Mr. Rogers Says

“Love and trust, in the space between what’s said and what’s heard, makes all the difference in the world.” -Mr. Rogers

I keep this quote in my mind when working with groups. It’s especially helpful in times of conflict and tension. It is such a great challenge to truly understand another person, and our own expectations can greatly color the message they are trying to get across. By cultivating love and trust, it is possible to receive the message in a new way, and to live in a world where we can see the love and trust around us.

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What really motivates workers

Which of the following is most motivating to workers? 
  1. Recognition
  2. Incentives
  3. Interpersonal support
  4. Support for making progress
  5. Clear goals
If you guessed #1, you are like most managers, but you are WRONG. A multi-year motivation study with hundreds of subjects found that it is actually #4. On 76% of subjects’ best days, progress was mentioned (compared to on only 25% of their worst).

The study warns managers and leaders to “…Scrupulously avoid impeding progress by changing goals autocratically, being indecisive, or holding up resources. Negative events generally have a greater effect on people’s emotions, perceptions, and motivation than positive ones, and nothing is more demotivating than a setback…”

Read more information about this study here.

Google’s Quest to Build a Better Manager

Google’s Project Oxygen set out to quantify what makes a great manager by gathering more than 10,000 data points from performance reviews, feedback surveys, and other reports. The list of qualities that they found was not at all surprising, but the order in which they were ranked was not what they expected.

Google’s simple management approach has been: Leave people alone. Let the engineers do their stuff. If they become stuck, they’ll ask their bosses, whose deep technical expertise propelled them into management into the first place.

However, technical expertise was ranked lowest of the eight qualities. The first three–be a good coach, empower your team, be a good communicator–are all key leadership abilities that can be used in any field.

The Quest to Build a Better Boss – The New York Times