INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
In 2012, a Harvard psychologist proved, and get ready for this, that the brain can’t distinguish between past memories and imagined future states. The astonishing finding has application to something important, preventing angry outbursts. Here’s how – and it’s a trick that really works. The next time you feel a rampage coming on, picture a camera sitting in the corner of the room, ready to record your behavior and project it to the world. In that same instance, imagine how embarrassed you’ll be if everyone sees your tirade. Since your brain can’t distinguish between a memory and your imagination, it will feel like a bad memory (you might even wince a little), even though it hasn’t occurred yet. And nobody wants to create more bad memories, so, as a result, you’re more likely to keep your cool.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake to avoid)
One of the most quietly damaging things you can do in life is to let your standards slip over time. Just as the best leaders know that you get the behavior you tolerate, so does your life move towards what you accept. To be vigilant, first be clear with yourself on what your standards are. In so doing, remember the danger is not that you aim too high and miss, but that you aim too low and achieve only that. Constantly ask yourself, am I acting in support of, or in spite of, my standards? Hold others to standards as well (within reason), remembering that a slip or pass granted leads to a pattern, which leads to a habit, which becomes a norm, which results in the bar being lowered by default.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Nothing destroys trust and teamwork faster than when people talk about their coworkers negatively behind their backs. The opposite, however, spreading positive gossip, or saying something positive about a co-worker when they’re not around, is quite powerful. Especially when word of your praise makes it back to that person. To encourage this behavior, try The Positive Gossip Game. At your next team meeting or group gathering, break everyone into pairs. Have the first person in the pair take two-minutes to tell the other person something positive about someone in the room, but someone that’s not within earshot. Then, the other person in the pair takes their turn doing the same. After everyone has shared, each person must then, later on, go find the person they heard positive gossip about, and tell them what they heard. You’ll be surprised at how energizing this exercise is. And it gives everyone the courage to call out when someone is negatively gossiping – to be able to say, “Remember, we don’t do that around here, we do the opposite.”