Life Happens on the Edges of our Responsibilities

We’re all busy, except when we’re not. In these modern lives, we will drive ourselves nearly senseless trying to balance pretty much everything that we choose to care about: Family dynamics, work deliverables, personal bucket lists all fit here. Within this melee of busyness, we sleep. So, we find that increasingly, we are either going or we are sleeping. Does it have to be that way? Is there a limbo where we can be going just a little bit, or enjoy more of the “chill moments” of life right before sleep? I won’t tell you that these times exist, but I will make some suggestions on ways to answer the question for yourself.

Some People’s Kids

Children. Progeny. Kidlets. Time vampires. That’s right, regardless of Facebook’s continual posts to the contrary, not everyone is super psyched to lock into their children’s every breath each day. It’s doesn’t mean you love them any less either, but there’s a way to enjoy parenthood without deferring everything else.

A) Talk to your kids sometimes like you’re talking to anyone else. Just take a normal tone with them that’s not coddling, condescending or conceding. This creates a little less of an environment where you’re “parenting” and more of one where you’re simply getting things done for the day.

B) Give a kid some credit here. Rewards and feedback in the workplace are pretty similar in nature to how we should treat our smaller ones. Think about throwing the classic break-room-ice-cream-social for when your kids achieve a breakthrough or long-term effort. Not as huge as a birthday party, better than a pat on the back.

C) Focus group, except with stuffed animals. Get a little insight into the cognitive essence of your next generation by taking an hour to have them answer questions posed by someone else while you watch. We all know they act differently around others than they do their parents. Then, act on the info you were gifted [...]

You and Your EQ

Daniel Goleman popularized emotional intelligence in his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”, which was released in 1995. Fast forward almost two decades and we’re still discussing the core principles of emotional intelligence “EI” or “EQ” (as opposed to IQ) as the competences that matter most in having a successful career and life.

However, discussion is cheap. Development is priceless. I’m here to talk about what we can do to become more skillful at work and home using EQ, the overall framework. But first, let’s define what the heck we mean by emotional intelligence. The fine folks at testing service MHS define EQ as:

“A set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.”

That’s good, but a bit verbose. Here’s how I’d sum that up – “EQ is your ability to see and manage emotions skillfully.” While cognitive intelligence is important for a baseline of functioning to understand and convey information, being skilled at managing emotions is what leads to a more fulfilling career and life.

Your EQ ability is THE differentiator between simply getting by and thriving in relationships. The foundation of this perspective is rooted in neuroscience. Today we have boat loads of studies of the human brain that prove how impactful our emotions are in our decision-making, relationships and overall happiness. The good news is that you can develop your emotional intelligence. In other words, unlike IQ your EQ is not fixed AND emotions are contagious, you can impact others with your adeptness or ineptness in managing the emotional roller coaster we call life [...]

What is “Learning Agility” and Why Should You Care?

What is Learning Agility? Is it the use of agile software development? Is it an improvable skill for finishing role-playing games? Is it what you do in yoga? The answer is, “None of the above!”

Learning Agility has been found helpful in predicting high potential future performance for over two decades. However, there is a lack of consensus on how to define and measure it. Although it has been embraced as a way to identify high performance potential at work, the scientific community remains divided. Companies find Learning Agility to be useful in taking their leaders to the next stage of development and to increase profit. As Human Resource, Talent Management and Organizational Development professionals, as well as human beings, it is important to know, “What is Learning Agility?”

One way to define Learning Agility is, “The ability and willingness to learn from experience, and subsequently apply that learning.” It is this application of learning which differentiates those who have high potential from those who do not. Using this definition of Learning Agility includes a five factor multi-dimensional construct with several sub-factors (or dimensions). This description of the five main factors is adapted from Korn/Ferry International:

1. Mental – The ability to think critically and be very comfortable with complexity.
2. People – A skilled communicator and adept at perspective taking.
3. Results – Achievement oriented and builder of productive teams.
4. Change – Comfortable with change and seeks continuous improvement.
5. Self-Awareness – Knows strengths and weaknesses; actively seeks blind spot information.