By Zaria Gorvett
The Power of One Hour
There’s a scene in the classic sitcom The Office, where David Brent – the ultimate cringe boss, with zero self-awareness – is doing some motivational speaking. “Laughter is the best medicine,” he says, explaining to his staff that it reduces stress and that he likes to do it several times during the working day. He demonstrates the technique by bursting into a solo manic cackle; though it only lasts about 30 seconds, it seems to go on forever. The whole room stares back in lethal silence.
It turns out that, for once, Brent may have been onto something. He was inadvertently describing what experts call a “microbreak” – any brief activity that helps to break up the monotony of physically or mentally draining tasks. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and involve anything from making a cup of tea to stretching or watching a music video.
Though the breaks are tiny, they can have a disproportionately powerful impact – studies have shown that they can improve workers’ ability to concentrate, change the way they see their jobs, and even help them avoid the typical injuries that people get when they’re tied to their desks all day.
By Glenn Leibowitz
The other day, I was walking out of the elevator lobby of my office building and looked outside the front doors. I stood for a few moments to look at the streaming white and yellow light from the sun pouring through the entrance to the building. The sky was blue that day, and was mercifully clear of the depressing blanket of gray haze that has too often blocked the sky.
By Michael Schneider
The transition from individual contributor to manager is not an easy one. In many cases, the skills that got you the promotion will not be the same ones that make you effective as a manager. Luckily, we have organizations like Google that have spent years researching this transition, to help us demystify the secrets to new managers' success.
Using Project Oxygen, an internal study that analyzed more than 10,000 manager impressions including performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition, Google identified eight habits of highly effective managers. Google also designed a management training workshop to share its newfound knowledge with its bosses and now the world.
Through the company's Re:Work website, a resource that shares Google's perspective on people operations, Google posted this training presentation in hopes that it could benefit all.
Let's take a look at the six key attributes that Google instills in its managers.....
By Ilya Pozin
An entire industry has sprung up around the pursuit of success, full of self-help books, motivational conferences, and decorative Etsy items with uplifting messages. But self-improvement doesn't require shelling out tons of cash for a patented and trademarked formula for success. Your best self is just a few slight adjustments away.
I, for one, know I could add quality and productivity to my day just by eating breakfast. There's no big cost. There's no formula. It's just a bowl of cereal to kickstart my mind and body each day. Too often I rush out in the morning, living on repeat, never correcting my bad habits.
By John Rampton
Take a moment to think about the best boss, manager, or leader you’ve ever had. Why did you enjoy working with her? What made you admire her? Did she play a hand in helping you grow personally or professionally?
If you were fortunate enough to work with someone like that, I bet she wasn’t just your boss. She was also a coach who clearly explained what was expected of you while encouraging you to play to your strengths. She educated you and helped you work on your weaknesses. In other words, she empowered, motivated, supported, and trusted you.
At the time, that may not have seemed like a big deal. But research has found that organizations with a strong coaching culture “reported that 61 percent of their employees are highly engaged, compared to 53 percent from organizations without strong coaching cultures.” What’s more, 46 percent in organizations with strong coaching cultures notched “above-average 2016 revenue growth in relation to industry peers.”
By Arianna Huffington
Well-being = performance
The idea that performance improves when we prioritize well-being, and that a burnout culture is bad for business, will move into the realm of settled fact. Sure, there will still be outliers and denialists, as there always are, who continue to celebrate burnout culture or congratulate employees for being always on and answering texts in the middle of the night. But leaders who incentivize burnout by bragging about how little sleep they get will sound increasingly retrograde in 2019.
The disruption of AI is here, but so are the opportunities
The conversation around AI will no longer be just about the jobs it will replace. This conversation is hugely significant and will continue, but increasingly apparent will be the opportunities AI creates for new jobs based on what can’t be automated: creativity, complex decision-making, empathy, compassion, engagement, and caring. So, yes, while AI will cost jobs, it’s a chance to rethink what we value: humans working and caring for other humans.
Knowing how to work intensely but avoid burnout will be a job qualification.....
By Moran Cerf
Breathing is traditionally thought of as an automatic process driven by the brainstem—the part of the brain controlling such life-sustaining functions as heartbeat and sleeping patterns. But new and unique research, involving recordings made directly from within the brains of humans undergoing neurosurgery, shows that breathing can also change your brain.
Simply put, changes in breathing—for example, breathing at different paces or paying careful attention to the breaths—were shown to engage different parts of the brain.
By Marcel Schwantes, Principle and Founder, Leadership from the Core
In an effort to increase leadership thinking and awareness about the new measures of success, this one may be hard to swallow for some of my readers, but here it goes.
Research on positive organizational scholarship has revealed a powerful weapon for creating happier workplace cultures and more loyal and committed employees who produce better work. It comes down to one word: kindness.
Before I get into the business case for kindness, I have to ask: Why don't we see more kindness at work? Why aren't more decision makers jumping on this bandwagon, if it means leveraging it for business impact and bottom line results? Because the perception of this soft and fuzzy word implies that it's only fit for "doormat" and weak leaders, much like other counterintuitive powerhouse leadership words like empathy, transparency, and vulnerability. And that's a shame.
By Elizabeth Yuko, Staff Writer/Editor at Thrive Global
We all have days that are more productive than others, but there are some people who seem like they’re in the zone all the time. What’s their secret? Two scientists at MIT wondered the same thing, and, using the results of a survey they conducted in conjunction with the Harvard Business Review last year, they’ve narrowed it down to three habits.
Before we get to those, let’s take a look at that survey. According to Robert C. Pozen, Ph.D. and Kevin Downey — the authors of the survey and subsequent HBR article — the aim of the survey was to help professionals assess their own personal productivity — meaning, the habits they associated with accomplishing more each day. It focused on seven habits: developing daily routines, planning your schedule, coping with messages, getting a lot done, running effective meetings, honing communication skills, and delegating tasks to others.
BY DR. JOSH DAVIS
Most tasks, at least for professionals and knowledge workers, lead to some mental fatigue. After all, we are constantly engaging in activities that involve decision making and self-control. The key to limiting mental fatigue is recognizing the work that is most likely to deplete your resources in a substantial way and, when you have any say in the matter, to simply not engage in that work before you want to be at your best.
So how can you identify the tasks that lead to mental fatigue and keep you from being incredibly productive? If you feel spent after doing a task, there’s a good chance it is tapping into your self-control. The degree to which tasks take a toll on self-control, decision making, or other executive functions varies with each person.
Here are some examples of common activities that can lead to mental fatigue:
Self-Help Book / Personal Development