Chastised for expressing emotion and raising their voices

November 12, 2018

By  via marketwatch.com  Article

Chastised for expressing emotion and raising their voices at work, many women empathize with Serena Williams

“Studies say women are less likely than men to be tapped for leadership roles when they speak up

‘Women are judged for being emotional,” says Dudley, author of ‘Work It! Get In, Get Noticed, Get Promoted.’ ‘We’re considered to be difficult when we get angry, whereas men are perceived as being tough and powerful. I’m going to be labeled as a ball-buster and men are going to be labeled as take charge. This is exactly what happened to Serena Williams at the U.S. Open on Saturday. I’m not saying she should have done what she did, but it’s an emotional game. At the same time, a double standard was applied. Had she been a male, it wouldn’t have been the same.’

At the U.S. Women’s Open final, Williams, 36, got into a heated discussion with the umpire Carlos Ramos after he penalized her for receiving hand signals from her coach. She denied that her coach was giving her such signals. She later smashed her racket on the court, incurring another penalty and, after calling Ramos a ‘thief’ for docking her a point, he gave her a third code violation, costing her a game and a $17,000 fine. She ultimately lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, 20, 6-2, 6-4. (The U.S. Tennis Association and World Tennis Association have both said there’s a higher tolerance of such behavior by men in the game.)

… Research shows that men who get angry at work are perceived as strong and decisive, while women are more likely to be regarded as hysterical and, as such, may show more restraint than their male colleagues. ‘Both men and women are held to norms of appropriate emotional expression in the workplace, but emotional expressions by women tend to come under greater scrutiny than those by men,’ according to a 2016 paper, ‘Constrained by Emotion: Women, Leadership, and Expressing Emotion in the Workplace.’

Women incur social and economic penalties for expressing stereotypical ‘masculine’ emotions because it threatens society’s patriarchal barriers against the ‘dominance of women,’ the researchers — Jacqueline Smith, Victoria Brescoll and Erin Thomas — wrote in the paper, published in the ‘Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women.’ At the same time, when women express stereotypical ‘female’ emotions, ‘they are judged as lacking emotional control, which ultimately undermines women’s competence and professional legitimacy,’ the researchers noted.

In fact, women employed in male-dominated workplaces are more likely to say their gender has made it harder to be heard at work and they report gender discrimination at higher rates, a survey released in March by the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., concluded. When women express emotion at work, they’re often regarded as weak, says Colleen Huber director of e-learning design and development at Seattle-based MediaPro, which focuses on cybersecurity and data privacy threats. And how are men perceived? ‘They’re showing passion.'”

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A really big deal

November 12, 2018

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me  Article

Words Are a Really Big Deal

“When was the last time you thought about the words you use every day? How carefully do you select them? Do you consciously choose terms or phrases that serve you well? Do you even think about the impression your words make on the people you speak them to?

Why all these questions about simple words? Because your words do have incredible power, they can build you up, destroy opportunity or maintain the status quo. Your words reinforce your beliefs, and your beliefs create your reality.

And it’s not only about you. Your words can affect how other people see themselves, they can brighten someone’s day or send them into a cave of despair.

In his book, Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins devotes an entire chapter to explaining the way your choice of words affects your emotions, your beliefs and your effectiveness in life. In one section, he examines how certain words impact your emotional intensity. Let’s say for example that a someone has lied to you. You could react by saying that you’re angry or upset. However, if you used words like furious, livid or enraged, your emotions and behavior would likely be very different. Simply saying you’re angry instead of furious has a big impact on your emotional intensity. It also likely changes the intensity of the other person too.

You control the words you use but only if you make a conscious decision to do so. That’s sometimes an issue for me because I find it hard to always stop for a split second to consider my choice of words. I don’t think I’m alone in having that issue.

Remember, it’s up to you to speak in a way that will move you closer to being the person you want to be. It’s up to you to think, even if it is only for that split second, about the words you’re about to speak and the affect they will have on the people you’re speaking with. Speak as if every word you say matters because in many cases every word you speak does matter.

No one will ever be 100% successful in always choosing exactly the right word at just the right time. That’s no excuse not to try and the more effort you put into it the better off you, and everyone you speak with, will be.”


Investing wisdom

November 12, 2018

Via motleyfool.com  Article

3 Pieces of Investing Wisdom from Benjamin Graham

“Even if you’re new to investing, you’ve likely heard of Warren Buffett and his long, successful track record in the market. What many don’t realize, however, is Buffett learned many of his important lessons from mentor Benjamin Graham, the author of The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis, and who is widely considered the father of value investing.

Here are a few of Graham’s words that can help everyone invest better.

  1. ‘The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.’ This quote from The Intelligent Investor is one of the most powerful messages investors can learn. Many investors underperform because they buy when stocks go up only to panic when prices are low after a market correction or crash. Graham advises investors to sell into the greed when prices are high, and to take advantage of panic by buying when prices are low.
  2. ‘Thousands of people have tried, and the evidence is clear: The more you trade, the less you keep.’ Over the past 30 years, the S&P 500 has generated annualized total returns (including dividends) of approximately 10.2% per year. Yet, the average equity mutual fund investor has only managed about 4%. While fees play a part, the real reason for poor performance is overtrading. The average investor moves in and out of investors far too often — typically with poor timing. (See item No. 1.) The main point here: Buy-and-hold investing is the way to go.
  3. ‘On the other hand, investing is a unique kind of casino — one where you cannot lose in the end, so long as you play only by the rules that put the odds squarely in your favor.’ This sums up why Graham was such an outspoken supporter of buy-and-hold investing instead of short-term trading or speculating. The market has a big upward bias over long periods of time. Economic and political conditions can result in large short-term swings, over time the market goes in one direction: up. Think about it, inflation will cause the price of goods and services to rise over time, allowing companies to charge more for their products (resulting in higher revenue). Companies then reinvest their profits into the business, buy back stock, and increasing the intrinsic value of its shares. By investing in a diverse basket of high-quality stocks, you can put the long-term odds well in your favor.”

You are a salesperson

November 12, 2018

By Mary Jo Asmus via aspire-cs.com  Article

You are in sales even if you aren’t a salesperson

“You are a leader. But are you a salesperson too? Indeed, even if your job description doesn’t include a direct reference to sales, part of your job is to sell something to others in your organization. Most of you might balk at that and decry the fact that you haven’t been trained in sales techniques, but think a minute: you are always selling something.

Consider these selling scenarios as examples:

  • You have realized you need to make a change to a major process in your organization
  • You want to hire a top-notch individual who has several offers to choose from
  • You deeply desire a promotion, so you need to convince your manager that you are deserving
  • You need to show your brand new manager what you are made of
  • You want the cooperation of a difficult peer to be successful in a high-profile initiative
  • You will be advocating for salary increases for your employees

These are only a few of the almost daily situations that require you to sell something to one or many people.

The point is that the process to get to the sale is very similar to what you need to be able to do every day as a leader. You need to create strong, trusting and ongoing relationships to ‘sell’ to others. There is scientific evidence that the best salespeople embrace that principle. You should too.

Notice that this is about ‘ongoing relationships’. This means that you need to get to know those people who will help you and your organization over time. Stop avoiding those individuals that you find annoying or devious, and open up to them before you actually need them. Get to know them as human beings as well as employees, taking the time to ask them questions that will help you to learn about them. Open up and let them get to know you too.

Getting to know people so they will help you requires you to pitch in and help them when they need it. When it comes to your manager, that’s a given. But what about your employees, peers, contractors or clients? Have you thought about what they might need from you? Start now, and find a way to collaborate or compromise to give it to them. Because if you don’t, when it’s your turn to ask to sell them something chances are that they won’t be as willing.”


The benefits of listening more

November 5, 2018

By Mary Jo Asmus via aspire-cs.com  Article

“I was young and relatively new to the professional work world, with an abundance of motivation and drive. The executive I was reporting to inherited me and the work I was doing in a reorganization.

When I would meet with him, he didn’t ask about me or my work, what I wanted or what I thought about things. When he spoke he expressed his opinions and ideas. When I spoke, he let distractions take over his attention and rarely made eye contact with me. Feeling unneeded (and more than a little disrespected), I left that position for something else. It was a hard decision, but I realized it was his loss. If he had listened more, perhaps he would have found something of value in me and the work I did.

Many leaders have a role that they identify with – manager, boss, executive, team leader – whatever it is. Behind the veil of that role they make an assumption that they need to be the expert and ‘all knowing’. This can result in a leader tuning out the very people who can help them and their organizations to be successful. While there is a time and place for a leader’s knowledge and expertise,leadership success also requires the humble act of listening more than you are now.

I often hear that listening implies agreement, or that if a leader listens too much they can be seen as passive or weak. I would counter that there are great benefits in listening more. Consider these benefits of better listening:

It builds bonds. Although talking is one way to build bonds, I find that listening- the deep kind that you rarely do – is even better at that. People who are truly listened to feel heard and respected. When they feel heard and respected, they are willing to do what it takes to support the work of the organization.

They’ll feel valued. It might be hard to find a time in your life when you felt really listened to. But if you can recall such an event, you’ll remember that you felt “special” – and valued. Feeling valued builds self-confidence and self-reliance, freeing you up to step away from the day to day work to do the important work of leading people.

You’ll learn important things. When your mouth isn’t getting its usual workout and you are listening well, you’ll learn a lot about others and maybe a little how you can help others develop and better ways to get the work done.

Better decisions will be made. The decisions that you make will be enhanced by what you learn when you listen to others more. They’ll get even better when you request others input and then listen and withhold your judgment of what you hear.

You become approachable. Being approachable might sound trite, but if people are avoiding you now, wait until you listen to them! You’ll get all the information you need to be able to be at your best as a leader.

Listening doesn’t imply agreement, and it’s a strength that all leaders need to cultivate. All kinds of good things will come your way when you listen more!”


The buck stops here

November 5, 2018

By Chris MacDonald via businessethicsblog.com  Article

The buck stops here: why leadership requires taking responsibility

“The idea that leaders bear ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of their organizations is an old one. Maritime tradition has long held that ‘the captain goes down with the ship.’ And US Harry President Truman’s desk was famously adorned with a plaque that read, ‘The buck stops here!’ Leaders historically have accepted, at least in theory, that they bear responsibility for both the good and the bad.

It’s worth pointing out that the responsibility at stake here is not direct causal responsibility. Sometimes leaders make disastrous decisions, but responsibility goes well beyond such cases. The reason the captain goes down with the ship (or, more precisely, is expected to be last off) is not that the boat’s sinking was necessarily her fault. And the fact that Truman eschewed passing the buck didn’t imply that he thought everything that happened in a very large federal government was literally his fault: he was saying that morally he accepted responsibility, which meant that accepting responsibility was his job.

Ships and governments aside, accepting responsibility is something we expect in a business leader, too. Unfortunately it’s alarmingly common to see CEOs fail to accept responsibility for their companies’ financial ups and downs, let alone for any moral failings.

But then, in a complex organization, why should a leader accept responsibility? …

A number of distinct features of most leadership positions (and certainly all corporate leadership positions) are worth singling out:

1. The power to choose your team: Corporate leaders have ultimate (direct or indirect) control over who is hired, and who is fired. If someone screwed up, it’s because you either hired them, or you hired the person who hired them. So, you’re responsible.

2. The power to put policies in place: Corporate leaders are responsible for seeing that the right policies are being put in place. If things went badly because people followed bad policies, it’s your fault. If things went badly because people didn’t follow policy, that’s your fault too (see #1 just above).

3. The power to shape culture: Culture is the tool that allows leaders to shape behaviour in ways that have impact even when they’re not personally around. This starts with tone at the top, but includes everything from how compensation schemes are structured to the behaviours that get celebrated and the stories that get told and retold.

When leaders have these powers, it makes sense not just for them to have formal responsibility, but for them to be seen as having a level of control that implies sufficient causal responsibility to underpin ultimate moral responsibility. Of course, where leaders (at any level) lack one or more of these tools, it is harder to make sense of holding them accountable.”


Someone who annoys you

November 5, 2018

By Rebecca Knight via hbr.org  Article

How To Develop Empathy For Someone Who Annoys You

“‘We’ve all encountered someone in the workplace who irritates us,’ says Annie McKee, the author of How to Be Happy at Work and a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘It may have to do with this person’s communication style, or maybe he engages in behaviors that you find rude — he’s always late to meetings, say.’ But at a time when work is more and more team-oriented and projects often require intense collaboration, ‘you have to find a way to connect and build a bridge’ with even the most irritating people. Cultivating compassion for these kinds of colleagues, however trying they may be, is a good place to start, according to Rich Fernandez, the CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. ‘Using empathy, you can maintain a balanced and well-calibrated approach to working with difficult people,’ he says. Here are some pointers.

Reflect
For starters, keep in mind that your colleague isn’t getting under your skin on purpose. It’s more likely that ‘they are reacting to things going on in their lives,’ Fernandez says. ‘You need to depersonalize the situation,’ he says. And look inward, McKee adds. ‘When someone is driving you crazy, it helps to ask yourself, What’s causing me to react this way?’ Your frustration ‘might not be about that person at all; it might be about you,’ she says. Perhaps your colleague ‘reminds you of someone else you don’t like.’ …

Stay calm
Next, ‘lean in to your emotional self-control and willpower,’ McKee says. When your colleague shows up late, interrupts you, or is just being all-around obnoxious, you may feel a physiological reaction. ‘Recognize the clues that you’re getting triggered,’ she says. ‘Maybe your breath quickens, or your palms start to sweat, or your temperature rises.’ Giving in to these symptoms risks ‘amygdala hijack,’ where you lose access to the rational, thinking part of your brain. Instead, take a few deep breaths to ‘help you regulate your stress hormones and make it less likely that you’ll engage in behavior that you won’t be proud of later,’ she says. Keeping your ‘demeanor calm and open’ puts you in a better frame of mind to conjure empathy for your colleague, Fernandez adds. ‘You’re not caving, and you’re not shutting down”; rather you’re staying cool and collected and “maintaining awareness of the situation.’ …

Focus on your similarities
Using both cognitive and emotional empathy, you must also try to ‘get to know the person’ and deepen your ‘understanding of their perspective,’ McKee says. Rather than ‘focusing on your differences, look for the similarities’ you share. ‘Start small,’ she advises. Perhaps you and your colleague have children the same age. Maybe your colleague lives in a neighborhood or town that you know intimately. Use those connections to strike up a conversation. If all else fails, ‘riff off an exchange you both seemed to find interesting in your last team meeting.’ Work often provides a neutral ‘common ground’ for conversation, Fernandez says. Presumably both of you share a similar goal: ‘You want the organization to be successful.'”