Our brains filter information 24/7. Some information makes it to our consciousness, some doesn’t. Some information we believe. Other we dismiss. A hidden process in our brains causes us to make assumptions, judgements, and decisions without having all the information. It is called the confirmation bias.
For 800 years have I trained Jedi,” Yoda explained to an impatient Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. In honor of this week’s release of Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, I thought it best that we all sharpen our mental edges through the wisdom of Grand Master Yoda. Much can we learn to toughen our minds if listen we will to Yoda’s instruction.
Burnout is rampant. Americans, especially, are working more hours than ever and sleeping less than ever before. Sadly, the United States is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee workers paid vacation. Burnout seems inevitable. Indeed, it is a worldwide issue. However, burnout is NOT a foregone conclusion and you CAN proactively buffer yourself from it.
More than half of Americans are dissatisfied in their work, according to a recent survey by the Conference Board, a New York based nonprofit. Work can be stressful, frustrating and exhausting. If we are going to spend the majority of our waking hours working, wouldn’t it be nice to make them as purposeful, satisfying and productive as possible? How on earth are we supposed to do that?
Have you ever been oblivious to what was going on around you because you were so immersed in something? I sure have. Sometimes we get absorbed in a movie, a big game, a well-written book, surfing social media or just good conversation and lose awareness of our surroundings. What would you say if I told you we can harness that same phenomenon in our work?
Why is effective communication essential for team success? Communication builds empathy and understanding and gets people on the same page. Effective communication breeds synchronization, an alignment of purpose and effort. Highly effective teams, regardless of context, thrive because team members are synchronized with one another.
I’ve said before that optimism can be your secret weapon. It’s definitely a secret weapon for me. When trying out for the all-star team in little league baseball, I thought I had as good a shot as anyone. When I applied to graduate school, I knew I would have to convince them to take a risk, but why wouldn’t they? When applying for a highly competitive new job, surely I’d have a shot. Some may have doubted, thought I wouldn’t come out on top in these situations. But I did.