Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

Buy Now
Food for Thought 2 "The follow-up in my Food for Thought series, with more focus on my experiences with Six Sigma and Kaizen."

Buy Now: Paper Back
Buy Now: E-Book

February 8, 2014

How does your pendulum swing (your opinions change)

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 9:55 am

I am not trying to make a political statement, just an opinion that we are fickle in our political views.

Scientifically I believe the pendulum swings, once started, due to momentum and gravity, friction at the pivot, length of the arm, weight of the arm, and air resistance determines the speed of each cycle and length of time it swings until it stops.   Clocks have a counter weighted mechanical assist to keep them going exactly the same for long periods of time.

The psyche of the US voting public is much like a very slow pendulum.  It depends on the topic, but public opinion changes over years and decades.   As an example alcohol prohibition in the 20’s to now being socially and legally acceptable!   Recreational drugs are traveling down the same road.  Religion, smoking, big cars versus small cars, etc. all seem to travel the pendulum.  You might have gone to jail 25 years ago that today is totally legal.

There are some people that never change their opinion, and there are some that change quickly.   I think the media has a huge impact on the masses: people like to be with the crowd.   If we did a pareto on the distribution of where people stood on an issue,  we might see a normal distribution either for, neutral or against.   I guess that is the polls.    Over time,  depending on the marketing and the media,  the masses shift.

Archimedes said , “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”  Today’s political and news media use this against us every day.    They find a point where they can place their fulcrum and move the masses opinions.   It may not even be a critical point, just enough sensationalism to place their fulcrum.  The masses follow.

There have been studies on how hard it is to state your opinion in a room where everyone is against your position.   It we take a verbal yes, no vote around a room,  and everyone votes no ahead of you, you are the last vote.   The more people that are ahead of you increases the probability you will vote no also.    I think it is 7 people ahead of you and the probability is 90% you will also vote no.  We want to agree with the masses.

My point!  Careful who you listen to and read, they may not be telling you the whole truth.  Stop being so fickle.    Use a little independent logic, list at least mentally the facts, advantages and disadvantages,  consequences and rewards to you and to society.   And the cost!

We are accountable for our own actions and shall reap the rewards or suffer the consequences accordingly

February 6, 2014

Conflict Management : Keeping the Conversation Going

A lot of team building is getting all the team members to play nicely in the sand box together. We do a lot of Personal Development classes that end up being Conflict Management sessions. I am surprised how often I have to say, “name calling is NOT allowed”.

There is a great book written called The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. The main idea of this book is that bullying behavior at work actually worsens both morale and productivity. And in order to lessen the effects of toxic people in the workplace, some companies have instituted the no asshole rule. Basically some people are just that and the word jerk or bully doesn’t have the same power. Get rid of them; they are like rotten apples and one bad apple will ruin the whole bushel.

I have a poor memory for bad situations, but I never remember calling someone an ass at work. I might have called them an ass behind their back or in my head. I also don’t ever recall saying to someone’s face, “It is none of your business!” Although it is possible I did at some point. When emotions are high, conflict arises and people say things they don’t mean. If you find this happening you might also want to read Crucial Conversations : Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. This book speaks to how communication stops when emotions rise. It discusses effectively talking about anything safely and how to transform anger and hurt feelings into an open dialogue.

With these two books you will be have the tools at your disposal to handle most workplace conflict and keep your emotions under control at the office.



February 4, 2014

Do you lose your temper often

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 9:32 am

I often wonder why people (managers) lose their tempers.  I have lost control my share of the time, but rarely with fellow employees.  I am not an expert on the human mind, but I see a lot of business owners who lose their tempers when dealing with their employees.  I don’t know if it is frustration with results, frustration with lack of control, or the surprise.

At least by my definition,  if you raise your voice level, waving arms, and or  start yelling, you have lost control and lost your temper.   Most people, including myself stop listening to the facts and prepare to defend ourselves, or we just become silent and embarrassed.   So, managers can usually assume when they are yelling at someone, the employee is not listening and will not change behavior.   The absolute worst thing a boss can do is to yell at an employee in a group setting or in front of peers.

The real problem, is the root cause of the problem is not identified and it will happen again and again.  So much is said today about employees not being engaged at work, its starts with us.   Seek the root cause, correct the root cause or causes, seek behavior change to eliminate the repetition of the root cause.


Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 9:17 am

We are accountable for our own actions,  and either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

Powered by WordPress