More Questions to Consider. . .

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In order for an organization to stay healthy, its members must have a clear sense of who they are and what they can accomplish…in terms of a product they make or… in terms of a service they perform.  Members must feel they have a share in it.   Fred Pearson

Earlier today, I published a post entitled, “What’s YOUR Question Today?” at LinkedIn Pulse  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-question-today-jo-ann-m-radja    The subject matter was innovation, feedback from the world’s largest architectural firm founder, Arthur Gensler and  a change management Design Group Study Guide from the University of Chicago.   A number of questions were posted from the Design Group Study Guide.  I would like to share with you additional questions because they acknowledge how you may be able to work through different perspectives in a group or team.  Here they are:

What expectations do the leaders have for the group/team?  Is there a match with the expectations of the team?  Are the expectations in line with the agreed goal of the project?  If not, is it time for the group/team to agree an expectation has a place to be articulated in the group and may be unrealistic.

“How do your attitudes compare with the team members?  Are your observational skills improving?  Are your skills at listening to others, and asking effective questions, getting better?   How were you influenced by others, for the better,  in the group/team?”

“What skills do Group Leaders need to get the job accomplished?  What skills do group members need to work together?  How has your participation in the group/team increased your understanding of your company and your place within the company?”

Personal growth will only be realized when you recognize what was difficult for you, your lack of understanding of an issue, or dealing with another person, or making a tough decision.  No one ever said self-development was easy and that’s why we love to do better by stretching ourselves in our careers!  Have a great week.

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive &  Career Management Coach

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Is it an Escher Artwork or A Natural Event?

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Math is where the answer is right and everything is nice – you can look out the window and see the blue sky – or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over again and see how it comes out this time.

Carl Sandburg

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Earlier this evening, LinkedIn Pulse published my Blog entitled, “Why We Sometimes Don’t Make a Choice” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-sometimes-dont-make-choice-jo-ann-m-radja by @Coach_Jo_Ann on @LinkedIn.  I used a few photos to explain Choice and how the Philosopher Tom V Morris, offered insights into that subject.  

I shot the photo, above-left, yesterday morning.  It is frost on a window.  As I was putting away my flash drive, I remembered the graphic artist and mathematician, M.C. Escher.  He was well-known for intersecting images, similar in concept to nature’s frost pattern.  An example of Escher’s artwork is shown above-right.     As we are almost at year’s end, we often think about what went well for us and what we want to improve in our careers.  While we are not all artists, artwork in all forms within social media, offer a space away from our careers to relax and enjoy life for what it is.   Relaxation  brings clarity to our thoughts so we welcome each day for its own sake.

As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As during the new year of 2017, may your choices bring peace, happiness and contentment in your chosen career.  Happy New Year!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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What’s Your Philosophy – On Mature Expectations?

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The best part of our lives we pass in counting on what is to come.  William Hazlitt

We smile as we read text describing the difference between the use of “a” and “the.” It happened to me as I read a four-page paper by Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, entitled, “Mature Information Societies – A Matter of Expectations.”   Mature_Information_Societies_a_Matter_of

Floridi’s premise is that “a” is more appropriate when discussing the digital information society because it refers to groups as opposed to “the,” that references one. Digital bandwidth itself, all over the world doesn’t provide a basis to judge the benefit of information to society. Rather, it is the expectation of information that drives education, understanding and innovation for each country’s philosophy of life. Expectations are viewed as mature when balanced by an acknowledgement that all people in the society may not be able to share your specific expectations. In other words, the right to expect more is coupled with knowing everyone may not equally be able to share in the output of digital information.

From a business prospective, companies work daily  through expectations they have for their customers, their employees and stakeholders. Mature societal expectations point to three avenues, according to Floridi, as follows:

a)  Education – Creates awareness of your own assumptions and expectations; Allows for justification, reasonableness and historical determination of your expectations.

b)  Understanding – When society implements a particular right of use it recognizes deficiencies associated with the right of use.

c)  Innovation – Mature expectations assist in creating informative actions, ordinary vs. extraordinary, normal vs. abnormal.

The philosophy of digital information results in mature expectations for the common good. Haven’t we all asked one or more of the following questions: How will this benefit the customer? Why are we moving foward on this project when the risk evaluations are not yet completed?

It’s time to recognize we all have a philosophy for the common good developed on the back of digital infrastructure. As you Choose who YOU want to be Known As in whatever societies you participate in, consider your Expectations for what you give, what the other person gets  and what benefit is provided. Enjoy the upcoming weekend!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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balancing-rock-1273567_960_720Pixabay072916The resolution:  A change.  Progress.  A transformaation.   Michael Port

Earlier today LinkedIn Pulse published a Post for me entitled:  “What’s Your Takeaway?” https://lnkd.in/dSPzdHZ by @Coach_Jo_Ann on @LinkedIn.

It’s a challenge for many of us to quickly embrace a new pattern, a new procedure, workplace situations we may not initially want.  It is especially so after when we have committed ourselves to a project, put in the time and energy only to learn the project was “pulled.”  It is our resilience that keeps us going and will do so during the balance of this year.

As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As, all the best to you in your career as you welcome the month of August, next week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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Do YOU have an Elephant in the Room?

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When the light around you lessens / And your thoughts darken /. . . Search yourself and see / That it is your own thinking / that darkens your world.   John O’Donohue

Earlier this afternoon, the following post was published under the title, “What’s YOUR Elephant in the Room?” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-elephant-room-jo-ann-m-radja    Here’s a copy for your reading:

“I just finished reading another LinkedIn Post about the paradox of innovation; namely, termination due to computer innovation. It took courage for an innovation expert who advises companies about innovation to share his personal story of how and why it came to be that his company fired staff. Yet, that ELEPHANT in the room idiom, had to be handled in a manner considering the employee’s best interest.

When we think about the idiom phrase of handling “the ELEPHANT in the room,” it usually refers to a subject matter that no one wants to discuss. Our brain perceives the conflict greater than it may be, represented by a large insurmountable figure.

Business Leaders accept the fact that the challenge of an ELEPHANT in the room must be dealt with. It is a conflict. Sometimes all that needs to be done is to have a conversation and the ELEPHANT is no longer in the room. Neuroscience, however, has offered a remarkable perspective, using an analogy of a Rider and an Elephant. The perspective is given by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Neuroscientist, Mr. Emile Bruneau.

Bruneau explains the analogy as an example of how the brain handles conflict by stating – all the Rider can do is to train the Elephant because the Elephant is more powerful that the Rider. The Rider cannot control or fully understand the Elephant. While this story is recited in a Post by the United States Institute of Peace in an effort to teach people how to deal with conflict. I believe it speaks volumes for the business actions we are involved with. A tool is introduced to deal with conflict, “universal empathy.” http://www.usip.org/olivebranch/2016/05/05/dalai-lama-offers-hope-youth-leaders-and-vice-versa?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=event&utm_campaign=events_weekly

We know we cannot control another individual. Since we do not understand the perspective of the individual, represented by the Elephant idiom, we need to ask open-ended questions so that a two-sided conversation takes place. The How of this neuroscience perspective is to approach an Elephant in the room, with universal empathy. Questions such as, “How would you describe. . .” “What did you think would happen if . . .? “What did you expect would happen. . .”

What’s remarkable is that neuroscience now helps to explain the issue of how the ELEPHANT in the room, comes to be – in the first place. The ELEPHANT is an idiom character representing conflict, triggered by an unconscious bias. The tool — new phrase of “universal empathy” becomes a positive application to use with the conflict idiom.

The term “universal empathy” may become mainstream because it is an inclusive term. We want and do take the first step in handling a conflict. As we begin to practice the use of universal empathy – when we access our own Pause button – perhaps we can alleviate the ELEPHANT idiom character showing up. It’s another way of handling ourselves and Choosing Who We Want to be Known As in our chosen career. Have a great week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach”

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A Common Place Term: Bystander

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diffusion-responsibility-bystander-effect-illustration-crowd-witness-act-crime-doing-nothing-47422863It’s in the news recently, the term Bystander Effect or Bystander Action.  It’s the principle – when in a group of people, personal responsibility to assist/help someone is mostly not recognized.  Last week on March 30th,  the following post was published on Linkedin.com/Pulse on this subject:  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-catching-now-understanding-jo-ann-m-radja

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The issues of Bystander Actions are present in our society at all levels.  Vice President Joe Biden has been involved in a Bystander action prevention program to discourage violence on college campuses and is planning to visit Pittsburg, PA today: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/04/05/Vice-President-Joe-Biden-in-Pittsburgh-today-for-It-s-On-Us-campaign/stories/201604050156  and the photo, to the left, is from the website:  www.lookfordiagnosis.com/mesh_info.php?term=Bystander+Effect&lang=1

Since WordPress.com represents the spirit of collegiality, I would like to share with you my September, 2015 presentation notes on Bystander Actors in the workplace.  It was prepared for a specific industry and is easily updated to fit any industry.  Included within the presentation are insights of Professor Mary Rowe from MIT, Senior Advisor – Compliance Strategist and Attorney, Joe Murphy, and Margaret Heffernan, Author of: Why We Ignore the Obvious to Our Peril, Willful Blindness.

As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As, have a great work week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

Notes: Understanding Bystander Actions by Jo Ann M. Radja with Insights from Dr. Mary Rowe Ph.D September, 2015

Scenarios attachment   and  Bibliography and Resources

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What’s Your 2016 Spring Surprise?

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spring-1256806_640Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.  Maya Angelou

It happens often, you change for one reason or another. People you knew a number of years back are unable to accept the change. Apparently you surprised someone because of your development growth. What kept you together in a circle no longer applies It could be as simple as you no longer enjoy eating a certain food, or you lived in the same neighborhood and moved away, or you received a promotion that the other person wanted. Your Spring Surprise happens and you want to move forward.

Alternatively, you may be on the cusp of a change – in the process of transition. Your challenge is to assist someone to accept the transition in your career. Using the emotional intelligence matrix of. . .

observing,

describing,

accepting,

not taking it personally, and

not judging the other person. . . is one strategy to consider. Choosing Who Do You Want to be Known As during the transition process is your personal responsibility that you do not take likely. 

This weekend as the Spring Equinox greets us, very best wishes for YOUR Spring Surprise. . .

So, I

Persevered.

Resilience paid off.

It’s the first day of Spring and

Not too late to

Give back to those who were kind to me.

Doubts tried to creep into my mind for a while this past winter.

And were swept away.

Yearnings will come true as you focus on

what’s important to you. ©Jo Ann M. Radja*

 

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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* This anagram was first published by me on March 20, 2015 via LinkedIn.com/Pulse

 

 

Pepper Spice, Nuts, Fruit and other Bounty

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PinterestonBING112315a8c92ffe625b77a88ca1d83ef3f344d2Our workplace demonstrates how diversity enhances our well-being. We like to hear: “We’re glad you’re here.” “Thanks for bringing up that point, it adds to our conversation.” “I didn’t know that’s what it means in your culture.”

Our commonality looks for the difference we bring to the Table. It enables us to understand another viewpoint and how the viewpoint impacts the discussion.

With pride, we may bring to the Thanksgiving Table, pepper spice, nuts, fruit and our local Bounty – just a few of the diversity items we add to the mix of celebrating Thanksgiving. Because it is a centuries old tradition of giving thanks for a good harvest, our ancestors taught us to recognize how adversity shows us to step back and give thanks for what we did right during the year – whether during our career or personally.

New beginnings definitely took place during our career this year and we survived events we never contemplated. As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As this Thanksgiving, have a safe and enjoyable Holiday!

Shown below are a few websites that may bring a smile of knowing new facts about Thanksgiving —

8 Terrific Turkey Facts: http://www.livescience.com/17057-turkey-facts-thanksgiving.html

11 Surprising Thanksgiving Facts: http://www.livescience.com/41506-surprising-thanksgiving-facts.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=most-popular

Historical Facts about Thanksgiving you may not have known: http://www.plimoth.org/learn/multimedia-reference-library/read-articles-and-writings/thanksgiving-history

Enjoy! “Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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When YOU least expect it…

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barn-owlfromBING101915What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.  This rule, equally arduous in actual and intelligent life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

It continues to give me pause of the biases people have, based either on age or appearance.  Each generation often greets another generation with surprise, rather than acceptance of what knowledge/skills they have.  I experienced this phenomenon again yesterday when a person couldn’t believe that I passed an exam, because her unconscious bias placed the biggest look of surprise on her face I haven’t seen in a long time.

Positive outcomes during the day often balance the negativity we may experience.  It is a work in process to learn how not to take certain actions personally or become judgmental of what may be said.  The daily balancing of our soft skills is the platform for managing ourselves and others in our career path.

Surprising ourselves with what is curious could be a mantra that leads us to self-development.  As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week, when you least expect to — have fun practicing the element of surprise of a curious situation.

Enjoy your day!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach

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. . . on the Contrary

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Earlier today I published two anagrams you might enjoy reading on LinkedIn Pulse at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-contrary-you-jo-ann-m-radja. The text of that post now follows:

C onventional wisdom

O ften, yet not always, is right.

N ow is the time

T o consider whether the

R isk we’ve focused on merits,

A n all-out program

R oll-out this quarter. I vote

Y es. How about you?©Jo Ann M. Radja

E nergy to keep up with

T he reading

H as its downside. The upside

I s the kernel of applicability to understand

C onsequences we face in the

S hort term.©Jo Ann M. Radja

                 Have a great Fall Season in your career as you Choose Who You want to be Known As.

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive & Career Management Coach

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