Work Out Your Brain, Change Your World and while you’re at it, Stop Saying That!
Today’s collection of articles range from tips on how to be more creative to a pair of lists of self-limiting things we all need to quit saying.
Enjoy the insights and pass along any links you think would be worth sharing here in a future post. -Steve
1. Work Out Your Brain – Change Your World: BBC Science offers some solid tips on how the brains of humans (and hence Change Agents) can be more creative. Here’s the summary of things we should all be doing to keep our brains sharp:
Do things differently. (Yes, we do have a choice.)
Cut distractions. (This is progressively tougher in the era of 24/7 iEverything.)
Take on a few mundane tasks. (I know this one works for me as a way to clear my head!)
Improvise and take more risks. (A particular area of the human brain is actually built to improvise and this portion can atrophy without regular exercise)
Let your mind wander. (It builds “white matter” in the brain which is critical to our creative capacity.)
As Change Agents, we might consider applying these recommended brain-building techniques as we seek to break through those tough change conundrums. OBTW: According to Dr Oz, women are much more collaborative than men because they typically have more “white matter”. We’ll probably need another article to get into the implications of this discovery…
2. Stop Saying That! Here are 8 words and phrases health care communicators should outlaw. According to Ragan’s Healthcare Communication News, terms like “state of the art” and “patient-focused” are typically not accurate as they are used. They raise expectations and set communicators up for backlash as reality plays out.
Most of the jargon probably confuses the conversation more than it helps while adding limited value.
3. The Case for More Office Parties! Inc. Magazine is usually a gold mine for fresh, field-tested business ideas – especially ideas that apply to entrepreneurial leaders. This past month, they made a great pitch for why it’s not only OK to have office parties – it’s actually important to encourage them. Their suggestions range from setting up routine celebrations to sponsoring field trips to build teamwork and rapport.
Inc. argues that the benefits of this informal social interaction and stress-reduction can fuel more productivity. I agree. I’ve been inside a few fantastic companies that used events inside and outside the workplace to build and maintain amazing, highly productive cultures.
I’ve also been embedded in many organizations that totally discourage this practice and suffered mightily for it.
4. Self-Limiting Words = Self-Limiting Thoughts: I’ve recently struck up an email conversation with a talented European blogger named Robert Blaga who writes about leadership, communication and learning. He works in the field of internal training and has great insights into the roles and processes of adult learning and workshop facilitation.
Here’s Robert’s short, yet powerful list of thoughts that should never again pass your lips:
- “I have a deadline.” (The term “deadline” has a surprisingly morbid origin!)
- “I’m going to a team-building.” (Such events are often fun and useful – but far from adequate.)
- “That’s just the way I am.” (I once had a client HR Chief tell me that “can’t” is really just a lazy way of saying “won’t”.)
- “Yes, but…” (It’s a falsely supportive thing to say when disagreeing with someone.)
- “This is never going to work.” (Sets your team up for failure before you even kick off.)
On that note… I’m pleased to announce that Robert will be writing a guest blog post here at theBigRocks in the near future! I hope to return the favor by posting an article on “The Internal Trainer” later this Spring. I highly encourage you to go visit his site for some interesting training ideas.
Questions for Chatter:
- Have you been a part of a socially-active business culture that encouraged parties and outings to build rapport and teamwork? If so, what benefits and risks have you seen to this approach?
- What words and phrases empower your work or drain you of productive energy?