Thinking Critically

By: Jim Bruce
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Recently on TV, I was attracted to a Cascade dishwasher detergent commercial featuring child actress Sierra Richards, who seeing her “mother” rinse off the dishes before putting them in the open dishwasher asks, “just what does the dishwasher do?” This question is an example of thinking critically about what the “mother” in the commercial was doing.
 

Just How Does One Listen?

By: Jim Bruce
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“Humble listening" is among the top four characteristics of leader.1  —  Jeff Immelt, Former Chairman and CEO, GE.
 
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”2,3     —   Henry Ford.
 

Changing Culture, Growing Leaders

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Tuesday Reading is an essay by Monika R. Dressler. Director of Academic Technologies, in the LSA Technology Services group at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She is an alumnus of the MOR Leaders Program. Her essay first appeared as a program reflection earlier this year. [Monika may be reached at <mdressle@umich.edu>.] 
 

Burnt Out?

By: Jim Bruce
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Where are you on the burnout scale — exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy — to fully engaged — energy, dedication, and absorbed?1

 

In a 2018 paper, Seppälä and Moeller2 introduce a young woman who is in a new workplace. She really liked her new job and was highly motivated to perform well. She undertook, and was highly successful at, organizing a large conference, accomplishing what was seen as a remarkable feat.
 

Neuroscience – Managing Self-Talk

By: Jim Bruce
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Several years ago, in a series of Tuesday Readings,1,2,3 I introduced the idea that when we understand how our brain works, we can better understand why we react the way we do. I wrote, then, that an individual’s brain, in the days of our early ancestors, had one key goal – survival, avoiding threats and seeking food (rewards). And, avoiding threats had a much higher priority with five times more neural networks devoted to threat detection than to identifying rewards.  

Feedback? Or Advice?

By: Jim Bruce
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… Which do I need?

 

I’ve been working on a rollout plan for a new major application. And, before I present that plan to the clients, I need to give the presentation a test run. I can ask my test audience to give me feedback or I could ask them for advice. What do I do? Does it make a difference?
 

Gobsmacked

By: Jim Bruce
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Been gobsmacked1 recently? You are in a team meeting and make a proposal you believe is well thought out. You feel your work is solid. A coworker viciously attacks your proposal. Or, a friend, who also is your boss’s, boss’s boss, unexpectedly calls you early one morning to strongly admonish you for a comment you had made to a student employee at a demonstration about a university action the previous evening. (Just, how did he know?) Or, a staff member asks to meet with you, her manager, and when she arrives tells you that you are arrogant and difficult to work with.

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