Friday, 17 October 2014
What happens when you pay monkeys unequally? Lets watch this amazing experiment on Capuchin monkeys and fairness.
First the monkey on the left gets a piece of cucumber after giving the trainer a rock. Then the monkey on the right does the exact same ting. Gives the trainer a rock, but is rewarded with a grape. The monkey on the right sees this and also wants a grape. It does the task, but receives only a piece of cucumber. Clear frustration can be observed. It rattles the cage and slams its hand on the table.
Then it performs the task again, but first checks the rock by banging it on the wall. Is it a good rock? It decides that it is, but still receives only a cucumber. The reaction is the same and this shows that monkeys have the ability to understand fairness.
Apply this in your organization/team. Ever wonder why there is no teamwork there?
Thursday, 16 October 2014
People want their contributions to be acknowledged. Financial compensation alone cannot satisfy that requirement. But fairly assigning credit is difficult in collaborative environments where several people come up with new ideas together.
If you want to eliminate resentment over recognition, you need to give credit the right way. Tie individual recognition to the overall success of the group. This reduces tension over who did what and reinforces teamwork.
Recognize results instead of activities. Align your reward systems with the outcomes you want, not metrics like length of service or attendance that may not have a direct bearing on those outcomes.
And embrace risk-taking by recognizing team efforts even if something fails. This will encourage people to learn and improve.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
1. Begin with your posture--back straight but not rigid, and shoulders relaxed so you don't look too uptight.
2. Align your body with the person you're talking to--this shows you're engaged.
3. Keep your legs apart a bit instead of crossed--this demonstrates that you're relaxed, and research shows that you retain more information when you keep your legs uncrossed.
4. Lean in a bit--this shows focus and that you really are listening.
5. Mirror the body language you are observing, showing you are in agreement and that you like--or are sincerely trying to like--the person you are with.
Positive arms and hands
6. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides, showing you are open to what someone else is communicating, and as with your legs, keep your arms uncrossed in order to absorb more of what's going on.
7. Use your hands to gesture when you speak--this improves your credibility with the listener. In addition, there is evidence that gesturing with your hands while speaking improves your thinking processes.
8. Always remember to greet others with a firm handshake--but not too firm. A firm handshake is probably one of the most important body language moves, because it sets the tone for the entire conversation. Who wants to shake hands and then have a conversation with a wet noodle?
9. Be aware of different cultural greetings and closures prior to your meeting.
10. With appropriate nods and genuine smiles, you are showing the speaker that you understand, agree, and are listening to his or her opinions.
11. Laughter is always a great way to lighten the mood when used appropriately, and once again, it shows you're listening.
12. Keep good eye contact by looking the person in the eye when he or she is communicating. Keep eye contact going when you speak, because this shows you are interested in the conversation. Watch your eye contact, though--if you don't take breaks to contemplate your next answer, your eye contact could be viewed as staring (translation: aggressive or creepy).
13. Beware of blinking too much. Rapid blinking could communicate that you are feeling uncomfortable with the current conversation.
14. Mirror the other person's facial expressions, because once again, this demonstrates that you are in agreement and like--or are making an effort to like--the other person.
15. Monitor your voice. Keep it low, and don't end every sentence as if it's a question. Take a deep breath and speak slowly and clearly.
The little extras
16. During your meeting, take notes. This will demonstrate that you are engaged and care about what the other person is saying, but remember to make eye contact regularly so the speaker knows you're still with him or her.
17. Watch the body language of others, as they may be communicating to you through their body language that they would like to conclude the meeting. People are much more likely to engage you in future conversations if you observe and act on their body language cues.
18. End the meeting with a firm handshake and eye contact, showing you enjoyed your time and hope to meet again.
Monday, 13 October 2014
It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines through tears.
It is easy enough to be prudent,
When nothing tempts you to stray,
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it's only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor of earth
Is the one that resists desire.
By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world's highway is cumbered to-day;
They make up the sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage on earth
For we find them but once in a while.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox