Marking the Difference: Talent, Strengths, and Instinct

Marking the Difference: Talent, Strengths, and Instinct


Author, independent consultant and speaker, Marcus Buckingham maintains that capitalizing on your strengths is the key to finding the most effective route to high performance.

  • What differentiates great managers and great teams from the rest?
  • How to uncover and leverage strengths while managing weaknesses: Unleashing the driving forces of individual and team performance
  • Making yourself “Standout”: Acheiving the self-awareness and self understanding that leads to professional and personal fulfilment.

 

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Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership?

Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership


Like so many others Joel Stein imagined that all leaders should be inspirational speechmakers, and alpha-male yelling movie stars and sports players. However, in this months Harvard Business Review Stein questions his preconceptions of What Defines a Great Leader? Stein spent time with a range of leaders  ( fire chiefs, army captains, Boy Scout troop leaders) for his new book – Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, and learned that his vision of what makes a good leader was all wrong.

How did these real-life leaders differ?

  • Many where quiet listeners who let other people make most of the decisions.
  • They weren’t particularly charismatic. Or funny.
  • They weren’t the toughest guys in the pack.
  • They didn’t have a Clintonian need to be liked, or a Patton-like intensity.
  • They were, on the whole, a little boring.

How do they lead?

  • Stein’s leaders didnt weigh each decision based on a desire to keep their team happy, or to be fair to each person.
  • They had a way of doing things they believed was right (they don’t waver – they follow the rules)
  • They  run a clean, orderly house so the team can respond with military precision.
  • They understand that they arent the most important person.

 

Inspiring people through your personality is a risky, exhausting endeavor.  When people know they are doing things exactly right they seem  to be both proud and assured, and will do anything for their leader. Great leaders have a  deep belief in their mission, and this makes other people believe in that mission.

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To learn more about our Leadership Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Happiness and Emotional Intelligence

Happiness and Emotional Intelligence


DCP attended a talk yesterday on Happiness and Emotional Intelligence in Trinity College Dublin, given by Prof Adrian Furnham, author of over 700 scientific papers and 57 books on:  Management Incompetence; Motivation in the Workplace; Team building;  and Happiness and Emotional Intelligence (to name a few). Furnham  has also been nominated by HR magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential People in HR since 2007

It was therefore no surprise that this talk was both highly enjoyable and informative. We watched Furnham overturn some common misconceptions surrounding the happiness effect (what makes people happy? how happiness is achieved?). Furnham’s comparitive studies on the stability of happiness among lottery winners and paraplegics provided surprising evidence for his arguments.  Furnham touched on many interlinking themes, including how happiness and  optimism relates to emotional intelligence.

 

Some top tips by Furnham for achieving happiness

  • Invest heavily in your friends (social support is crucial to wellbeing, and happiness)
  • Enjoy your work
  • Look after your mental and physical health
  • The harder you look for happiness, the less likely you will find it

Please see the link below for Adrian Furnham in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mRH74CJo-Q&feature=player_embedded

To learn more about how we can help you develop Emotional Intelligence, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Who do you Trust?

Who do you trust?


Trust  in our organisations is at an all time low. In their article “Who do you trust?” Searle Hope-Hailey, and Dietz argue that this loss of trust has serious consequences for both organisations, and more importantly our society at a whole. Trust in organisations is vital, and it can be a key economic advantage for firms enhancing their effectiveness, efficiency and performance. It has also been shown as highly significant in the fostering of desirable work-related behaviors. Employees who have high trust in the organisations they work; stay for longer; put in more effort and work more co-operatively. However, employees with low or no trust; reduce the effectiveness of their work; engage in counterproductive behaviors such as obstruction or seeking revenge; or simply decide to leave.

Dimensions of Trustworthiness

Central to trust- and its repair- at whatever levels are individuals’ perceptions of the trustworthiness of another party, whether this is an organization, leader or those in line management. Early studies have revealed four distinct components to trustworthiness. These dimensions inform whether and how far leaders are trusted or not. The behaviors inform whether and how far leaders are trusted, or not.

Ability – the extent to which this party is believed to have the skills or competence.

Benevolence– how much they are regarded as caring genuinely about his or her wellbeing

Integrity – focuses on the others adherence to moral principles and high standards of behaviors

Predictability – the perceived consistency of the other’s behavior over time.

 

Some key findings reflected from Searle et als., CIPD 2012 research report

  • Trust was important in employees decisions about; whether to recommend their employer to others; their levels of job satisfaction; contributor to whether employees left their employer
  • Respondents in the public sector had smaller levels of trust than the private and voluntary sector
  • The actions aand behaviours of those at the top have real significance for trust in the organisation as a whole
  • Those at the top are more likely to report higher levels of organisational trust
  • Trust and organisational size are related (high trust is easier to obtain in smaller organisations
  • Direct line managers will have a crucial role in shaping employees’ experiences of the organisation
  • Open communication is crucial in building and maintaining trust
  • Trust is not a one-way concern. Employees trust is generated and sustained when they also feel trusted by their managers

 

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To learn more about our Organisational Development  services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

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DavittCorporatePartners – Organisational Psychologists and Experts in Helping Organisations Repair Organisational Trust

Managing Perfectionism in the Workplace – HBR

Managing Perfectionism in the Workplace


“Everybody is a perfectionist to some degree. It’s when it becomes an obsession that it’s a problem,” says Robert Kaplan. Managing a perfectionist can be challenging  but it’s not impossible.

Appreciate the positives while recognizing the negatives
Working with perfectionists can be frustrating. They tend to be impatient with or hypercritical of others, and poor delegators. Delong argues that “On some level, they actually believe no one can do it better” Perfectionists struggle to appropriately allocate their time and will focus on the last 2% excessively when 94% is good enough. However, perfectionists are committed to their work and because of their insistence on excellence, they often raise the standards of those around them.

Give the right job
Perfectionists are not a good fit for every job, e.g.. projects that they will struggle to complete. Accept that they may not be good managers  (see “hypercritical” and “bad at delegating” above). They are also unlikely to thrive in charge of a big complicated business.  Find jobs where their fastidiousness will be appreciated. Every organization has jobs that require intense attention to detail and encompass a relatively limited scope.

Increase self-awareness
Even in the right position, perfectionists can cause trouble — slowing progress or demoralizing colleagues. Managers must help their direct reports recognize when this result in negative outcomes. Explain that most work requires compromise and tradeoffs. Explain that by setting priorities, time and effort will be saved. Kaplan suggests explaining how perfectionist tendencies often prevent people from getting uniformly positive reviews or rising into management.  

Coach, if possible
Not every perfectionist is coachable but it pays to try – everyone has weaknesses so it is important  to exercise patience.

Be careful with feedback
Perfectionists may have a harder time than others hearing criticism and are likely to hear only the negatives. However, share your apprehensions. DeLong suggests you ask for their advice: “I’m not sure how to talk to you about how you can improve your performance. What guidance would you give me about how to give you feedback?” With this in mind, you can deliver the input in a way that won’t make them defensive or demotivate them.

To learn more about our Organisational Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Tips for Type As who can’t meditate

Tips for Newbie Mediators


 

Neuroscientists have discovered that after 8 weeks, non-meditators who start a mindfulness practice show decreased brain activity in the amygdala – the brain region that controls anxiety – and increased grey matter in regions involved in perspective-taking and regulating emotions.

Dee Willock, the Vancouver-based author of Falling Into Easy: Help For Those Who Can’t Meditate shares some of her top tips:

  • Any comfy position is fine (doesnt have to be a formal, legs crossed position) – as long as it doesn’t induce sleep.
  • Efforts to suppress or eliminate racing thoughts are futile. The goal is to put antsy thoughts in the background while the mind focuses elsewhere. Beginners may find it easiest to simply notice how each breath feels in the body, or be aware of any ambient sounds.
  • Urgent thoughts will intrude ( “Did I turn off the stove?”). Acknowledge their existence, but then tell them you’re going back to your focus.
  • Fears of being at the mercy of negative thoughts is a “huge barrier” for new meditators, so imagine that each breath brings joy, or by fill  in the details of a happy memory.
  • Busy people can meditate anywhere, even if it means sitting in a living room full of kids. Start with 15 minutes a day, since the mind tends to calm down around the 10-minute mark.

To learn more about our services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Managing a Virtual Team

Managing Virtual Teams


 

When and how often do team members need to meet face-to-face (FTF)?

Maznevski et al found that FTF interaction is instrumental during the “forming” stages of team building, especially if team members do not know one another. However, it may also be advantegeous for team members to have completed some  initial virtual meetings before  meeting in person (team members can  then focus on task-related expertise before any potential biases are introduced, and the FTF meeting can  be used to establish team work practices).

Maznevski and Chudoba also  found that teams which have repeated  FTF meetings at predictable times/ intervals often outperform those who choose to meet as “needed”. Regular, predictible meetings promote effective time management, and enables individuals to reserve any complex/delicate issues for  in-person interactions.

What is the best technology solution for virtual teams?

Telephones and email  provide simple, reliable, and accessible communication.

How can managers coordinate work among dispersed members?

A study by Cramton  found that dispersed team members often lack a common, shared understanding. Hinds and Mortensen’s study on virtual teams also found that when people are distributed they tend to engage in relatively little of the spontaneous and informal “water-cooler” communication that promotes shared understanding and is often the vehicle for adaptation.

Managers of virtual teams must shift their teams’ work practices towards more structured coordination. Clear team-level work processes, output requirements, and group norms reduce the complexity of virtual team coordination from coordinating efforts across multiple sites to aligning one’s efforts with a single, consistent set of expectations. Second, managers must also work to support and facilitate dynamic adjustment when it’s required by promoting and encouraging informal interaction.

DavittCorporatePartners – Organisational Psychologists

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Building Effective Cross-Cultural Teams

Tips for Building Successful Cross Cultural Teams

Increase awareness of the challenges faced by team members from other cultures                                                                 

Individuals working as part of a multicultural team need to become aware, and understand the challenges which are often faced by team members from the non-dominant culture. This ranges from – appreciating the psychological challenges people can face to learning to interpret behavior from outside ones own cultural perspective.

Make explicit team norms                                                                                                                                                            

It is important for multicultural teams to explicitly discuss standards and expectations for effective communication within the team. Team members need to recognize that other  individuals on the team might be at risk for challenges in meeting these standards, based on their cultural upbringing, professional experience, and personality.

Work hard to create a psychologically safe and inclusive team environment                                                                                         

It is important to create anatmosphere within the team that is “psychologically safe.” Individuals who are from the non-dominant culture can feel intense pressure and scrutiny in multicultural team settings. It is critical that all individuals work hard to create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere for all team members of the team. Without such an atmosphere, teams can lose members who may have a great deal to add, but who struggle with the language and cultural norms.

Dedicate time and resources to skill building                                                                                                                                                            

Many multinational teams in today’s business environment have a culture that is essentially Western, and a language that is English. This creates problems for individuals who may lack the skills to be fully-participative members. Find a way to build and enhance your team members’ language and cultural skills.

To learn more about our Leadership Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness


 

Mental toughness has been defined as the ability to perform at consistently high levels through times of personal and professional pressure (Jones et al.,2002)

Mentally tough individuals have ‘a high sense of self belief and an unshakable faith that they can control their own destiny, these individuals can remain relatively unaffected by competition and adversity’ (Clough et al., 2002)

 

Mental Toughness in the Workplace

Mental toughness is now considered by many as a key aspect of performance in the workplace for  building resiliance in individuals and teams, and enabling effective coaching and development. The growing interest in this concept of mental toughness as resulted from the assumptions that the characteristics underlying mental toughness are associate with increased performance and success.

Research has found that mental toughness (like emotional intelligence) is a characteristic that can be developed.  Clough et al.,  have proposed a 4C model of mental toughness to examine this concept in individuals.  The 4 Cs are:

  • Control  – the tendency to feel you are influential, and can control ones life.
  • Commitment – a tendency to involve oneself in an encounter, carry out tasks successfully despite problems, or obstacles.  
  • Challenge – the belief that life is changeable, it refers to the extent individuals see problems as opportunities rather than a threat.  
  • Confidence – a high sense of self- belief and unshakable faith concerning ones ability to achieve success.

 

To learn more about our Organisational Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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How to Use EQ to Lower Workplace Anxiety

Watch this short video of Dr. Martyn Newman on how to use EQ to reduce workplace anxiety

How to Use EQ to Reduce Workplace Stress



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Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

Develop Emotional Intelligence in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

Align Behaviour with Corporate Values

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DavittCorporatePartners – Organisational Psychologists and Experts in Building Emotional Intelligence