Sep 17, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Welcome to the September 17th edition of the Carnival of Human Resources, the virtual gathering, every other week, of bloggers focused on Human Resources and Leadership topics.
Let’s imagine all participants in a conference room, conducting a lively Q&A brown-bag lunch discussion.
Q: Can you teach Leadership in a classroom?
– Wally: Not really. Neither the person who aspires to become a leader nor HR departments should see leadership development as an activity to be outsourced to a classroom setting. Leadership is a lifelong apprentice trade, led by the learner himself/ herself. The most HR departments can do is to architect the right set of experiences to enable/ accelerate that development.
Q: Can you teach Social Intelligence in a classroom?
– Jon: According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, not really. Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis say that “our brains engage in an emotional tango, a dance of feelings”. And you learn Tango by, well, dancing Tango. Goleman and Boyatzis add that “Leading effectively is about developing a genuine interest in and talent for fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need.”
Q: Can you provide an example of applying social intelligence in the workplace, and training on-the-job?
– Suzanne: Sure. Learn to appreciate your front line employees. They are the ones who interact with customers every day – which some companies seem to ignore at their peril.
– Denise: another one – What can you do when your team falls apart while you’re gone?.
Q: How can you generate positive feelings, when sometimes we get stuck in bad news and constant quarter-by-quarter pressures?
– Anna: Adding much needed perspective. Please note: PowerPoint may not be the most effective vehicle to uplift the atmosphere.
– HR Minion: And Practice what you preach.
Q: Does brain research offer guidance on how we, human beings after all, can accomplish all these things?
– Madeleine: First, you need to use your very human brain. Learn when to Think and when to Blink, Malcolm Gladwell notwithstanding. We do dumb things because our minds work for us 80 or 90 percent of the time. But the rest of the time they work against us: they create blind spots that trip us up.
– Alvaro: Then, aren’t “talent” and “human capital” really all about brain fitness and cognitive performance? learn more about how to maintain your brain in top shape with this booklet by the Dana Alliance and The Conference Board.
– Pascale: Finally, are you aware of the implications of attention deficits at work? A recent study showed that that workers with attention deficits spent more than 22 fewer “role performance” days per year (including 8.7 days absent) working. Can HR play a role here?
Q: Fascinating topics. What are some other trends that HR professionals should be aware of?
– Michael: Given the financial crisis we are experiencing, HR needs to improve internal and external communications to deal with difficult situations.
– Susanna: Start using HR/Recruiting Social Networks to meet and learn from people in your industry.
– Meg: Also, experiment with Twitter. I used to be skeptic – now I am sold!
– Michael: And keep a constant eye on the future. Learn about future job demands and make sure your workforce evolves with the times.
Q: Any final pearls of wisdom?
– Stephanie: Listen to this interview on neuroplasticity with Jeffrey Schwartz and Norman Doidge. Literally, Imagination taking shape!.
– Chris: Does your organization really have a shared Mission?.
That’s all for today. The October 1 Carnival will be hosted by Hans Nigel at HR Legal Source.