Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Global Voices

Nothing compares to experience whether it Is in the workplace or through travels but global voices online is a comparable option for those individuals that can’t take the time off, spend the money or physically go places an opportunity to learn globally. As mentioned in my post on attitude change, humans have a difficult time changing their perceptions of people and places without an experience that influences a change. Global Voices is a collection of political, social and economic stories written by citizen and professional journalists across the world. Americans can now access all this information without ever leaving their computers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

People in Power May Be Better Liars

Have you ever thought about the non verbal cues you send to others while you are telling a lie? Do you try to look them in the eye; sit still; blink less? These non verbal cues are caused by anxiety and stress from lying. Dana Carney, a professor at the Columbia University School of Business recently found that people can hide these non verbal cues but that some people, specifically people in power position, actually experiences less emotional distress when lying than people in non-power positions. The participants of Carney’s study were instructed by a computer to steal a $100 bull. If they could convince an interviewer they hadn’t taken it, they could keep it. She found that lying bosses displayed fewer involuntary signs of dishonesty and stress. On all measures, liars with power were hard to distinguish from subjects telling the truth. In essence, Carvey’s study tells us that if you give people power, they’ll be more comfortable lying. Watch out for interaction where you’re not in the power position and keep a skeptical outlook.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Networking Tips

Finding a new job is not always easy and often depends on who you know. People with whom you have formed relationships can become walking, talking advertisements for you. There are many techniques for building up your networking including joining organizations, holding positions on non-profit boards, and becoming a resource for others. Although informational interviews, follow ups or personal recommendations are traditionally part of networking, social networking can be utilized in a similar manner to broaden and develop contacts. Whether you are networking in person or online you need to be on top of current events. These days everyone listens to NPR, so how are you going to be original, interesting and memorable? is a fairly new website with intriguing bits of information and conversation starter. This site provides great conversation ideas for that silence in a conversation.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rationality is important, but it’s not enough!

Everyone handles negotiations differently. In fact some people see everything as a negotiation while others view very few aspects of life up for negotiation. In my family we were always given choices (probably because we were little Montessori kids). Water the plants or clean the dishes. Get a weekly salary for a list of tasks or get paid by the number of tasks you could complete. Pretty much we were taught to be open and honest about our wants and needs. The underlying factors behind my families motives were fairly clear. Expectations were set and decisions were easily resolved.

However, to this day I have never pictured myself as a negotiator. I have friends who tell me to play hardball with potential employers, shoot for a high salary and expect them to counter. They even suggest telling family members one story so that they will not react badly to another. I have struggled with these common negotiation techniques and have even tried a few.
A recent article by Rebacca Clay in the Monitor on Psychology (May 2010) brought to light the true genius of my negotiation skills. She writes about Daniel Shapiro, a PhD from Amherst who specializes in negotiations. Shapiro has toured with past presidents and travels the world helping governments negotiate. Years ago he started to wonder “how you bring helpful, positive emotions into the negotiating process?” His research is showing that negotiators who focus on appreciation, affiliation, autonomy and emotions build trust, respect and foster honesty so that “many of the defenses start to fall away and opponents start to focus more seriously on the real underlying issues” not emotional dynamics.

So the next time you are in a debate put down your guard and be honest. Tell your future employer what you would like, honestly! Then, SURPRISED when they hand it over!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Be Aware of Shaming Others

Within psychology the terms shame and guilt are often used interchangeable however recent research publish in the Journal of Self & Identity (Wolf, Cohen, Panter & Insko, 2009) empirically illustrated that shame and guilt proneness are distinct from each other regardless of their similarities. Wolf et al (2009) further revealed that individuals experiencing shame focus on how they are being evaluated by others, while individuals experiencing guilt focus on how their behavior has affected others. Shame proneness was negatively associated with self-esteem and positively associated with personal distress and neuroticism. Guilt proneness was positively associated with empathic concern, perspective taking and subscription to conventional morality. These results illustrate that employees whom are publically shamed are more likely to withdrawal from work while individuals who feel guilt try to actively fix the situation. Companies that “make examples” of deviant employees make reduce deviance across the organization but they should beware of the impact they have on the individual that will feel shame after the fact.