Go to any office in America and you will probably hear about the childish behavior of some co-workers. Managers will express frustration that their direct reports are acting like children. The implication is that acting like a child is a problem because a child doesn’t play nice, doesn’t share, and has no initiative or accountability. This is an insult to children - since we can all learn a lot from our former selves.
Trust is key to any organization’s success. We all recognize its importance. We want trust in our workplace: from our co-workers, supervisors, and clients. Most people consider themselves to be great models of trust. The truth, however, is that there is a gap between that perception and reality—a gap which has proven problematic from a learning perspective.
Have you ever felt like you work in a parallel universe? Perhaps you walk into the office and immediately feel like you have stepped into a poorly scripted episode of the Twilight Zone, where there seems to be an alternate reality in which passive-aggressiveness reigns and accountability is nonexistent. If your office refrigerator is littered with handwritten signs and your company’s values are more often discussed than put into action, your company has an organizational honesty problem.
As children, people would tell us we could either view the glass as half-full or half-empty. This point of view would then define how we look at life. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Just think of that half-filled (or half-empty) beverage and you have your answer. We use these terms to then define ourselves and others in these simple terms. In 1990, however, Martin Seligman proved that optimism can be learned—by anybody at any age. Pessimists couldn’t believe it! Peter Schulman then demonstrated that optimists sold 35% more than pessimists. Optimism suddenly became a trait worth hiring for in sales.
If Peter Drucker is the father of modern business then Dale Carnegie is its savvy uncle. The one who seems to have loads of insight and income, though you’re not exactly sure where either came from. His book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has taught generations of salespeople how to be more likable, persuasive, and effective. At the very core of Uncle Dale’s method is relationship-building—in order to be successful, you need to be honest, engaged, and generally enjoyable to be around.
Why is everyone talking about this mindfulness thing these days?
Everyone likes a good change model, especially me. I’ve been guilty of buying into the fallacy that change models perpetuate: it will all be okay. That’s what change models do: they address our emotional need for certainty or security. The models tell us (and we believe) that if we just follow the pattern – from beginning to middle to end – we’ll happily reach the finish line. But, that’s not how the world works.