Abusive Leadership?

Abuse me?

What?

Why did I cough up $125.00 for The Bass Handbook of Leadership?

My graduate professors insisted the book was the last word… now I have a 10-pound, 1,500-page book that may be incomplete.

People talk about leadership every day. They throw the word out there and accept it from others as if we were really communicating an exact meaning. But there are literally thousands of definitions of leadership.

Is leadership a personality trait or a behavior, an attribution, the foci of a group process, a symbol, a maker of meaning, a thought, a purposeful or persuasive action, the initiation of structure, the exercise of influence or a discretionary influence? Are leaders born or made?

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology examines a little discussed negative aspect of the oh-so-admired-and-researched topic – Abusive Leadership.

The study examined the impacts of verbal abuse and demeaning emails of team leaders in leader-follower dyads (YES, I actually used the word DYAD, I paid a lot of money for grad school and learned several words I can’t seem use anywhere but Scrabble).

Basically, they studied what happens when a bad boss is mean to a subordinate and how the behavior impacts the broader team.

The study was conducted in China and the findings were replicated in the USA.

THE RESULTS

  1. 1) As you might have guessed, abused employees felt demoralized and undervalued and their productivity decreased,
  2. 2) Surprisingly, cases of abuse correlated with higher levels of team conflict and lower productivity across the team unit.

IMPLICATIONS

Traditional interventions into workplace abuse generally focused on the affected parties (the abuser and the abused). This study suggests that we may want to address the impacts of the abuse across the entire team unit.

Luckily, none of us has ever had to work for one of THOSE leaders.

Fortune Cookie Bottom-Line:

When your bad boss is a bully and zaps all of your steam, remember this study and turn to your team.

Source: Crystal I. C. Farh, Zhijun Chen. Beyond the Individual Victim: Multilevel Consequences of Abusive Supervision in Teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/a0037636

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Schmoozing, Boozing & Teetotaling!

The holiday party season is in full gear and that means lots of opportunities to meet new people, have some fun and expand your network. For those of us that revel in the reveling, it’s time to get out your ‘formal lampshade’, which, unlike those ‘skinny jeans you still have in your closet, should still fit nicely.

Shuttering at the thought of another room full of strangers or letting down your hair with your co-workers?

You are not alone!

Few people are born with the power to ‘schmooze’. When faced with the discomfort of interpersonal interaction, some of us rely on a little ‘social lubricant’ to get our people skills primed – a little “liquid courage” to amp our networking fortitude.

But what does the teetotaler do during this festival of festivities?

A new study by North Carolina State University explored mechanisms non-drinkers employ during liver-punishing social situations. For example:

  1. 1) Tell people you are on a diet (kinda bah ‘humbug but it may work!)
  2. 2) Suggest that you are not drinking because you’re taking antibiotics (it may not enhance your reputation but few will inquire further!)
  3. 3) Simply carry a drink around all night without taking a single sip (if you are noticed… remember plants like a drink every now and again too!)
  4. 4) Become the life of the party by getting everyone else blasted. Buy the whole group a round of shots (…repeat as necessary!)

Satire aside, there is absolutely nothing wrong with abstinence. In fact, the morning after a bender the vast majority of drinkers wish they’d steered clear. But the study begins to shed a light on the challenges that organizational leaders and individuals face when it comes the etiquette of social gatherings and liquid libations. At work our cultural norms largely guide our interactions and determine what’s ‘socially acceptable’. After hours off-site, the lines blur.

For now, let’s file it in the stack of organizational behavior issues. When it comes to people, products and processes; people are by far the hardest code to crack.

Fortune Cookie Bottom-line:

One need not drink to make a link but those that do may make two — they just won’t remember who!

If you have other practical ways to abstain this holiday season, write me and I’ll share them with our readers…

 

Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/unhappy-hour-non-drinkers-devise-strategies-to-navigate-booze-centered-work-events

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Your Mama’s Advice Can Make You 25% Happier!

When our mom’s taught us the magic words (please and thank you for those that have forgotten), the lesson was doubly valuable. Not only did we learn to mind our manners, we may have also learned an important insight into our own happiness.

This week’s feature study explored the relationship between gratitude, health, moods and relationships.

How it worked:

  • - Two participant groups were tasked with keeping a weekly journal
  • - Group 1: Noted 5 things for which they were thankful each week
  • - Group 2: Noted 5 things that irritated them each week

The Results:

Group 1, the positive-things-thinkers, generally felt better about their lives and was found to be 25% happier than Group 2, the negative-note-takers. Similar studies support these findings.

Implications:

Work and home life can be stressful enough without emphasizing what’s wrong with the world. Maybe it’s time to remember the lessons Norman Vincent Peale shared with us back in 1952, when he published his book The Power of Positive Thinking. Or better yet, let’s take it back a decade to the Father Devine’s sermon that reminded his followers that, “you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” – the sermon that inspired lyricist Johnny Mercer’s 1944 classic “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”.

Fortune Cookie Bottom Line:

This Thanksgiving don’t be a turkey, give thanks graciously… your mama’s watching.

Featured Research Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ocean-robbins/having-gratitude-_b_1073105.html

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I feel your pain… now pay me!

Ardent followers of Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence will be delighted to learn that new research suggests emotional intelligence, in the from empathy, may yield more than productivity gains.

The Study:

  1. Psychologists at the University of Bonn conducted an international study exploring people’s ability to recognize emotions,
  2. Participants tasked with recognizing the emotions exhibited in pictures of faces and voice recordings were ranked on a scale,
  3. Coworkers and supervisors also ranked participants as to whether they were socially well-attuned, influential, sincere, good networkers, etc.

The Results:

  1. 1) Data suggested a correlation between high scores on both rankings and higher income levels,
  2. 2) Lower scores tied to lower incomes.

Implications:

Research continues to link relational competencies to financial success. From the IBM study suggesting each active member of our network equates to $948 in net worth to common sense logic that the more people that know who you are, understand your capabilities and care about your success; the greater the chance you’ll succeed.

Fortune Cookie Bottom Line:

It is better to have more friends about than to be down and out…

 

Source: http://www3.uni-bonn.de/Press-releases/it-pays-to-have-an-eye-for-emotions

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Are you good enough? Smart enough? Do people like you?

If you’ve attended one of my live workshops, you’ve probably heard me explain research showing that:  people are six — count’em six — times more likely to do for you, than we are willing to ask for. 

I’ll bet you can think of someone that’s gotten something or done something you should have gotten or done — all because they were pushy — unashamedly willing to ask and keep asking for whatever was on their mind.  If we could just summon up the courage to ask ourselves, we’d be able to lay claim to other people’s willingness to help!

But it’s more than that.  It’s more than simply having the nerve to ask.

For many, it’s all a symptom of social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Lots of us have SAD to some degree or another. While it’s my job to speak before large stadium-sized crowds or handfuls of folks that barely fill a conference room, I don’t recall ever being nervous. But, put me in social setting with people I don’t know and I’ll feel awkward and out of place till the ice breaks (then watch out dance floor!).

New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that SAD not only affects what you get but lessens your perception of the strength of your relationships.

THE STUDY:

  1. 1) 112 people were paired in a study with a non-romantic friend.
  2. 2) Each pair completed an evaluation of the strength of their relationships.
  3. 3) People with social anxiety had a strong tendency to report that their friendships were not as strong as their friends saw it.

IMPLICATIONS:

It’s estimated that 13% of the U.S. and European populations have been diagnosed with some form of social anxiety disorder and lots more probably have SAD to some degree but haven’t been diagnosed.

When you think about what you should be doing to advance your career or deepen your personal relationships, you probably think about developing a new skill, reading a book or getting in better shape.

However, real advancement of our goals may be as simple as forcing ourselves to ask for what we want and believing that people care about us as much as we care about them.

Reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit when the character Stuart Smiley offers his mirror his daily affirmation, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”

Source: https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/27665.aspx

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Are you politically correct? It may affect your productivity…

  1. 1) Political correctness sometimes gets a bad rap by people who think that it is just a way to censor their right to free speech; however, Cornell University has proven that it can actually increase the creativity of work teams that are comprised of both men and woman.
  2. 2) This is challenging the idea that in order to have a truly creative team, everyone should be allowed to speak their minds, whatever the consequence.
  3. 3) Political correctness is shown to help people feel more comfortable while sharing their creative ideas, because it reduces the insecurity they might feel while interacting with others, especially those of the opposite sex.

Can you tell the difference between being politically incorrect and being candid?

Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/this-just-in-political-correctness-pumps-up-productivity-on-the-job

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Are you talking to me? … Why the sound of your voice matters

FACTS:

  • - Hardcore politico, long viewed as a hardened authoritarian, suffers a stroke.
  • - His voice and intonation were changed forever.
  • - He quickly went from being considered authoritarian by his party’s followers to compassionate.

The question is…WHY?

RESULTS:

  1. 1. Researchers at the University of California looked at the vocal presence of charisma across different cultures and found that people who spoke in certain ways (low fundamental rate of vocal fold vibration) were more likely to be perceived as dominant.
  2. 2. Conversely, findings indicated that people who spoke with a high fundamental rate of vocal fold vibration (think Urkel from that old TV show Family Matters) were viewed as submissive.
  3. 3. Interestingly, this is also seen in non-human primates as well…

IMPLICATIONS FOR YOU:
Want to be a charismatic leader, there’s lots to do… but when it comes to how you communicate verbally, it’s one part biology, one part use of language.

Looks like the legendary actress Deborah Kerr knew what she was doing when she taught Yul Brenner how to “speak properly” in the King And I. He brought the low fundamental rate of vocal fold vibration and she brought the culture.

Bottom line: It’s not just that “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” it’s how you say it…

Happy Halloween!

Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/the-science-of-charismatic-voices

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Stranger Danger! Even kids see though our hype…

3-5 Smart Things to Consider

  1. 1) Selling and the art of storytelling go hand in hand.
  2. 2) The more complex our selling environment, the more complex our solutions tend to be.
  3. 3) Increased competition forced the move from features & functions to visions and values selling.
  4. 4) Selling vision and value is where the margin was but presented a tantalizing temptation for story-sellers to stray from hard reality into the netherworld of plausibly believable embellishment.
  5. 5) New research sounds a warning for salespeople tempted to paint-the-picture better than it really is…because even kids can see right through you… Social cognition, skepticism and critical thinking are no long the stuff of sophisticated adults.

Research in Brief

By age five, children have learned to sniff out fact from fantasy; hesitating to believe people who make over-confident claims.

The Experiment

  1. 1) Children viewed one of two short videos of adults spouting facts:
    1. a) Video 1- the adult sounded unsure of the true details,
    2. b) Video 2- the adult sounded very confident stating false details,
    3. c) Children were asked whom they believed more.

The Results?

  1. 1) It was about a 50/50 split among kids closer to age 4; however,
  2. 2) By the time kids neared age 5, they were more likely to believe the person who sounded unsure!

What’s it mean to you?

Everybody sells but no one has all the answers and we shouldn’t act like we do…

Success awaits those that stop selling to others and instead form a partnership to learn with them…

Source: http://www.concordia.ca/news/stories/cunews/main/stories/2014/10/08/trying-to-fool-akindergartnernotsofast.html

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Multitasking… Bad for you, but good for your kids

 

  1. 1)  It has always been thought that multitasking leads to poor performance, but that idea may now be a thing of the past.  Researchers have found the opposite to be true for adolescents.
  1. 2)  During the study, it was found that young high-media multitaskers were better at weeding out distractions but performed worse when asked to focus on a single task. Low multitaskers were less able to filter out distractions but seemed to focus better on single tasks.
  1. 3)  The study shows that people who have grown up with a lot of different media devices have developed an improved working memory and seem to perform better in distracting environments.

What do you think this is going to affect as younger generations join the workforce?

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-10/aaop-rtb100314.php

 

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Want a to create a great team or marriage? …Then bring on the PAIN!

Have you ever wondered why you choose the friends you choose, like the people you like, marry the people you marry?

Instinctively, we’d probably answer by thinking about all the good things we see in those we hold closest – personality, values, interests but what about the bad stuff? Can negative feelings or experiences bond us?

  1. -  New research suggests that pain may actually bring people together and act as “social glue” for groups of people who have suffered the pain together. And this conclusion actually makes sense—think about the relational bonds soldiers create from common experience.
  2. -  54 study participants were assigned either a painful or non-painful group task, like submerging their hands in cold ice water to locate and deposit medal balls into underwater containers (painful) or doing the same task in room temperature water (no big deal).
  3. -  Post task, the participants were asked to rank how close they felt to the others in their group.  And while the two groups didn’t show a difference in positive or negative emotion, they did show significant difference in feelings of group bonding.
  4. -  A continuation of the study showed that the groups that went through pain together were much more motivated to cooperate, as a group, during other subsequent challenges as well.

Can’t wait to hear how you feel about this topic…
What do you think?
Is your job painful enough as is?

Source: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/shared-pain-brings-people-together.html?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=eureka&utm_campaign=sharedpaincohesion

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