Although I always suggest face-to-face communication above all else, at times you may want to consider this: If you have some news that you think someone will need time to digest, then send them an e-mail first and arrange a …
Barry Williams likes to mix a lot of humor into his workplaces. As the former manager of Barney’s Motel in Brandon, Manitoba, he created a fly bounty to get people laughing over flies in the motel rooms, added hilarious slogans …
Time for another round of random thoughts, ideas and musings…
I worked with someone a long time ago who never smiled. Whenever he said something remotely positive I always wanted to say to him, “Why don’t you tell your face!” As it turns out – not bad advice for all us!
Here are three scientifically proven ways to give yourself a happiness boost at work in just a few minutes, according to research presented in the book “59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot” by Richard Wiseman:
Ernest Hemingway believed that you should always end your writing for the day with an unfinished sentence, such as, “She threw open the windows only to find…” Leave your writing hanging in mid-sentence and then sleep on it, he suggested, so that you’ll know where to pick up the next morning, but also so your subconscious can work on it, perhaps even dream about it, overnight. Research suggests Hemingway’s advice was bang on.
I recently spent two weeks meandering around Scotland, a fabulous country that I highly recommend as a great place to visit. As in all my travels, I was reminded of some business lessons that any business can benefit from.
As recounted in the fabulous book The Best Place to Work, by Ron Friedman: Dutch researchers conducted a series of experiments to determine whether it’s better to think long and hard about a challenge that requires a difficult decision, or better to distract yourself by doing something else. The results overwhelmingly showed that when faced with less complex decisions conscious thinking about the alternatives and options produced the best results. But when faced with a more complex choice (say choosing between models of cars when presented with 12 features per car), distraction definitely led to better decisions – three times better! The reason: Unconscious thinking is thought to be better at seeing the big picture and processing large pieces of information simultaneously.
One of my favorite quotes that captures the essence of what is wrong with so many workplaces comes from a Harvard Business Review article: “Most companies have it wrong. They don’t have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them.” It reminds me of a similar quote by the late management guru Peter Drucker, “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
Integris Credit Union, based in Prince George, British Columbia (see the latest Humor at Work TV video for more on them) has a fabulous motto: “Work made fun, gets done.” The motto reminds me of Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign which showed how people would change their behavior for the better when it was made fun to do so, most famously demonstrated in the musical staircase built in a Stockholm subway station.
“Embrace teamwork, create positivity, spread humor and show off your fighting spirit” are the four core values of the outdoor advertising company AFA JCDecaux that I visited in Copenhagen two years ago. I’ve mentioned them in past e-zine issues and blog posts because of their tendency to do unorthodox things. Outrageous things. Wacky things.