Mastering and Enhancing Workplace Relationships

Manage the Relationships, Then Manage the Goals

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Organizational Psychologist, Team Member, Author, and Speaker Using Organizational & Social Psychology for Corporate Relationship Counseling

Increasing Confidence and Cultivating Assessment, Strategy, and Communication Skills

“Business environments require different types of personal interactions and collaborative efforts. My work, based on years as a CEO and PTSD therapist, bridges the gap between empowering therapy and organizational development.”

Working with Individuals and Groups – 707.840.4625

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“Why is there war? Why not ask, why is there peace?”

We are fascinated that six or seven of the seven major psychopathy traits are also considered desirable traits for leaders. According to Shermer, (Pinker, and Dutton), the seven traits represent both what is wrong and right with the world depending on a delicate balance within individuals. These traits:

1. ruthlessness,
2. charm,
3. focus,
4. mental toughness,
5. fearlessness,
6. mindfulness,
7. action,

are nuanced by five sets of aggressive emotions, and these underpin the noteworthy good or infamous leaders. Aggressive practices are not present at all times within most people but in a larger collaboration, someone is usually hired to hold the stick. These traits are all too visible in current leadership and though deadly, fortunately are also not sustainable. The fruit rots from within. Aggressive emotion states:

1. Predatory and instrumental – violence as a means to an end.
2. Dominance and honor – violence as a means of gaining status hierarchy.
3. Revenge and self-help justice – violence as a means of punishment, retribution, and moralistic justice.
4. Sadism – violence as a means of gaining pleasure at someone else’s suffering.
5. Ideology – violence as a means of attaining some political, social, or religious end that results in a utilitarian calculus. Killing some for the sake of many.

Shermer explains the value well, not immediately apparent in media reports, of Costly Signaling Theory. It’s an important practice both in global balance and corporate manifesto. As an example, “countries prevent wars by flashing signals of power rather than jumping” into action that may be expensive and genocidal. Why is this even necessary? Because we are all too human and our flaws determine our actions as much as our good will.

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Having read and enjoyed A World Made For Money by Bret Wallach, I too ask, if global trade is free flowing and protectionism is destructive, why would any country embrace protectionism? There are several reasons. One idea is represented clearly by the two Koreas. One country embraces change, rebuilding, connection, and world trade, while the other closes its borders, leaving itself limited in many areas. This limitation of resources, another reason, foments threats of violence against the same countries it refuses to trade with. Oil and the manipulation of country leadership and markets is part of this second reason.

Any individual or country does not permanently fix ethics and morals. Understanding what we might call rationalization and more importantly, motivation, we begin to understand better that simply doing the right thing might not get the collaboration we expect.

The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom by Michael Shermer – Holt: 2015

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Knowing Why They Don’t Buy, Even When They Don’t Know

We don’t create innovation, we discover it.

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
by Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan/
Harper Collins Business

Other books tell us to manage our client’s expectations. Christensen, et al, is asking us to understand people’s causal motivations even when the client or patient cannot articulate them. By doing this with focus and growing acuity, you can provide “A Job” for yourself that the authors call “The-Job-To-Be-Done.” In this way, you meet innovation from a potential need rather than a product that simply represents New Flash.

Clayton M Christensen, et al.

This Job-To-Be-Done includes finding out why people do NOT buy a particular service or product, or when they “make do” with a limited solution. Once you have figured this out, you will step out of your traditional strict focus on functionality and add emotional and social centered solutions.

Christensen, his students, and co-faculty, never fail to deliver.

More About Competing Against Luck

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Paradoxically, Engage and Distance

Laurence Scott writes so beautifully.

The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World is no snap and jab at human Internet habits but an appreciation of people’s inner needs and outer foibles.

More About Laurence Scott

When he shares the comings and goings (and habits) of the ever changing people in the flat downstairs by monitoring the flat owner’s Airbnb page, it is pretty much prose poetry. His references to classics, “always winter, never Christmas” (Narnia) as a way of describing the portal that the Internet has become and “each a mystery to another” (Dickens) in our stealth and superficial engagements puts “finger shaking” in a whole new perspective. We do this because we need this, Scott says, because it softens the isolation that occurs naturally in an over scheduled world.

Laurence Scott

Why do people appear happier when they are on their smartphones? The facial lines soften, the body grows limp, and we block out the world around us, paradoxically in order to engage and distance. (The television does this too but we are limited in ways we can direct it.) The Internet is our constant faithful companion, ready when we need a break or comfort, even as it soothes us with its gentle addictive murmurs and flashy vacation sites.

And like another addiction, pornography, the Internet has created an over use of the descriptor “porn.” We indulge in things, secretly we think, which might raise an eyebrow because of our obsession – car-porn, fashion-porn, and house hunting-porn.

Not to worry, says Scott. When we are ready to take a break or leave it entirely, we can simply “ghost” away, no final words or dramatic exits, still allowing others to search for us if they are curious or lonely.

A haunting and beautifully written book.

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