Archive for June, 2017

Serious Science #767

Posted by frank June - 26 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Action equals attitude, movement changes moods and motion alters emotion.
In a recent study at Harvard University this was proven to be scientific fact by social psychologist Amy Cuddy. Professor Cuddy studies, among other things, non-verbal communication. In this experiment, she took saliva samples from her subjects and measured the levels of testosterone and cortisol in those samples. When one is stressed and feeling overwhelmed cortisol is high and testosterone is low. Cortisol, the stress hormone, regulates things like blood pressure, heart and blood vessel tone and contraction. Testosterone, beside the sexual association we are all familiar with, regulates feelings of power, confidence and risk-taking.
Imagine going in to the boss for a raise you don’t think you will get. Your body posture before you enter is smaller and confined as you wait in that non-confident posture. In that moment your cortisol is high and testosterone low. Your behavior, when you go in for the meeting is then strongly influenced by those hormone levels and your chance for the raise evaporates.
In professor Cuddy’s experiment , she taught power poses. Picture Wonder Woman with her hands on her hips, feet apart and her head held high. The other pose she taught is the victory pose. Hands in the air in a V shape, like a runner breaking the tape at the finish line.
She had the participants hold those poses for two minutes.
The after samples of their saliva, post power posing, showed significantly decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of testosterone.
Their physical posture altered their chemistry.
Please remember this little mantra: Your body changes your mind. Your mind changes your behavior and your behavior changes your outcomes.
Watch Professor Cuddy’s TED talk. It has had over 40 million views and is the second most viewed TED talk of all time.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#766 The Big Lebowski

Posted by frank June - 19 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

#766
Right isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and wrong isn’t always wrong. Great leaders know this.
In The Big Lebowski, after John Goodman makes a scene in a bowling alley about strictly following bowling rules, he and Jeff Bridges head to their car. They’re talking about the rule infraction and Goodman’s over reaction when Goodman says repeatedly, “Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong?” Jeff Bridges replies, “You’re not wrong Walter, you’re just an asshole.”
It is classic. You know people like Walter. People who think right and wrong is all that matters; people who see no creative solutions.
It takes a lot of time, patience, understanding, and empathy to see beyond right and wrong.
When my mom was teaching me to drive there was an intersection at the end of our block where a stop sign had recently been erected. These were small streets in a residential neighborhood. We had the right of way and the intersecting street had the stop sign. My Mom used to make me slow to a virtual stop as I approached that intersection. I complained, “But Mom! They have the stop sign and I have the right of way!” Her reply has stuck with me for life. She said, “Yes you’re right, but right or wrong you’re just as dead.”
In your position of leadership, take the time to slow down and understand the situations you are presented with. Rules don’t manage people; people manage people. I do understand that rules are not mere suggestions, and I don’t want anarchy. I am only suggesting that you understand the people affected by the rules as you apply them.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#765 Balance

Posted by frank June - 12 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I ran in to a guy this week that I haven’t seen for a few months. When I asked him how he’d been since last we’d spoken he said “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that my son finally asked his girl to marry him and she said yes. The bad news is that my friend Bobby died. Frankie, I’ve learned to expect this in life. Whenever something good happens, I keep my eyes open because I know something bad is about to come. It all has to balance out.”
I believe in Karma. I believe in cause and effect but I don’t believe that the universe looks like lady justice, holding her scales with an eye on my good fortune.
I believe this “good and bad balancing” is my friend’s way of making sense
of things that have happened to him but it breaks my heart to know that
every time he experiences something good, essentially, he cringes.
I also recognize that there will always be good and bad things happening to and around me. My recipe is simple; I try to really appreciate and revel in the good times and just allow the bad times to pass.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

More Rapport #764

Posted by frank June - 5 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Rapport is the basis for everything in life. Without it, life will be a struggle for you. From contentious interactions during innocuous transactions to hollow relationships with friends and family, lack of rapport equals a lack of peace and happiness.
A business manager once said to me “If I don’t piss off a few people a day, I’m probably doing a bad job.” Maybe that makes sense to him but pissing people off all day, in my mind, equals being a lazy manager.
It may be easier to shout orders and make demands than it is to gain rapport, trust and understanding but in my experience the latter produces better long term results.
Rapport to me is mostly about empathy. It’s mostly about listening and understanding.
In the workplace rapport is often what makes people continue to do a good job even when no one is looking. I don’t equate kindness and weakness. The difference between a firm request and a despotic demand is a rapport based subtlety in the delivery and the long term results are anything but subtle.
In daily interactions with store clerks, coworkers, family and friends building rapport sets the weather of your day. Shouting, demanding and insisting become squalls and storms while smiles, openness and understanding feel like sunshine and a warm breeze. The most amazing part about this is how many people believe it happens to them rather than through them. I set the temperature of my day. I understand that that I control 99% of my outcomes. My response is my choice and when I choose well, rapport develops and I live on the sunny side of the street.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.