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”

http://www.wordpress.com/disclosures

http://creativecommons.org/by-nc-sa

“‘Illusion of Trust’ as an Ethical Value”

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When I was growing up, I often heard the phrase, “What does your gut tell you?”  or, “I’ve got a sick feeling in my stomach about this.” The phrase of listening to your gut has come into vogue again because neuroscience has recognized the gut communicates to the brain faster than your heart.  Why is this important to know as we just finished the Halloween and Election events?  Perhaps it is because trust is still an illusion.  We want it, we rely on it and when it is not present in our lives, it causes disharmony that we learn to live with or just accept it because “that’s the way it is.”

While we trust our guts to assist us as we get ready for the early Winter weather in the month of November, we can learn to trust our guts in other situations.  As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week, what positive value do you want people to know about you?  Have a great week.

Yesterday I published a Post on the social media platform of LinkedIn and I am sharing it with you below. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141105210316-32215190–illusion-of-trust-as-an-ethical-value?trk=prof-post)

“Illusion of Trust” as an Ethical Value  Nov 5 2014

The first way is: If you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule – speaking only 20% of the time in a relationship indicates it is dysfunctional. In other words, you give your own power of self-worth to another person.

The second way is: “Attraction creates the illusion of trust.” Fiffer recommends you listen to your gut when your judgment is being put aside for the other. When it comes down to it – why are you not paying attention to the feeling of, “something is not right here.”

Finally the third way appears to be derived from a social science or neuroscience perspective. Fiffer explains that when you are ruled by fear, you don’t act rationally and are unable to accept rational explanations. This appears to be so because the fear reaction, once triggered, will not stop until it is soothed.

As you manage your career, how often do you trust your gut in contract to your personal experience with an issue? How often has your gut enabled the right decision for you (or at least the best possible)? Do you keep an open mind first and then trust your gut, or the reverse? Interesting questions to consider during this first week in November.

I’m grateful I followed the linked and learned about The Good Men Project and hope to read Thomas G. Fiffer again. As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As, consider how often you trust and rely on your gut instincts to make informed decisions. Enjoy your month of November in your career.

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

http://www.wordpress.com/disclosures

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

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