Archive | March, 2012

Introversion #3: Brain-storming

28 Mar

Last week we reviewed the importance of sleep, when cognitive processing occurs, and noted that moving from the spoken to the written word improves the rigor of thinking.  Going back to The Rise of the New Groupthink, Susan Cain notes that using e-brainstorming can actually enhance the process.  What she means is giving people time to reflect on a written Q and allowing them to sleep on the problem produces better results.  The e-format simplifies the logistics of the process.

Aside from the fact that brain storming gives zero time for reflection and effectively excludes most introverts, it is also possible for a facilitator or dominant  person(s) to the hijack the process.

I was in a strategic brain storming session some time ago where the facilitator consistently failed to write what the participants were saying thus hijacking the process.  When confronted about his behavior he was unable to change what was essentially a process of open manipulation.

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Introversion #2: Brain-storming

21 Mar


 

The Rise of the New Groupthink has a ton of interesting ideas in it. Research shows brain storming is not such a great idea if you are looking for creativity.  Let me reiterate and discuss this further.

In addition to the fact that it precludes input from introverts, who live in their heads and thus are very creative, it has some other problems.  Let’s take a look at these with me (an introvert) as the lab rat.

If you spontaneously ask me a Q in a group setting I can give you a fair to good answer, but if you let me sleep on it I will give you a better, perhaps superb answer.  It is clear that the brain cycles during sleep and that processing is going on during one of these stages.  “Sleep on it” is good advice for important decisions.

If you provide me with a written question and ask for a written response in a couple days, after I sleep on it, you will get a superb answer (I hope).  Consider the enormous difference between the spoken and written word.  These blogs are written and rewritten with care, what pops out of my mouth is, as my social director says, like a gumball machine.  Going from the spoken to written word improves the rigor of thinking by orders of magnitude.

The opportunity for reflection provides an enormous cognitive edge.  More next week.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use

Introversion #1

14 Mar

Note from a colleague after the last week’s blog – “How about some good news?”  So let’s take a break from problem employees and examine some very good news for introverts, and everyone else too.

First, a simple test for introversion:

Would you rather stay home and do something you really enjoy or go to a large meeting of strangers expecting to interact with many people?

Next, a simple definition of introversion-extraversion:

Extraverts are emotionally energized by social interactions, the reverse is the opposite for introverts.  I am exhausted after too much social interaction.

Myth about introverts:

They are interpersonally less skilled than extraverts.  This is nonsense, interacting with others is a learned skill, it just takes more effort for introverts.  Although there is evidence some people cannot master social interactions.

Scientific fact about introversion-extraversion:

It has a large genetic component, more that half in most studies.  This explains why it’s harder for introverts to be socially skilled.

The Good News:

Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.

More about this next week.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

GoTo: The Rise of the New Groupthink

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

How Employees Fail #9: Beginning Progressive Counseling

7 Mar

At some point in working with a non-performer you will realize that although you are thoughtful and systematic in your approach, they are not improving.  If you begin intensive counseling/coaching someone and see no improvement in their behavior within 6 weeks, you are probably not going to see any.  This is the time to begin thinking about the issue if a different way: Progressive counseling.

Here are some general principles that can save you some grief:

• Give some thought to what might be the worst possible outcome. People who have nothing, have nothing to lose and will do anything.

• Get others involved, you do not want to take on a troublesome employee without support.  You need to actively engage your chain of command.  If you have HR, work with them.

• You must build a document trail, some of this must be shared with the employee.

Often troublesome people will know your policies better than you, don’t have a good process reversed because you cannot show documentation.

Next week, the stages of progressive counseling.