Just as time management is vital to the effectiveness of managers, so the management of memory is vital for their productivity and success. Organizing our thoughts is as important as organizing our desk. Our multitasking reality puts a strain on our memory since we have to manage at the same time different information and deadlines belonging to different duties and tasks.
Ask anyone in the workplace if problem solving is part of their day and they’d certainly answer “Yes!”. But how many of us have had training in problem solving?
Because people are born problem solvers, the biggest challenge is to overcome the tendency to immediately came up with a solution. The most common mistake in problem solving is to put the solution at the beginning of the process, when what we need is a solution at the end of the process.
Here are seven-steps for an effective problem-solving process.
- Identify the issues
- Understand everyone’s interests
- List the possible solutions (options)
- Evaluate the options
- Select an option or options
- Document the agreements(s)
- Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation
Read the article written by Tim Hicks
Image source: Flickr – pierpeter (CC-BY-NC 2.0)
Nowadays, self-confidence is considered to be one of the key skills one should master to be successful, especially at work. However, it doesn’t mean that on your workplace you should be arrogant, or exceed your own limits, showing off more than you are demanded to. In fact, there is a difference between self-confidence and certainty, and every professional should be humble enough to know that.
Sanjay Sanghoee explains the importance of humility at work, considered both as a moral value and as a form of intellectual honesty. In order to improve your skills, and to create a better working environment, you should, first of all, learn how to be humble. Some advice could be useful:
- Think twice before acting;
- Ask plenty of questions;
- Admit your mistakes and avoid being defensive;
- Create your own professional goals.
Read the full article here.
Image source: Flickr – Wicker Paradise (CC-BY 2.0)
Although empathy is considered to be at the heart of several crucial sectors – from product development to customer service, including also leadership, failing to recognise its limits can impair individual and organisational performance.
Problem #1: It’s exhausting
Being an heavy-duty cognitive task empathy depletes our mental resources.
Several studies on health and human professionals, as well as those who work for charities and other non profits, show that empathy is exhausting, in any role in which it’s a primary aspect of the job.
Problem #2: It’s zero-sum
Empathy doesn’t just drain energy and cognitive resources – it also depletes itself.
The more empathy we devote to one aspect of our life, for example our job, the less is left for others (family for instance). Moreover the zero-sum problem leads to another type of trade off: empathy toward insiders – people in our team or organisation- can limit our capacity to empathise with people outside our circles.
Problem #3: It can erode ethics
Empathy can cause lapses in ethical judgment. Extreme loyalty toward insiders may push us to take their interests as our own and to overlook transgressions, or even worse to behave badly ourselves. With actions like cheating or stealing to benefit those in the immediate circle people put empathy for a few before justice for all.
So how to rein in a land of excessive empathy?
As a manager there are a number of things you can do to mitigate these problems.
1. Split up the work
2. Make it less of a sacrifice
3. Give people breaks
Despite its limitations, empathy is essential at work.Understanding and responding to the needs, interests and desires of human beings involves some of the hardest work of all. Managers shouldlook for ways to give employees breaks,Encourage individuals to take time to focus on their interests alone. When people feel restored they’re better able to perform the demanding task of listening to what others need.
Image source: Flickr – AleKsa MX (CC-BY 2.0)
“All experience is local. All identity is experience. I’m not a national. I’m a local. I’m multi-local.”
In her TEDTalks Taiye Selasi says that people’s identity cannot be explained only through a national identity. Although countries remain important in shaping our identity, in order to really know who someone is, we would better ask “where are you local?”.