Become a More Productive Learner [HBR]

Self Management | Lifelong Learning | Information

by Matt Plummer and Jo Wilson | June 05, 2018

 

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Bhandharangsri/Getty Images

Today we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, an incredible amount that’s equivalent to a 174 newspapers…a day. That probably includes a lot of Instagram posts, but it’s not only social media. The corporate e-learning space has grown by nine times over the last 16 years, such that almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees, making more information accessible to them than ever before.

One would think that this would translate into increased knowledge. Yet, unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. Scores of average American adults on tests of general civic knowledge — the type of information you’d assume people would pick up from scanning through all this information — has remained almost constant for the last 80 years. On the corporate side, working professionals apply only about 15% of what they learn in many corporate training and development programs in many cases.

We’re consuming more information but not learning more. In short, we have become less productive learners. Read more…

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Want to discover (or re-discover) your sense of purpose at work? Here’s how

Career Advice | Life hack | Mentoring

June 1, 2018 | Leah Weiss

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Carilyn Figel

For us to make the greatest impact at our jobs — and also feel the greatest satisfaction — we need to tap into work’s deeper meaning, says Leah Weiss, a compassion expert and researcher.

For humans, purpose can be a matter of life and death. As Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Purpose is something we do or something we create — not something we buy, inherit or achieve. Purpose could be any direction in which we’re heading with some degree of intention. It’s a far-reaching, steady goal, something personally meaningful and self-transcending that, ideally, shows up in our lives every day. Read more…

People who consider their work to be a calling tend to be more satisfied than those who think of their work as “just” a job.

How to Gain Power at Work When You Have None |WSJ

Workplace  | Career advice

Networking across your company, cultivating charisma and developing expertise in an emerging area are keys to success—and can be learned

By Sue Shellenbarger

March 6, 2018

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Illustration: Robert Neubecker

Many young employees are frustrated when their first jobs land them in powerless positions at the bottom of the organization chart after years of leadership roles in school, leading some to jump ship far sooner than employers would like.

How do you gain power when you have none?

More employers are opening new paths to leadership by encouraging employees to develop spheres of influence that have nothing to do with the org chart.

Such informal power is increasingly important—and valued—in today’s flatter organizations, where more jobs confer responsibility for teammates’ performance without the authority to give orders or dish out rewards or punishment, says corporate trainer Dana Brownlee, of Atlanta. Read more…

 

5 Secrets to Mastering Conflict

Communication | Office politics | Conflict Management

by Travis Bradberry | April 29, 2015

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Getty

Between the two of us, we’ve spent 50 years studying what makes people successful at work. A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success.

How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect, and connection you have with your colleagues.

Conflict typically boils down to crucial conversations—moments when the stakes are high, emotions run strong and op­­­­­­­inions differ. And you cannot master crucial conversations without a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).

With a mastery of conflict being so critical to your success, it’s no wonder that, among the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested, more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.

So how can you use emotional intelligence to master crucial conversations? There are five common mistakes you must avoid, and five alternative strategies you can follow that will take you down the right path.

Mistake #1: Being Brutally Honest

Read more…

BLL 13: Career advice from Ellen Mehling of Library Career People, and the joys of leadership burnout | Podcast

Leadership | Library Management | Mentoring | Career advice

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Welcome back to Better Library Leaders! It’s been a long gap, partially because of the holidays, but also because I have been working hard on a course I’m teaching this month on Collaborative leadership for Library Juice academy. We had a large class sign up to work together to design collaborative project plans that they can take back to their own workplaces. Don’t tell, but I’m learning as much from them as they are from me. Our interview this episode, after fighting through a few technical hiccups, is with Ellen Mehling of Library Career People, my absolute favorite resource for folks considering a career in libraries, searching for that elusive first job, or preparing to make the jump to a leadership position. And in our spotlight segment, we’re going to talk about burnout as a leader. Because that’s been part of the reason for this gap too. But first, here’s my conversation with Ellen Mehling! (Please click this link: //html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5082640/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/)

 

Why We Should Be Leading ‘Persons’

Leadership | Workplace | Motivation

by Larry Bonfante | September 21, 2017

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A number of years ago, I was interviewed by a major trade journal and was asked about my leadership style. One question the interviewer specifically asked me was, “How do you lead people?”

I answered him in a grammatically incorrect way (I’m having flashbacks to the nuns smacking my knuckles with a ruler!). I stated emphatically that I don’t lead people, I lead persons!

While this may be grammatically incorrect, I feel strongly that it makes a critically important point. You see, each of us is wired differently. Each person is a unique combination of talents, competencies, attitudes, preferences, etc. What matters deeply to me may not mean a hill of beans to you. What motivates you may be of no consequence to me.

Leading persons is about understanding what makes them tick as individuals and then tailoring a personalized value proposition that resonates with each of them. Read more…

 

How nice people can master conflict | LinkedIn

Workplace | Communication | Career advice

by Travis Bradberry | LinkedIn Influencer | 03-20-16

When you’re a nice person, conflict can be a real challenge. Not that mean people are any better at conflict; they just enjoy it more.

New research from Columbia University shows that how you handle conflict can make or break your career. The researchers measured something scientifically that many of us have seen firsthand—people who are too aggressive in conflict situations harm their performance by upsetting and alienating their peers, while people who are too passive at handling conflict hinder their ability to reach their goals.

The secret to effective handling of conflict is assertiveness—that delicate place where you get your needs met without bullying the other person into submission. Assertive people strike a careful balance between passivity and aggression (that is, they never lean too far in either direction).

Read more…