Manager practicing empathy: Describe, don't diagnose. Learn how to forgive. Forgiving simply means not carrying anger around for a long time. It does not mean you condone the bad deed. Create a shared dream and draw energy and hope from it. Create a process for your marriage, a set of habits, rituals, traditions, and daily practices that keep you in touch with each other, making sure you know what's up with each other and that you are tending to each other's needs every day. Eliminate toxic worry by using the following five steps Never worry alone. Get the facts. Make a plan. This means the capacity is there in all of us; Deciding in Favour of the Real You How Polishing Up Our Self-Esteem Boosts our Decision-Making Powers If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as to what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. Deciding in Favour of the Real You How Polishing Up Our Self-Esteem Boosts our Decision-Making Powers Why Is It so Important to Learn How to Trust Ourselves?
Earlier in this article we looked at how your self-esteem (how good you feel about yourself ) is directly proportional to how much you are achieving compared with your self-concept (that rather raggle-taggle bag of idealized images you have of how you should be performing). Circular logic is not falsifiable, and therefore, cannot be a basic principle of behavior. To illustrate why reinforcement is not falsifiable, just consider what an experiment using positive reinforcement involves. A researcher rewards some behavior, usually that of a rat, and then observes whether the desired behavior continues. If the behavior continues or increases, it's said that this is another example of positive reinforcement. But what happens if the desired behavior doesn't continue after its rewarded? Researchers give some speculative reasons as to why the desired behavior wasn't reinforced in that particular circumstance - and the researchers may even be correct. In other words, the theory of positive reinforcement is too vague to be tested in a way that is capable of disproving it. If you cannot set up a test in a way that allows anyone to say for sure, the experiment failed, so reinforcement cannot be a real phenomenon, then reinforcement cannot be falsified and thus cannot be a scientific theory. And it's not just scientists who need convincing. The public also seems to accept positive reinforcement as a valid principle of behavior. Yes, the deadline is really coming up quickly. I just don't know if we have the manpower to accomplish this project on time. Manager practicing empathy: So your sense is that we are a bit undermanned on this project, especially with the deadline only a week away. Rephrasing the content is more responsive than pure mimicry, because it conveys more thoughtfulness in the response. This technique can make the listener appear more engaged and willing to take in and synthesize the content of the discussion with attention to what has been said. The third developmental stage of empathic communication is to reflect the feeling. By adding an attentiveness to their staff's feeling state, managers are able to move closer to feeling with them (being empathic). Now the exchange might go this way:
The project deadline is only about a week away. Make time for sex. Embrace each other at least once a day. Divide labor evenly, trying to have each person do what he or she likes to do or dislikes doing least. Special-ize your relationship using the following steps Know what the other person wants and loves and communicate what you want and love. Provide something extra. Create special traditions and rituals. Be careful to create protected, uninterrupted time for each other. Invest maximum positive energy in special moments with each other. Learn to control anger. A huge number of people walk around feeling terrifically bad about themselves and constantly give themselves terrible feedback. And all because they are comparing themselves to an unrealistic set of rules and standards. But here's the good news: your authentic core values provide you with a totally fair and realistic set of rules and standards by which you can measure your performance. So the more you do of the things that deeply resonate with your real nature, the better you will feel about yourself because you will be comparing well against your own tailor-made set of completely up to date standards. When you have clarity about your VALUES, and use those values to inform the decisions you make in life about people and opportunities, you will inevitably improve your self-esteem. And, as we have already seen above, good self-esteem helps you make better assessments about who and what is going to be good for you. And so, a virtuous cycle is created. Good self-esteem enables us to trust ourselves. Good self-esteem enables you to create thoughts, feelings and environments that support and nurture you.
Good self-esteem gives you the ability to express your needs and wants and determines whether or not you feel you have the right to have those needs and wants met. Many parents would say they've seen positive reinforcement work on their children, such as by giving them ice cream (reinforcing stimulus) after finishing their homework (desired behavior). Likewise, many managers may claim to have seen positive reinforcement work on their employees, giving them praise or bonuses for their successfully executed tasks. If one thing is true, it's that children like ice cream and employees like money. But saying that ice cream or money is reinforcing is no different than saying my child likes ice cream or my employees like money; Positive reinforcement adds no meaning; Neuroscientists and psychologists will respond that the definition isn't vague since they can identify what the primary reinforcers for an organism are - food and sex. But under what conditions are they reinforcers? In what situations will food or sex reinforce behavior? What's the hypothesis? These questions have never been sufficiently addressed in the 80 years since the theory was first introduced. Manager practicing empathy: It sounds to me like you are very anxious about meeting this upcoming deadline. I just don't know if we have the manpower to accomplish this project on time. Manager practicing empathy: I hear your frustration that you don't have enough resources to work with to get this project done correctly. Tell me more about what's frustrating you. In this third stage of expressing empathy, you are once again tapping into the skill of emotional literacy, a key part of the process described in article 2 about the value of self-awareness. Empathy is manifested by choosing the correct word to convey the true feeling captured in what was said and how the words were expressed. It is rather easy to gauge if an attempt to reflect the feeling hits the mark.
The other person in the interaction either will confirm quickly that you have nailed exactly what he or she is feeling or the person may hesitate, perhaps modifying the word to more accurately convey the feeling, or even denying the feeling altogether. Anger should be like a sneeze, brief, clearing the air, then forgotten. Learn to love to hear your spouse express the deepest (even if somewhat uncomfortable, unseemly, mean, paranoid, or whatever) feelings about his or her experiences in the world and in the extended family. Give loving support and feedback. Never let your spouse see you roll your eyes. Contempt breeds contempt. Use explicit appreciation. We verbalize our appreciation of one another's qualities many times each day. It's like a wonderful drug--a dose of love and appreciation over and over. Have a date night once a week. Even if it just means taking the dog out for a walk together or spending some time at your local Starbucks. How Does this Work in Practice? Dame Anita Roddick, the pioneer of social auditing and social responsibility wrote very compellingly about including the social and environmental impact of what a company produces in their auditing. It's the same with us and our decision making - isn't it strange that so many parts of our society still think that it is normal to make decisions in life without including and considering our own personal values? In this article we will look at some simple but effective ways of redressing that situation so that your values are included in your decision-making. Using Your Values to Inform Decisions Think of a decision you are struggling to make. Or think of a relationship that you are not 100 percent happy about. In conventional decision making techniques, we would normally list the pros and cons of each scenario we were trying to assess. We would then assign each point for and each point against the decision with a score and assess which decision was better for us.