How The Quiet Can Contribute

A recent article looked at the ways people who sit quietly in meetings can become more comfortable with speaking up. Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, the author of “The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together” offers these four meeting prep tips for introverts.

  • Find out the meeting agenda in advance. Prepare comments or questions.
  • Plan and practice what you’re going to say in front of a mirror. And, if necessary, bring notes to the meeting to help keep on message.
  • Find quiet time before the meeting. Rushing in at the last minute could elevate stress. So, give yourself time to settle in before the meeting begins.
  • Put yourself in a calm state. Meditation and breathing exercises can lower anxiety, as can avoiding negative thoughts before and during meetings. Focusing on your breath will make it nearly impossible to think negative thoughts that can send you spiraling downward.

Secrets to Originality

In a recent interview, Wharton professor Adam Grant, who teaches management and psychology, shared 6 tips he calls the secrets to true originality.

  • Have lots of ideas, not just a few big ones. It takes lots of garbage to get to greatness.
  • Judge ideas in a creative mind-set.   To increase your openness to novelty, get your own creative juices flowing before hearing others’ ideas.
  • Don’t assume it’s a young person’s game. Creativity often comes when world’s collide. Time and experience exposes us to more that we can call on to create the new.
  • Avoid groupthink. Seek out dissenters and the silent minority and get their honest take.
  • Learn to procrastinate wisely. Don’t snap into action. Give ideas a chance to percolate and evolve.
  • Follow the evidence. Identify the people in your organization who are better at some things than others. Use the talent you see evidence of. Let the talented teach others their special skill.

Thinking About The Future Reduces Conflict

Research at the University of Waterloo suggests that after an argument, thinking about the future state of a relationship can reduce the negative fallout. Shifting the mind’s focus away from the heat of the moment allows us to step back and apply reason.

Although the researchers studied personal relationships, at-work relationships can also benefit from this practice. When conflicts arise on the job, it’s wise to step back and put the long-term damage that could be done into perspective. You can turn problems into learning opportunities by thinking about how you’d like the relationship to be in the future.

Stepping back gives you the chance to provide what’s called feed-forward. This developmental feedback affirms preferred or suggested behavior. It takes the focus off of criticizing the past and allows both parties to discuss constructive ways to work together going forward.