5 Change Management Techniques to Make Transformation a Breeze

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Everything in the world around us has changed. But have you? Has your team?

Here’s the challenge: Change requires a different mindset, but the brain loves routine. It naturally seeks and organizes around patterns and mental maps you’ve developed in your thinking throughout the course of your life. Sometimes these maps are helpful; sometimes they’re not. Most change requires that we challenge our mental maps and form new connections in the brain—and this takes energy and motivation.

Not only that, isolated facts have little effect on mindsets. This probably isn’t news to you if you’ve ever read comments on social media or argued with someone over a heated topic. If the fact doesn’t fit the current mindset, it gets rejected instantly.

What is it about our brains that resists change so tenaciously? Why do we fight, even what we know to be in our interests?

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10 Ways to Get (and Stay) Organized This Year

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A new year is like a fresh, clean slate. Or is it?

Some of us are still carrying over the clutter and chaos of the previous year (or decade). While it’s true that some people do work best in the mess, it’s not just untidiness we’re talking about here. Even if you work primarily in a creative role, you still need to have some structure and organization to keep all the loose ends together and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. After all, if you want that creativity to pay off, you need more than just great ideas.

So if you’re ready to finally get organized and keep it that way—or if you’re just looking for some new tips and tricks to keep it interesting—try some of these ideas to help you start the year off clear-eyed and focused.

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Feeling Stuck? 5 Tips to Get Moving Again

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You’re facing the blank page. Or the tough choice. Or the constant flow of distractions and the endless to-do list. What now?

There are always going to be times when you’re feeling stuck, not sure where to go next, what to focus on or how to get back in gear. While it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the most valuable things you can do to get moving again in these situations is to stop and think.

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6 Steps to Stress-Free Time Off From Work

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Planning any big vacations for the coming year? Looking forward to a little rest and relaxation?

Or maybe, deep down, you’re dreading it.

You wouldn’t be the only one. According to a Glassdoor survey of over 2,200 workers, the average U.S. employee who receives paid vacation/paid time off (PTO) only takes about half (54%) of those days. The top reasons? They fear getting behind (34%), they worry no one else can do the work while they’re out (30%), they’re completely dedicated to the company (22%), and they feel they can never be disconnected (21%).

Being completely committed to your company and the work is a great thing. But being so stressed or fearful that the work will pile up (or be screwed up) if you take some time off isn’t so great. It’s certainly not healthy. And it’s not even necessarily good for your career or your bottom line. A Project Time Off study on the State of the American Vacation found that Americans gave up $66.4 billion in 2016 benefits due to the number of vacation days they forfeited. And get this: According to the study, those who had given up their vacation time were “less likely than non-forfeiters to have been promoted within the last year (23% to 27%) and to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years (78% to 84%).”

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Uncover Hidden Creative Thinking on Your Team

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When the team needs some creative ideas or innovative solutions, who’s the go-to?

Maybe it’s you. Or maybe it’s definitely not you.

When you think about the “creatives” that you know, your mind probably instantly goes to certain people. We all have some preconceived notions about what it takes to be creative and innovative, as well as who should be involved in the process. We pretty much know who’s got it and who doesn’t.

 Sometimes these “things we know” don’t really tell the full story.

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Why You Need a Not-to-Do List (And How to Create One)

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If you’re trying to get more productive, organizing your to-do list might be number one on, well, your to-do list, especially if you’ve got this endless checklist that you keep adding to. But here’s a thought: Maybe the best productivity hacks are more about subtraction than addition.

With our work and personal lives overlapping, today’s world creates a lot of cognitive load. We’re checking e-mails in the evening and on weekends, and making phone calls to resolve personal issues during the day.

How often do you wake up already feeling overwhelmed? We complain about the complexity of our lives, but we also forget how much of the chaos in our lives is self-imposed. Yes, your calendar is probably overcrowded and maybe your desk is a mess. You need to plan your holiday menu and finish up your gift shopping. Your news apps and social media alerts are going off constantly, while that co-worker who’s been emailing you all day is now texting you, too. You click through, thinking, “Now what?”

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5 Tips for Leading Team Meetings People Won't Hate

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When was the last time you multitasked in a meeting? Drifted off? Got annoyed? Wished you were anywhere else but there?

If any of that rings true for you, you’re not alone. In a Verizon Conferencing study, 91% of respondents admitted to daydreaming during meetings, and 39% said they’ve napped in them. Overall, research shows that employees waste a staggering 31 hours of unproductive time in meetings every month.

Most people walk away from meetings feeling unsatisfied because most meetings are designed to address the needs and thinking preferences of the meeting leader, not the people on the invite list. And when you design and lead a meeting with only your own preferences in mind, you’re bound to lose those who aren’t on your wavelength.

With attention at a premium in today’s world, keeping people engaged, even when they’re sitting right in front of you, is one of the biggest challenges you face as a meeting leader. Fortunately, we know a few things about the brain that can help. Try these tips to capture and keep your team’s attention—and keep their brains working.

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What's Your Next Move? Growing Your Career in the Gig Economy

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In their new book Up is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility, Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams and Lynne Cowart point out that advancing your career doesn’t necessarily mean you have to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. That might be your journey, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s up to you.

“In place of a ladder of promotions,” they advise, “think of [your] career as a rich, flexible mix of experiences.” From this point of view, you could even embark on a fulfilling journey of growth and new opportunities without ever leaving your current job.

This isn’t just inspirational advice; in a world where fixed, linear career paths and stable, predictable job markets are a thing of the past, it’s both practical and realistic to think this way. Technology and the “gig economy” have also dramatically changed not only how work gets done but where you do it, who you might collaborate with and what you can feasibly do. You might have a more traditional job as well as a side gig. Or you might work a series of gigs, requiring more flexibility and personal control.

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Comparing Employee Assessments: The HBDI® and the MBTI®

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In this ongoing comparing assessments blog series, Anne Griswold, our Whole Brain ® Thinking Catalyst, is taking a look at the similarities and differences of many employee assessment instruments and how you might use them—individually and together—to achieve your business and talent development needs. For this post, Anne discusses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and how it compares with Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI®.

As we take a look at another assessment, let’s start once again with the premise. The premise of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is psychological assessment with a focus on personality, and it measures personality preference on four scales: Extraversion – Introversion (E – I), Sensing – Intuition (S – N), Thinking – Feeling (T – F), and Judgment – Perception (J – P). These personality preferences are then reported through the MBTI tool and result in 16 different personality types.

The MBTI assessment is used as a part of work with individuals and teams to build self-awareness and help people understand differences. It is often used in leadership development to help leaders understand themselves, their behavioral motivations and the impact their differences have on others. It’s also used in areas like career planning, conflict management and decision making.

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Why We Resist Diversity of Thought

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See if you can imagine this scenario: You're in the middle of a heated discussion with someone about a big political, religious or personal topic. The conversation is getting tense, on the verge of an argument. Tempers are rising. Voices are getting louder—or the type has moved to ALL CAPS. You’re feeling angry, maybe even a little afraid. On the one hand, you really want to win this debate. On the other, you just want to run away.

We live in a pretty charged atmosphere these days, so you probably didn’t have to do too much imagining to conjure up that image in your mind. And sure, we know that a diversity of thought and perspectives can be valuable, but knowing that doesn’t make these moments any easier to deal with.

In fact, there’s a lot going on in your head in these kinds of situations. Your bloodstream is flooded with cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones that fuel the “fight or flight” response. Your neocortex, the part of your brain that controls rational thought, is on a temporary time out. You're triggered—not really thinking, just reacting.

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