Start Capturing the Benefits of Team Negativity

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Angry DavidOutspoken and aggressive, David Weiss, a web developer at General Engines, has always voiced strong opinions about the look and feel of the company’s website. When his manager, Nancy Colletto informs his team that she cannot approve their urgently needed budget request, David loses his cool. Turning red in the face, he shouts, “This company doesn’t give a damn about the customers who visit our website. They’ll take ...

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Beginners Mind: A Source of Innovation

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Beginners Mind and InnovationSome people approach each situation with a beginner’s mind, which is an attitude of openness and lack of preconceptions, even when they’re a highly accomplished professional. These people are more innovative than others, and you can facilitate this attitude in a team.

A great example of this comes from a team I work with that writes software to run the operations of a trucking company, which I’ll ...

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An Easier Way to Boost Employee Engagement

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Boost employee engagement thru team emotionsWhat if employees that we call “disengaged” are really just stressed, burned out, or simply bored with the routine. Then the remedies would be entirely different than the ones we’re trying.

What we commonly diagnose as an employee’s lack of engagement may really be due to primal emotional issues, which are best remedied at their source. Stress, ...

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How Much Team Diversity is Optimal for Innovation?

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DiversityI used to think that the purpose of creating diversity on a team was simply to give people of various races and orientations equal opportunities. When I create a team, my main concern is achieving the business goal, not being a do-gooder in society, so I never cared too much about intentionally creating diversity on a team. That was before I understood that diversity is a key requirement for ...

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Combat Negativity by Bringing the Positive to Life

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Enliven the PositiveDoes it seem like some people choose to be negative? In many ways it’s our basic nature, but it has damaging consequences to our creative and cognitive performance. Here’s a remedy for shifting a team’s emotions from negative to positive, but it requires understanding a bit about our conscious minds.

Understand Conscious Awareness

Our conscious minds are attracted to the emotional. Our cognitive and emotional systems constantly process a ...

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Enhance Creativity by Taking a Break

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Take a BreakIf you’re engaged in creative problem solving, you’re more likely to be successful when you have some downtime in which your brain is focused on something else. So allow for breaks, but understand that not all breaks are created equal. Here are three tips for taking effective breaks when you’re engaged in solving problems that require creativity.

1: Get the Timing Right – Creative problem solving requires insight, ...

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Why are Creative Solutions Sparked by Positive Emotions? – A Hypothesis

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Heart Rhythms - SquareCreative thinking is a bit like playing with Legos. Our brain reaches out and pulls in disparate pieces and creates relationships that form something new. These pieces aren’t usually in our conscious mind, but rather are pulled from different parts of our memory, our subconscious mind, and even our intuition. They come together and enter our conscious mind, ...

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Our Brains are Wired for Emotional Bias in Decision Making

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DecisionDo you think you make business decisions based on logic? If you’re like most people, you make decisions based on emotion and then find the facts to substantiate them. Even if you use the most sophisticated data analytics, your bias influences the hypotheses you pursue, the alternatives you consider, and the decisions you make.

A study by Antoine Bechara, Hannah Damasio, and Antonio Damasio shows that we all make decisions ...

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Build Trust by Owning up to Your Emotions

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TrustworthyWe often think we can get away with denying how we’re feeling. How often do we pretend we’re doing fine when things aren’t running smoothly? But no matter how good your poker face is, other people can detect your emotional state simply by consciously becoming attuned to it. So don’t deny what you’re feeling. If your words and actions aren’t congruent with your emotions, you’ll be perceived as ...

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Happy Workplaces? Really?

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Happy WorkplaceIs it really possible to create workplace conditions that lead to employee happiness? Each person’s happiness is triggered based on unique conditioning, the person’s distinctive experiences and beliefs, so there’s rarely a single set of environmental factors that lead to happiness across a group. Positive emotions are vital for peak performance, but the best way to engender them is by influencing primal emotions and helping employees self-manage emotions.

Happiness ...

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