Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Carnival of Human Resources and Leadership

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 oneWhat 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 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.

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4 Responses

  1. Jon Ingham says:

    Very nice­ly done Alvaro.

    And wouldn’t a real con­ver­sa­tion on this be great!


  2. Mark Bennett says:

    Excel­lent, Alvaro! This for­mat makes for a very engag­ing read.


  3. Prem Rao says:

    Con­grat­u­la­tions, Alvaro, for a very inter­est­ing approach.

  4. Thank you Jon, Mark and Prem!

    Jon, I agree, a real round­table would be pret­ty interesting…let’s see if one of these days we hap­pen to be in the same con­fer­ence.

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