Valentines at work

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Hey, Valentines. We were talking about meetings on this blog but, this week, we’ll make the workplace kinder. Let’s spread some “Valentines” at work. Random acts of kindness Random acts of kindness are the easiest way to develop a more positive culture at work. You can do them anonymously – and on the go. It fits any culture type. But …

Positive Energizers

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Individually, you can influence people to be more positive. When you do this in a conscious effort with a group, not only can you influence more others but you can also support each other. We all have doubts, or lack courage every now and then. A team can help you persist. Energizers So who are the others that can help …

Positive feedback!

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Feedback can be positive as well, of course. Why not train yourself to give and receive positive feedback? It is a quick and easy way to contribute to a positive work climate and be a positive agent. That is if you are congruent and authentic. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. It may be easy to forget giving compliments …

Do you take it personally?

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Did you ever receive clumsy feedback on the identity level that made you feel hurt, scared and worthless? Most of us did… The distinction between the levels of being and doing might help to receive feedback gracefully. If you imagine two circles, the inner circle is your being. It is not directly visible on the outside, but it is inside …

How do you respond to gossip?

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How do you feel when someone gossips or complains about someone else? It depends, of course. It can be great to agree because it creates a feeling of bonding. “The two of us agree and it’s us against that person or that issue”. It can be such a relief to vent. But it may not be what you’d like to …

Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

The art of asking

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Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …

Silence, Violence or Flow?

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What kind of interactions are taking place around you? A helpful discernment is whether there is silence, violence, or a natural flow in a conversation – as described in Patterson’s a.o. book Crucial Conversations. In crucial conversations there is a lot at stake and we often hold things inside by going silent until we can take it no longer—and then …

Do others still bother you?

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You, too, are probably mistreated in one way or another. You might be overlooked, blamed, discriminated against, criticized in one context or another. But you still have the choice to see the other as a whole person. That is what great people did: they did not become bitter by their unjust treatment and saw others only as demons or caricatures. …

Do you engage in drama?

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A well-known example of Ego-interaction is the “drama triangle”, described by psychologist Stephen Karpman. One of your self-justifying narratives could be the prosecutor, the victim, or the rescuer. The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” He feels oppressed, helpless, hopeless, ashamed, and can’t make decisions, solve problems, etc. The Victim always finds a Persecutor and a Rescuer – who both perpetuate …

How do I relate to others?

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How do you relate to others? When you look at situations the blind spot is yourself. As you are the source of attention, looking outward, it is not easy to “turn back the camera” and see yourself as part of the situation. Here lies an explanation for self-deception. You may conclude: the others are the problem, not you. Self-deception is …

Do you recognize these five fears?

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Brené Brown’s research showed that we have a shame-prone culture. Shame is the fear of not being worthy of belonging. Many suffer from shame – the fear of not being good enough. Shame also leads to blaming others as a way out of feeling this awful emotion. The remedy is to become shame-resilient and especially leaders should “dare greatly” and …