3 Ways to Spring Clean Your New Year’s Resolutions

Yeah!! Spring has finally arrived !! I love this time of the year when you re-assess your goals and re-set your personal & professional objectives. This reality – check is for me essential to lead a successful and happy life.

How can you expect to achieve happiness if you don’t even know where you want to head, what your priorities are, what mostly matters in your life?

I really like this post of Faith Watson below. Have a great read 🙂 and HAPPY SPRING to you all dear readers !!

spring

Spring cleaning is a popular focus this time of year. Checklists, tips, advice, and shortcuts motivate us (or guilt us) into taking care of our homes with a major spring clean effort.

Or, the more prevalent sunshine exposes a season’s worth of dust and cobwebs in corners and urges us to get things looking nice again.

But what about the other areas of life?

In nature, spring hums and shouts newness, rebirth, refreshing, new life emerging from the cold barrenness of hibernation. Our souls and spirits resonate with that.

The change of seasons stirs something within us.

Winter causes us to bundle up and hide from the cold. We often feel bored and lethargic. Spring calls us to stretch and warm ourselves, to cultivate new growth, to clean off the dust and grime of winter’s doldrums.

“Spring Cleaning” can mean something more than dusting, deep cleaning, and airing out your house. You don’t have to wait until January 1st rolls around again next year to make resolutions.

Take those same spring cleaning ideas and fling open the windows of your soul and spirit to air out and freshen your perspective, to clean up unhealthy habits, and to cultivate space for truth and joy to flourish.

Resolve to make some healthy changes as the season changes from winter to spring. It can be as simple as resolving to do one healthy activity every day in each area of mind, body, and spirit. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Resolve to Renew Your Mind Each Day

We can easily get into a rut in how we think about and react to life. What we sow into our minds we will reap in our lives.

Instead of allowing emotions to dictate thoughts, intentionally set your mind to think differently and approach your day with the perspective that you have the power to choose how you will react to life’s ups and downs.

Making little changes can go a long way, kind of like weeding a garden every day instead of once a week. Try these ideas to spring clean your mind:

  • Be kind and thankful
    • Seek to smile or say thank you more each day.
  • Replace one negative thought or attitude with a positive one
    • Instead of, “Ugh…raining again, more mud tracked into the house!” you could say, “I love how the spring rains make everything come alive; even the birds chirp happily in the rain!”)
  • Think and speak truth
    • What we think and say has power to direct our lives, for good or ill. The things we tell ourselves about ourselves can influence us more than we realize, which is why it is so important to believe and speak the truth about who we are. Feed your mind with what is true and good and right. Identify and stop believing lies that only keep you trapped in fear and inaction.
  • Be a lifelong learner
    • Learning and growing are not just for students in school! Personal development is valuable for people of all ages, because knowing we don’t know everything keeps us humble and hungry to continuing growing. There are SO many resources for personal development, encouragement, and growth. These are just a few that have influenced and inspired me lately:

Resolve to Engage Your Body in Activity Each Day

Get outside! Whether it’s to walk or jog, ride your bike, do yardwork, prepare your garden, or simply to soak up some Vitamin D, being outside in the fresh air and sunshine (or even the rain!) can do wonders for a body that has been cooped up and cold all winter.

If one of your forgotten New Year’s resolutions was fitness-related, why not start again and join a weekly fitness class or local walking club?

Just as in nature everything thaws and gets flowing again, our blood needs to get pumping and waking our bodies up to new energy and life to live!

Resolve to Refresh Your Spirit Each Day

If you’re like many people, once the weather starts warming up, you feel the itch to get busy and do something, to leave the heavy blanket of winter-blahs behind and happily race into the next season, filling your schedule with all the things you couldn’t do or didn’t feel like doing throughout the winter months.

But in this transition, remember to nourish your spirit with things that will make you come alive from the inside out.

Take time to stop and breathe, to enjoy the budding trees, to watch the crocus or daffodil or tulip shoots break through the soil, to spy the first robin returned from its warmer winter home, to smell the intoxicating aroma of good ol’ spring mud mingled with the sweet smell of just-opened flowers, to hear the pattering of spring rain and the gleeful reply of the saturated earth bursting with the hope of spring and new life.

Taking time to just be present in the moment can be just what a tired spirit needs most.

Going Beyond New Year’s Resolutions

What I love about the New Year is that it is a reminder to stop and evaluate. It’s an opportunity to look back at the end of something and look forward at the beginning of something, to adjust my focus and trajectory and set my course in a better direction, to change.

Yet in life, we have this same reminder in so many places if we take advantage of it.

Each new season, the beginning of a new month, and every single day can provide a new start, a fresh perspective, a clean slate, a chance to make healthy changes in life.

Each of us are in various seasons of life, with so many different things and people vying for our time and attention.

We race through our lives creating to-do lists and filling our schedules with so many things, yes some of them good, but many of them simply time-fillers or life-draining activities.

We are dragged through busy seasons of life trying to keep up with some illusive dream of success or fulfillment that someone else has created for us. We muddle through dry, monotonous seasons waiting for something exciting or new to just happen. We struggle through painful, dark seasons wondering if life will ever be even somewhat pleasant again.

We all long for something in life to change, to make our days better or easier or happier. But, it’s so easy to miss it…the answer is you!

Resolve to change YOU each day!

None of us has the power to predict or control what is going to happen each day, but we do have the power over how we respond to what happens.

We all have the same number of hours in a day, the same opportunity to make each day something life-giving, not just for ourselves, but to others as well. What will you make of your day?

This spring, may we pause and reflect on the trajectory of our lives, and may we resolve to see ourselves as not just an autumn leaf that is brittle, dry, and blown wherever the wind takes it, but as the new shoot of a beautiful flower, strong enough to survive the bitterness of winter, break through the hardened dirt of spring, and bring beauty and sweetness to any whose path comes our way.

Source : http://redandhoney.com/spring-cleaning-resolutions/

 

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42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

Thanks Celestine Chua for writing this awesome piece on personal development. Truly inspiring to help set great resolutions for the new year. For those who are constantly seeking self-improvement, have your pick among these 42 easy tips to grow, have a better work-life balance and find happiness. By becoming a better you, you become a better partner, friend, co-worker, citizen, manager. I sincerely believe in the power of improving the self in order to improve our relationships to others and spread positive energy all around. Have a nice read !

self-improvement

Are you someone who likes to grow? Do you constantly seek to improve yourself and become better?

If you do, then we have something in common. I’m very passionate about personal growth. It was just 4 years ago when I discovered my passion for growing and helping others grow. At that time, I was 22 and in my final year of university. As I thought about the meaning of life, I realized there was nothing more meaningful than to pursue a life of development and betterment. It is through improving ourselves that we get the most out of life.

After 1.5 years of actively pursuing growth and helping others to grow through my personal development blog, I realize there is never an end to the journey of self improvement. The more I grow, the more I realize there is so much out there I don’t know, so much that I have to learn. For sure, there is always something about ourselves we can improve on. The human potential is limitless, so it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth. Whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.

As a passionate advocate of growth, I’m continuously looking for ways to self-improve. I’ve compiled 42 of my best tips which might be helpful in your personal growth journey. Some of them are simple steps which you can engage in immediately. Some are bigger steps which takes conscious effort to act on. Here they are:

  1. Read a book every day. Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to. What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself? Some books I’ve read and found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way. I’ve heard positive reviews for The Tipping Point, Outliers and The Difference Maker, so I’ll be checking them out soon.
  2. Learn a new language. As a Singaporean Chinese, my main languages are English, Mandarin and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). Out of interest, I took up language courses in the past few years such as Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian. I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.
  3. Pick up a new hobby. Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn? Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating. Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.  Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.
  4. Take up a new course. Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too. I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.
  5. Create an inspirational room. Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day. In the past, I didn’t like my room at all because I thought it was messy and dull. A few years ago, I decided this was the end of it – I started on a “Mega Room Revamp” project and overhauled my room. The end result? A room I totally relish being in and inspires me to be at my peak every day.
  6. Overcome your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears  keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth. If I have a fear about something, it represents something I’ve yet to address, and addressing it helps me to grow.
  7. Level up your skills. If you have played video games before especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of leveling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger. As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?
  8. Wake up early. Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life. I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day. Seth recently wrote a waking up early series which you should check out to help cultivate this habit.
  9. Have a weekly exercise routine. A better you starts with being in better physical shape. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time. You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons and swimming for variation.
  10. Start your life handbook. A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago. Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life. I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.
  11. Write a letter to your future self. What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different?  What kind of person will you be? Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it. Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.
  12. Get out of your comfort zone. Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow – it makes us stagnate. What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people? Shake your routine up. Do something different. By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.
  13. Put someone up to a challenge. Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first. Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.
  14. Identify your blind spots. Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement. One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day – trigger meaning making me feel annoyed/weird/affected. These represent my blind spots. It’s always fun to do the exercise because I discover new things about myself, even if I may already think I know my own blind spots (but then they wouldn’t be blind spots would they?). After that, I work on steps to address them.
  15. Ask for feedback. As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.
  16. Stay focused with to-do lists. I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive. For example, part of my to-do list for today is to write a guest post at LifeHack.Org, and this is why I’m writing this now! Since my work requires me to use my computer all the time, I use Free Sticky Notes to manage my to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware, so I recommend you check it out.
  17. Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally. What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.
  18. Acknowledge your flaws. Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them. What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?
  19. Get into action. The best way to learn and improve is to take action. What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately? Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.
  20. Learn from people who inspire you. Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too. What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?
  21. Quit a bad habit. Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking? Here’s some help on how you can quit a bad habit.
  22. Cultivate a new habit. Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books (#1), waking up early (#8), exercising (#9), reading a new personal development article a day (#40) and meditating. Is there any other new habit you can cultivate to improve yourself?
  23. Avoid negative people. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.
  24. Learn to deal with difficult people. There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts. Learn how to deal with them. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future.
  25. Learn from your friends. Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them. With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from. Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself? Speak to them if you need to – for sure, they will be more than happy to help!
  26. Start a journal. Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process. As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from a third person’s perspective, you gain more insights about yourself. Your journal can be private or an online blog. I use my personal development blog as a personal journal too and I’ve learned a lot about myself through the past year of blogging.
  27. Start a blog about personal development. To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold. I run The Personal Excellence Blog, where I share my personal journey and insights on how to live a better life. Readers look toward my articles to improve themselves, which enforces to me that I need to keep improving, for myself and for the people I’m reaching out to.
  28. Get a mentor or coach. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.
  29. Reduce the time you spend on chat programs. I realized having chat programs open at default result in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other activities. The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.
  30. Learn chess (or any strategy game). I found chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills. You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.
  31. Stop watching TV. I’ve not been watching TV for pretty much 4 years and it’s been a very liberating experience. I realized most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are usually of a lower consciousness and not very empowering. In return, the time I’ve freed up from not watching TV is now constructively used for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work I enjoy, exercising, etc.
  32. Start a 30-day challenge. Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not. 30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.
  33. Meditate. Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.
  34. Join Toastmasters (Learn public speaking). Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death. After I started public speaking as a personal development speaker/trainer, I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate better, present myself and engage people. Toastmasters is an international organization that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest to you here.
  35. Befriend top people in their fields. These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitudes, skill sets and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that? Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.
  36. Let go of the past. Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go. Holding on to them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on. Just recently, I finally moved on from a past heartbreak of 5 years ago. The effect was liberating and very empowering, and I have never been happier.
  37. Start a business venture. Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time? Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen and have a competitive edge. The process of starting and developing my personal development business has equipped me with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization and management.
  38. Show kindness to people around you. You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us. Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love. As you get back to your day after reading this article later on, start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react. Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better than yourself.
  39. Reach out to the people who hate you. If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters. It’s easy to hate the people who hate us. It’s much more challenging to love them back. Being able to forgive, let go and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart. Is there anyone who dislikes or hates you in your life? If so, reach out to them. Show them love. Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.
  40. Take a break. Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.
  41. Read at least 1 personal development article a day. Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit. There are many terrific personal development blogs out there, some of which you can check here.
  42. Commit to your personal growth. I can be writing list articles with 10 ways, 25 ways, 42 ways or even 1,000 ways to improve yourself, but if you’ve no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write. Nothing is going to get through. We are responsible for our personal growth – not anyone else. Not your mom, your dad, your friend, me or LifeHack. Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace yourself to a life-long journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them. The results may not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.

Resolving Team Conflict

team-conflict

Building Stronger Teams by Facing Your Differences

Conflict is pretty much inevitable when you work with others.

People have different viewpoints and, under the right set of circumstances, those differences escalate to conflict. How you handle that conflict determines whether it works to the team’s advantage, or contributes to its demise.

You can choose to ignore it, complain about it, blame someone for it, or try to deal with it through hints and suggestions; or you can be direct, clarify what is going on, and attempt to reach a resolution through common techniques like negotiation or compromise. It’s clear that conflict has to be dealt with, but the question is how: it has to be dealt with constructively and with a plan, otherwise it’s too easy to get pulled into the argument and create an even larger mess.

Conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Healthy and constructive conflict is a component of high-functioning teams. Conflict arises from differences between people; the same differences that often make diverse teams more effective than those made up of people with similar experience. When people with varying viewpoints, experiences, skills, and opinions are tasked with a project or challenge, the combined effort can far surpass what any group of similar individual could achieve. Team members must be open to these differences and not let them rise into full-blown disputes.

Understanding and appreciating the various viewpoints involved in conflict are key factors in its resolution. These are key skills for all team members to develop. The important thing is to maintain a healthy balance of constructive difference of opinion, and avoid negative conflict that’s destructive and disruptive.

Getting to, and maintaining, that balance requires well-developed team skills, particularly the ability to resolve conflict when it does happens, and the ability to keep it healthy and avoid conflict in the day-to-day course of team working. Let’s look at conflict resolution first, then at preventing it.

Resolving Conflict

When a team oversteps the mark of healthy difference of opinion, resolving conflict requires respect and patience. The human experience of conflict involves our emotions, perceptions, and actions; we experience it on all three levels, and we need to address all three levels to resolve it. We must replace the negative experiences with positive ones.

The three-stage process below is a form of mediation process, which helps team members to do this:

Step 1: Prepare for Resolution

  • Acknowledge the conflict – The conflict has to be acknowledged before it can be managed and resolved. The tendency is for people to ignore the first signs of conflict, perhaps as it seems trivial, or is difficult to differentiate from the normal, healthy debate that teams can thrive on. If you are concerned about the conflict in your team, discuss it with other members. Once the team recognizes the issue, it can start the process of resolution.
  • Discuss the impact – As a team, discuss the impact the conflict is having on team dynamics and performance.
  • Agree to a cooperative process – Everyone involved must agree to cooperate in to resolve the conflict. This means putting the team first, and may involve setting aside your opinion or ideas for the time being. If someone wants to win more than he or she wants to resolve the conflict, you may find yourself at a stalemate.
  • Agree to communicate – The most important thing throughout the resolution process is for everyone to keep communications open. The people involved need to talk about the issue and discuss their strong feelings. Active listening is essential here, because to move on you need to really understand where the other person is coming from.

Step 2: Understand the Situation

Once the team is ready to resolve the conflict, the next stage is to understand the situation, and each team member’s point of view. Take time to make sure that each person’s position is heard and understood. Remember that strong emotions are at work here so you have to get through the emotion and reveal the true nature of the conflict. Do the following:

  • Clarify positions – Whatever the conflict or disagreement, it’s important to clarify people’s positions. Whether there are obvious factions within the team who support a particular option, approach or idea, or each team member holds their own unique view, each position needs to be clearly identified and articulated by those involved.This step alone can go a long way to resolve the conflict, as it helps the team see the facts more objectively and with less emotion.

    Sally and Tom believe the best way to market the new product is through a TV campaign. Mary and Beth are adamant that internet advertising is the way to go; whilst Josh supports a store-lead campaign.

  • List facts, assumptions and beliefs underlying each position – What does each group or person believe? What do they value? What information are they using as a basis for these beliefs? What decision-making criteria and processes have they employed?

    Sally and Tom believe that TV advertising is best because it has worked very well in the past. They are motivated by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Mary and Beth are very tuned-in to the latest in technology and believe that to stay ahead in the market, the company has to continue to try new things. They seek challenges and find change exhilarating and motivating. Josh believes a store-lead campaign is the most cost-effective. He’s cautious, and feels this is the best way to test the market at launch, before committing the marketing spend.

  • Analyze in smaller groups – Break the team into smaller groups, separating people who are in alliance. In these smaller groups, analyze and dissect each position, and the associated facts, assumptions and beliefs.Which facts and assumptions are true? Which are the more important to the outcome? Is there additional, objective information that needs to be brought into the discussion to clarify points of uncertainly or contention? Is additional analysis or evaluation required?

    Tip:

    Consider using formal evaluation and decision-making processes where appropriate. Techniques such as Quantitative Pros and Cons , Force Field Analysis , Paired Comparison Analysis , and Cost/Benefit Analysis are among those that could help.

    If such techniques have not been used already, they may help make a much more objective decision or evaluation. Gain agreement within the team about which techniques to use, and how to go about the further analysis and evaluation.

    By considering the facts, assumptions, beliefs and decision making that lead to other people’s positions, the group will gain a better understanding of those positions. Not only can this reveal new areas of agreement, it can also reveal new ideas and solutions that make the best of each position and perspective.

    Take care to remain open, rather than criticize or judge the perceptions and assumptions of other people. Listen to all solutions and ideas presented by the various sides of the conflict. Everyone needs to feel heard and acknowledged if a workable solution is to be reached.

  • Convene back as a team – After the group dialogue, each side is likely to be much closer to reaching agreement. The process of uncovering facts and assumptions allows people to step away from their emotional attachments and see the issue more objectively. When you separate alliances, the fire of conflict can burn out quickly, and it is much easier to see the issue and facts laid bare.

Step 3: Reach Agreement

Now that all parties understand the others’ positions, the team must decide what decision or course of action to take. With the facts and assumptions considered, it’s easier to see the best of action and reach agreement .

In our example, the team agrees that TV advertising is the best approach. It has had undeniably great results in the past and there is no data to show that will change. The message of the advertising will promote the website and direct consumers there. This meets Mary and Beth’s concern about using the website for promotions: they assumed that TV advertising would disregard it.

If further analysis and evaluation is required, agree what needs to be done, by when and by whom, and so plan to reach agreement within a particular timescale. If appropriate, define which decision making and evaluation tools are to be employed.

If such additional work is required, the agreement at this stage is to the approach itself: Make sure the team is committed to work with the outcome of the proposed analysis and evaluation.

Tip:

If the team is still not able to reach agreement, you may need to use a techniques like Win-Win Negotiation , the Modified Borda Count , or Multi-Voting to find a solution that everyone is happy to move the team ahead.

When conflict is resolved take time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions everyone made toward reaching a solution. This can build team cohesion and confidence in their problem solving skills, and can help avert further conflict.

This three-step process can help solve team conflict efficiently and effectively. The basis of the approach is gaining understanding of the different perspectives and using that understanding to expand your own thoughts and beliefs about the issue.

Preventing Conflict

As well as being able to handle conflict when it arises, teams need to develop ways of preventing conflict from becoming damaging. Team members can learn skills and behavior to help this. Here are some of the key ones to work on:

  • Dealing with conflict immediately – avoid the temptation to ignore it.
  • Being open – if people have issues, they need to be expressed immediately and not allowed to fester.
  • Practicing clear communication – articulate thoughts and ideas clearly.
  • Practicing active listening – paraphrasing, clarifying, questioning.
  • Practicing identifying assumptions – asking yourself “why” on a regular basis.
  • Not letting conflict get personal – stick to facts and issues, not personalities.
  • Focusing on actionable solutions – don’t belabor what can’t be changed.
  • Encouraging different points of view – insist on honest dialogue and expressing feelings.
  • Not looking for blame – encourage ownership of the problem and solution.
  • Demonstrating respect – if the situation escalates, take a break and wait for emotions to subside.
  • Keeping team issues within the team – talking outside allows conflict to build and fester, without being dealt with directly.

Source : https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_79.htm

 

5 tips to improve your critical thinking – Samantha Agoos

Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it’s impossible to make a perfect choice every time. But there are many ways to improve our chances — and one particularly effective technique is critical thinking. Samantha Agoos describes a 5-step process that may help you with any number of problems.

 

How to Be a ‘Superboss’ (or Hire Like One)

Great podcast ! Inspiring …

http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-be-superboss-and-hire-one/?utm_campaign=HBR&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

super boss.jpg

Remembering terrible bosses is easy. I bet you can still list everything they did wrong years after having worked for them.

But what about the really good bosses? How did they manage to bring out the best in you and could you become one?

There’s actually a name for this kind of leader: the “superboss.”

“A superboss is a leader, a boss, a manager, who helps other people accomplish more than they ever thought possible,” said Sydney Finkelstein, professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the man who coined the phrase. “As a result, they accelerate the careers of those people that work for them.”

Finkelstein, author of “Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent,” spoke to Money Talking host Charlie Herman about the qualities superbosses have and why their hiring practices can make for a better workplace. Finkelstein also wrote about the subject for the Harvard Business Review, “Secrets of the Superbosses.”

Here are some ways they do it:

1. They generate a talent network. They surround themselves with good people and therefore create a better work environment. And by helping other people do well and move up in their careers, they generate a network of former employees who can help them out in the future.

2. They’re always on the lookout for talent. “Wherever they’re going, they got their opportunity antenna up.” Finkelstein said. Which also means they create jobs for people they like, even if they aren’t looking to fill a specific spot. And they’re not afraid to hire people who are smarter than them.

3. They hire outside the box. Superbosses, like chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, look for unusual people and talents despite experience. “She’d hire people who sometimes didn’t even work as a chef in the past,” Finkelstein said. “Because she thought they had that something special.”

4. They move employees around. They make employees try different positions within workplace. Finkelstein said Gene Roberts, executive editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, used to move reporters from the sports desk to the investigative department. “This is in the DNA of superbosses,” Finkelstein said. “And anyone can replicate that idea.”

5. They look to inspire. Superbosses create an team environment where everybody counts. That keeps employees motivated and engaged.

6. They focus on performance. While managers tend to be more focused on efficiency, superbosses prioritize performance and effectiveness.

7. They don’t focus on being nice or keeping thing easy. Working for a superboss isn’t for everyone. “Not everybody wants to work that hard,” Finkelstein said. “Not everybody has that type of aspiration.”

72 Stunning Things in the Future that will be Common Ten Years from Now that don’t Exist Today

future

A very interesting read. Many of these stunning things will indeed improve our lives, for some others not so sure…As we push limits of the doable further and further away, the question of ethics is to me the biggest challenge ahead. In a world increasingly dominated by technologies and virtual reality, maintaining our ‘humanity’ will be another challenge too.

Source : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/72-stunning-things-future-common-ten-years-from-now-dont-thomas-frey?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

How many things do we own, that are common today, that didn’t exist 10 years ago? The list is probably longer than you think.

Since the iPhone came out in 2007, we didn’t have smartphones with mobile apps, decent phone cameras for photos and videos, mobile maps, mobile weather, or even mobile shopping.

None of the mobile apps we use today existed 10 years ago: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber, Facetime, LinkedIn, Lyft, Whatsapp, Netflix, Pandora, or Pokemon Go.

Several major companies didn’t exist a decade ago. Airbnb, Tinder, Fitbit, Spotify, Dropbox, Quora, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Hulu, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Indigogo, Udacity, and Jet.com.

Ten years ago very few people were talking about crowdfunding, the sharing economy, social media marketing, search engine optimization, app developers, cloud storage, data mining, mobile gaming, gesture controls, chatbots, data analytics, virtual reality, 3D printers, and drone delivery.

At the same time we are seeing the decline of many of the things that were in common use 10-20 years ago. Fax machines, wired phones, taxi drivers, newspapers, desktop computers, video cameras, camera film, VCRs, DVD players, record players, typewriters, yellow pages, video rental shops, and printed maps have all seen their industry peak and are facing dwindling markets.

If we leapfrog ahead ten years and take notice of the radically different lives we will be living, we will notice how a few key technologies paved the way for massive new industries.

Here is a glimpse of a stunningly different future that will come into view over the next decade.

3D Printing

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing has already begun to enter our lives in major ways. In the future 3D printers will be even more common than paper printers are today.

  1. 3D printed makeup for women. Just insert a person’s face and the machine will be programmed to apply the exact makeup pattern requested by the user.
  2. 3D printed replacement teeth, printed inside the mouth.
  3. Swarmbot printing systems will be used to produce large buildings and physical structures, working 24/7 until they’re completed.
  4. Scan and print custom designed clothing at retail clothing stores.
  5. Scan and print custom designed shoes at specialty shoe stores.
  6. Expectant mothers will request 3D printed models of their unborn baby.
  7. Police departments will produce 3D printed “mug shots” and “shapies” generated from a person’s DNA.
  8. Trash that is sorted and cleaned and turned into material that can be 3D printed.

Virtual/Augmented Reality

The VR/AR world is set to explode around us as headsets and glasses drop in price so they’re affordable for most consumers. At the same time, game designers and “experience” producers are racing to create the first “killer apps” in this emerging industry.

  1. Theme park rides that mix physical rides with VR experiences.
  2. Live broadcasts of major league sports games (football, soccer, hockey, and more) in Virtual Reality.
  3. Full-length VR movies.
  4. Physical and psychological therapy done through VR.
  5. Physical drone racing done through VR headsets.
  6. VR speed dating sites.
  7. For education and training, we will see a growing number of modules done in both virtual and augmented reality.
  8. VR and AR tours will be commonly used in the sale of future real estate.

Flying/Driving Drones

Drones are quickly transitioning from hobbyist toys to sophisticated business tools very quickly. They will touch our lives in thousands of different ways.

  1. Fireworks dropped from drones. Our ability to “ignite and drop” fireworks from the sky will dramatically change both how they’re made and the artistry used to display them.
  2. Concert swarms that produces a spatial cacophony of sound coming from 1,000 speaker drones simultaneously.
  3. Banner-pulling drones. Old school advertising brought closer to earth.
  4. Bird frightening drones for crops like sunflowers where birds can destroy an entire field in a matter of hours.
  5. Livestock monitoring drones for tracking cows, sheep, geese, and more.
  6. Three-dimensional treasure hunts done with drones.
  7. Prankster Drones – Send random stuff to random people and video their reactions.
  8. Entertainment drones (with projectors) that fly in and perform unusual forms of live comedy and entertainment.

Driverless Cars/Transportation

Driverless technology will change transportation more significantly than the invention of the automobile itself.

  1. Queuing stations for driverless cars as a replacement for a dwindling number of parking lots.
  2. Crash-proof cars. Volvo already says their cars will be crash-proof before 2020.
  3. Driverless car hailing apps. Much like signaling Uber and Lyft, only without the drivers.
  4. Large fleet ownership of driverless cars (some companies will own millions of driverless cars).
  5. Electric cars will routinely win major races like the Daytona 500, Monaco Grand Prix, and the Indy 500.
  6. In-car work and entertainment systems to keep people busy and entertained as a driverless car takes them to their destination.
  7. In-car advertising. This will be a delicate balance between offsetting the cost of operation and being too annoying for the passengers.
  8. Electric car charging in less than 5 minutes.

Internet of Things

The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and buildings embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators designed to communicate with users as well as other devices. We are currently experiencing exponential growth in IoT devices as billions of new ones come online every year.

  1. Smart chairs, smart beds, and smart pillows that will self-adjust to minimize pressure points and optimize comfort.
  2. Sensor-laced clothing
  3. “Print and Pin” payment systems that uses a biometric mark (fingerprint) plus a pin number.
  4. Smart plates, bowls and cups to keep track of what we eat and drink.
  5. Smart trashcan that will signal for a trash truck when they’re full.
  6. Ownership networks. As we learn to track the location of everything we own, we will also track the changing value of each item to create a complete ownership network.
  7. Self-retrieving shoes where you call them by name, through your smartphone, and your shoes will come to you.
  8. Smart mailboxes that let you know when mail has arrived and how important it is.

Health Tech

Even though healthcare is a bloated and bureaucratic industry, innovative entrepreneurs are on the verge of disrupting this entire industry.

  1. Hyper-personalized precision-based pharmaceuticals produced by 3D pill printers.
  2. Ingestible data collectors, filled with sensors, to give a daily internal health scan and report.
  3. Prosthetic limbs controlled by AI.
  4. Real-time blood scanners.
  5. Peer-to-peer health insurance.
  6. Facetime-like checkups without needing a doctor’s appointment.
  7. Full-body physical health scanners offering instant AI medical diagnosis, located in most pharmacies
  8. Intraoral cameras for smartphones for DYI dental checkups.

Artificial Intelligence

Much like hot and cold running water, we will soon be able to “pipe-in” artificial intelligence to any existing digital system.

  1. Best selling biographies written by artificial intelligence.
  2. Legal documents written by artificial intelligence.
  3. AI-menu selection, based on diet, for both restaurants and at home.
  4. Full body pet scanners with instant AI medical diagnosis.
  5. AI selection of movies and television shows based on moods, ratings, and personal preferences.
  6. Much like the last item, AI music selection will be based on moods, ratings, and musical tastes.
  7. AI sleep-optimizers will control all of the environmental factors – heat, light, sound, oxygen levels, smells, positioning, vibration levels, and more.
  8. AI hackers. Sooner or later someone will figure out how to use even our best AI technology for all the wrong purposes.

Transportation

Future transportation will come in many forms ranging from locomotion on an individual level to ultra high-speed tube transportation on a far grander scale.

  1. 360-degree video transportation monitoring cameras at most intersections in major cities throughout the world.
  2. Everywhere wireless. With highflying solar powered drones, CubeSats, and Google’s Project Loon, wireless Internet connections will soon be everywhere.
  3. Black boxes for drones to record information in the event of an accident.
  4. Air-breathing hypersonic propulsion for commercial aircraft. Fast is never fast enough.
  5. Robotic follow-behind-you luggage, to make airline travel easier.
  6. Robotic dog walkers and robotic people walkers.
  7. Ultra high-speed tube transportation. As we look closely at the advances over the past couple decades, it’s easy to see that we are on the precipices of a dramatic breakthrough in ultra high-speed transportation. Businesses are demanding it. People are demanding it. And the only thing lacking is a few people capable of mustering the political will to make it happen.

Miscellaneous

As I began assembling this list, a number of items didn’t fit well in other categories.

  1. Bitcoin loans for houses, cars, business equipment and more.
  2. Self-filling water bottles with built-in atmospheric water harvesters.
  3. Reputation networks. With the proliferation of personal information on websites and in databases throughout the Internet, reputation networks will be designed to monitor, alert, and repair individual reputations.
  4. Atmospheric energy harvesters. Our atmosphere is filled with both ambient and concentrated forms of energy ranging from sunlight to lightening bolts that can be both collected and stored.
  5. Pet education centers, such as boarding schools for dogs and horses, to improve an animal’s IQ.
  6. Robotic bricklayers. With several early prototypes already operational, these will become common over the next decade.
  7. Privacy bill of rights. Privacy has become an increasingly complicated topic, but one that is foundational to our existence on planet earth.
  8. Hot new buzzword, “Megaprojects.”

Final Thoughts

There’s a phenomenon called the Peltzman Effect, named after Dr. Sam Peltzman, a renowned professor of economics from the University of Chicago Business School, who studied auto accidents.

He found that when you introduce more safety features like seat belts into cars, the number of fatalities and injuries doesn’t drop. The reason is that people compensate for it. When we have a safety net in place, people will take more risks.

That probably is true with other areas as well.

As life becomes easier, we take risks with our time. As our financial worries are met, we begin thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, inventor, or artist. When life becomes too routine, we search for ways to introduce chaos.

Even though we see reports that billions of jobs will disappear over the coming decades, we will never run out of work.

We were never meant to live cushy lives of luxury. We need risk and chaos to be part of our daily struggle. While we work hard to eliminate it, we will always find new ways to bring it back.

We’re working towards a better world ahead, but only marginally better. That’s where we do our best work.

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of Epiphany Z – 8 Radical Visions Transforming Your Future

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban

A must-see. Tim Urban is fabulously hilarious in this Ted Talk. I laughed so much.

Thanks to him, we get to better understand what goes on in our mind when we do procrastinate and struggle with time-management and deadlines !

At least, it seems that we are not alone to have that love story with Mister Procrastination and it feels good as we’re just human, full of flaws, imperfect but being aware of our shortcomings is definitely a great start to make progressive changes in our behaviour so we do not let that ‘panick monster’ appear ever again and ruin our lives.