Lousy Weather May Fuel Work Performance
Wet, gray days are likely to leave you feeling dampened in spirit and low on energy. But, those ugly days may actually enhance the quality and volume of your work.
Serving Your Subordinates
In his book Arthashastra, the ancient Indian scholar Chanakya wrote that “the king shall consider as good, not what pleases himself, but what pleases his subjects.” That philosophy of leadership, embraced by many ancient religions, is increasingly being adopted in the professional world as organizations adopt people-centered management practices. Servant leadership, a concept modernized in the 20th century by the writer and consultant Robert Greenleaf, involves sharing power, putting the needs of others first, and helping followers perform at their best.
Making Tasks More Difficult May Help Overrule Office Distractions
Maybe there’s a guy who likes to yak about last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, or a woman who likes to take phone calls on speaker. Whether you’re in an 80s era “cube farm” or a modern open office, working in the midst of a sea of noisy distractions can prove particularly challenging. So how can you better focus on the task at hand? You might want to make the task a little bit more difficult, according to a new study from Swedish researcher Niklas Halin and colleagues. Previous research has highlighted two distinct factors that influence distractibility: task difficulty and working memory capacity.
Why Many Workers are Playing It Safe — Unhappily
The US economic recovery remains on a slow trajectory, as evidenced by the latest Commerce Department report. Due in part to a brutal winter throughout the country, growth in the first quarter of this year practically stopped. And while employers are hiring aggressively after the winter cold snap, the Labor Department says job growth still lags behind the millions of people just now entering the workforce or looking to get off unemployment rolls. The shaky economy and rocky job market have left many people underemployed—working in part-time jobs or occupations that are simply far below their capabilities and credentials.
An Ill-Timed Smile Can Hurt You in Negotiations
Smiling can be a disarming expression on a date or at a social gathering. But in the boardroom, it could prove perilous. A new psychological study examines how the interpretation of facial expressions can impact economic decision making in a business setting. "A business person in a negotiation should be careful about managing his or her emotions because the person across the table is making inferences based on facial expressions," said Peter Carnevale, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. "For example, a smile at the wrong time can discourage cooperation." The study—a joint project between Carnevale and Celso M.
Predicting When Employees Will Lash Out at a Nasty Boss
A mobile game series called Beat the Boss is one of the most popular items in the Google and Apple app stores. The games allow users to vent their rage toward their supervisors by engaging in virtual acts of violence against seven “boss” characters. While most workers wouldn’t dare carry out these actions in real life, many have found themselves disciplined or fired because they sought revenge on a mean or exasperating boss outside of the virtual world. An international team of behavioral scientists, led by Huiwen Lian of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, recently set out to study the circumstances that lead to such retaliations.