is positive aspects of employees’ behavior. According to Maslach and Leiter (1997), when there is a person and positive job match, employees experience engagement with their work, characterized by high energy, involvement, and positive efficacy. As per Schaufeli et al. (2002), employee engagement is a positive, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. In this regard, attention is paid to human strengths, optimal functioning, and positive experiences at work (Seligmen and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004) not on negative feedback or focus on weaknesses. While, disengaged employees display incomplete role performances and task  behaviors become effortless, automatic or robotic (Hochschild, 1983). According to the author, disengagement may be result of employees who lack positive social interaction and support, who experience little autonomy in work roles, or who feel their work and contribution is unimportant to others.  

So the question is -How often do you stop to listen to and engage your fellow workers? Or Do you focus on the task and getting the job done? 

Want to improve social-emotion connections cultivate empathy in your relationships.

1 Model empathy. Show people what mens to appreciate them. Observe and show interest in the lives of others. Listen to other people’s experience and opinions. Talk about your experiences practicing empathy, and about the times you forgot to act with empathy.

2. Start with safety and security. Fear and self-centeredness interferes with the development of empathy. Learn to stop and demonstrate consideration and toward others.

3. Practice self-regulation skills. Self-regulation skills are the foundation for empathy. By learning to calm yourself, regulate emotions, delay gratification, persevere, and stay focused on the right things, fellow workers and family members develop the skills which allow them to look beyond themselves.

4. Notice other people’s feelings without judgment or put downs. Talk about these feelings and assure the other person they are okay to share and have these inner experiences. Learn to use words that focus on the so-called “soft things” in life and avoid only the “hard stuff” like project schedules, profit, or task activities.

5. Follow the Golden Rule of relationships and empathy  “ Treat others in the same way that they themselves would like to be treated because relationships matter. Relations emphasizing empathy are built on focused attention, active listening and demonstrated caring and trust. For example, most of us would like to be listened to and understood by others.

Daily Quote and Reflection:Leading others to Discover their Highest Potential

Daily Quote: Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching On Leadership:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Reflection:

This has always been one of my favorite quotes because it focuses on how we don’t accomplish anything with others support and effort. Like you I have worked with some egocentric bosses who take all the credit when things go well and look to blame others when things go bad. Of course this de-motivates and times infuriate the team but in addition it is selfish and not constructive in building loyalty and trust which are the keys to empowering others. Really, Lao-Tzu’s advice tells to be unselfish and in to this we become “servant leaders”. When leaders focus on developing the people around them they challenge people to perform and do things they never though they could do. This is the true job of leaders–developing and helping others discover and reach their full potential by encouraging the to take ownership of their lives at work. This adds a wonderful sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.

Challenge Activity: When was the last time you gave the credit away to others. If it has been awhile ago try in the next 24 hours surprise some with a sincere compliment about their self-initiative and job well done.   Doing nice things for other people makes you feel good too.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Trust Is…

Daily Quotes:

“Our distrust is very expensive…Self-trust is the first secret of success.” Emerson

“Being connected and personal is to be in the process of discovering and accepting each other…trust begets trust; fear escalates fear.”    Jack Gibb . author of Trust: A New View of Personal and Organizational Development

Trust is . . . is a critical part of being human.  It’s as simple as that. If we can’t trust and openly share who we are, our sense of self-worth diminishes—and we won’t trust others or ourselves ” Dr. Carl Rogers

Reflection: In another post I defined trust.

Here are some of my random reflections and comments about trust that I have learned in over thirty years of listening to and observing others when they are talking about trust.

Trust is …is being courageous enough to open fully to another and accept the vulnerability of this state of being…

The unexpected truth behind building trust, connecting with others, and inspiring collaborative action is belief in yourself and others “to do what they say they will do”. ( DWYSYWD)

When we are sincere and authentic we usually earn other people’s respect and trust. They begin to open up and now are more amenable to influenced and change.  Imposing our point of view only makes others defensive and resistant to change.”

Action Assignment: Complete the following sentence to get at how and why you trust others.

Trust is___________________________________.

Then reflect on your  sentence and try to figure out whether you give trust freely to others or they have to earn trust.