Bringing together the top minds in business and HR to help you create a more human workplace.
Bringing together the top minds in business and HR to help you create a more human workplace.
A Journey Through History with Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din
In this second installment of WorkHuman Radio’s month long series celebrating Black History Month, Mike Wood visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture and chats with museum specialist Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din about what the museum has in terms of artifacts and objects, as well as the stories behind them. Before joining the museum, Deborah worked in higher education; in her present role she has been able to merge her expertise in African American literature into the exhibitions.
The Museum’s Origins
The museum was first conceptualized as a way to recognize African Americans who served in the military. The idea evolved into a national edifice to recognize the achievements of African Americans in all fields, and to use the African American experience as a lens through which to examine American history as a whole. Legislation passed in 2003 under the Bush administration gave the mandate for the museum’s creation. Construction began in 2012 and the museum was officially opened in 2016.
6 Floors of History
African American history, from pre-slavery days in West Africa to present day is on display in the 6 floors and 11 galleries of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Deborah says that although the exhibitions display America’s tortured past, it is still a celebratory expression of the resilience African Americans had and still have in the face of adversity. In describing the layout of the museum, she mentions that young people will particularly enjoy learning how to step dance on the interactive stepping floor. Two other notable exhibits are the Making A Way Out of No Way Gallery, and the Culture Gallery which showcases how African American culinary arts influenced American cuisine.
Mike asks about the family history resource at the museum. Deborah replies that you can come to the museum to discover your lineage and the staff will help you search for at least 30 minutes. She mentions that the museum will be opening a new exhibit on Pauli Murray, author of Proud Shoes, activist and the first woman to serve as a priest in the Episcopalian Church.
Diversity, Inclusion, Opportunity and Recognition with Tamara Rasberry
In honor of Black History Month, Workhuman Radio goes on location to some historical places in Washington D.C. with special guests. This week, Mike Wood visits the Martin Luther King, Jr monument with Tamara Rasberry, HR professional and expert in diversity and inclusion. They talk about what diversity and inclusion means today, and why opportunity and recognition must accompany them.
A Struggle for Recognition
CHRO at Globoforce, Steve Pemberton, said that recognition is the bridge between diversity and inclusion. Mike comments that at its core, the African American struggle through history has been a struggle for recognition. As she looks at the MLK monument, Tamara muses that African Americans still fight today for so many of the things that MLK fought for. “We still have so much work to do to achieve civil rights and equality for everyone,” she says. “Where can we start, and what can I do?”
There’s Always Hope
Mike asks if Tamara believes there is hope that things will be different for the younger generation. She responds that we always have to hope. Without hope you don’t have anything, she says. However, change is slow. We have to teach children the history and what their ancestors fought for, so that they understand why it’s important to take a stand and to treat everyone with dignity and respect even if they’re different from you.
Opportunity Must Come With Diversity and Inclusion
Tamara says that both her parents were usually one of the only black people at their jobs. As inspiring as their stories are, it points to the fact that opportunities were not the same for persons of color, otherwise there would have been more diversity. Even today, persons of color are not given equal opportunities, and are treated differently. Before someone will listen to you, Tamara points out, they first have to respect you. When you’re not respected because of your race or gender, your struggle to be heard is that much harder.
Mike asks Tamara to describe the difference between diversity and inclusion, and why inclusion should be at the forefront. Without inclusion, diversity means nothing, Tamara responds. Just having different ethnicities, genders and culture in your workplace is not enough, especially if they are not afforded the same opportunities or the same voice. All your employees should feel included, like they belong; they should not feel like they're outsiders because they're different.
Tamara Rasberry on LinkedIn
Understanding The Total Brain with Dr. Evian Gordon
In this week’s show, Dr. Evian Gordon shares important insights about the brain as well as an innovative product that is now being used by corporations across the country. Dr. Gordon is a scientist and medical doctor who specializes in research into the total brain. He set up the world’s first standardized integrative database about how the brain works to try to discover key patterns and how to convert those insights into applications.
An Innovative Product
Mike asks Dr. Gordon to relate some insights gained from the database and how he applied those insights into his product. Dr. Gordon responds that the brain’s four main capacities are emotion, feeling cognition and self control, and they use three measures for each of them. The essence of the Total Brain product is the online assessment which gives you a snapshot of your total brain, including your mental health, in 20 minutes.
The more you know about how the brain actually works, the more impact you can have, Dr. Gordon says. The biggest insight his work has revealed is that emotions drive the show. Emotions pick up on cues, and they have our biases. Emotions shape the way we perceive a situation more than our rational mind. If you don’t have emotional awareness, you’re going to be hijacked by your emotions, Dr. Gordon says. He points out that emotions drive your feelings, which is how you deal with risk and reward. His product offers users 50 ways they can get their total brain working more effectively.
One Thing You Can Do
Mike comments that WorkHuman’s mission is to make work a better place. However, stress is a major challenge because it follows us. Practices such as mindfulness and unplugging can help us deal with stress. He asks Dr. Gordon to describe some easy practices to help workers increase their productivity and their overall wellbeing. First and foremost, get an insight into how your own emotions and how they lead to your feelings, Dr. Gordon advises. Tune in to your default mode and focus on breath as a supplement to your mindfulness practice.
Get the Free TotalBrain.com Assessment
The Future of Leadership with Jacob Morgan
This week’s guest on WorkHuman Radio is Jacob Morgan, TED keynote speaker, four-time bestselling author, and creator of the Future of Work University. Jacob chats with Mike Wood about his soon-to-be-released book, The Future Leader, and how to become the kind of leader the future needs.
Leadership in the Future
Jacob teamed up with LinkedIn to research the trends shaping future leaders, the greatest challenges that future leaders will have to overcome, and the mindsets and skills that future leaders will need to possess. Some aspects of leadership are timeless and will remain constant. However, the impact of artificial intelligence and technology, globalization and the changing nature of talent are some of the issues that will shape how we conduct business in the future. As such, the future demands that leaders possess what Jacob calls The Notable Nine - a collection of four specific mindsets and 5 skills.
What is Leadership?
Most of the 140 CEOs that Jacob interviewed found it difficult to define leaders and leadership. Jacob comments that we all assume we know who a good leader is and what good leadership is, but that’s simply not true. He says that we should start by writing down our definition of leadership, because that will determine the filters we put in place. Mike adds that WorkHuman helps its clients tie their vision to their values, and everything trickles down from that. Jacob responds that many organizations have similar values. What’s different is how these values come to life.
A Tremendous Opportunity
His research showed that more than 50% of leaders believe that they successfully practice leadership skills and mindsets. Interestingly, of the 14,000 employees surveyed, less than 10% rated their leaders as performing very well. Jacob points out that if the people who work for you don’t say that you're doing a good job, then you're not doing a good job. It really doesn't matter what you think about yourself as a leader. This presents a tremendous opportunity to step up and practice these skills and mindsets, and teach others to do the same. Your job as a leader is to build yourself up to become a lighthouse, and also to guide other people.
The Future Leader book
WHR Globoforce Spotlight: Laury D’Oliveira, Office Manager and Cultural Energizer
We’re doing something a little different this 2019. Each month, we’re highlighting a specific human from Globoforce and learning all about their stories. Today, we have Laury D'Oliveira, our Office Manager and all-around cultural energizer. She’s sharing what it’s like to be the support system of the company, and will robots be taking over our jobs soon?
Laury grew up in Central Massachusetts as the middle child of seven kids, from a family of very strong women. When she was younger, she wanted to be a lawyer because she felt there were injustices in the world that she could help fix. She was always taking care of everybody, and it’s carried through her entire life. In college, she took up Psychology at Fitchburg State University.
She met her first husband when she was younger and they had two boys. After they decided to move on from one another, she was a single mom for a while. Laury shares how the support she had from her mother in raising her kids meant never needing a babysitter outside the family.
Daniel, her eldest, was a marine. He’s presently a personal trainer and hopes to open a gym where he can help veterans. The youngest, Jordan, is a teacher’s assistant and works with boys from difficult backgrounds.
She met her second husband, Paul, through work, even though she wasn’t looking for a relationship at the time. He never shied away from taking on the responsibility of raising her two boys, and she now introduces him as their father.
How did you start working for Globoforce?
The engineering firm she was working for was closing, and she came across a listing for a payroll administrator. She threw in her résumé and got the call to interview about the position.
The interview began typically, but at one point it had transformed into a warm conversation. It was the best interview she’d ever done. Her interviewer even told someone, “Don’t bother interviewing anyone else. We have who we need.” Two days later, she was offered the job.
What does your role here look like?
Laury started as the payroll person, but as she became familiar with how the company functioned, what was needed where and who needed what, she was asked if she wanted to be the Office Manager. Naturally, he said yes. At its core, it’s a job that helps people do their jobs better, and that’s just who she is.
If someone at the office has something going on in their lives, they can come to her about it. She (and Globoforce) believe that if they can help people in their outside lives, what they do during their time working will be much more productive because they can give so much more of themselves. Helping them deal through life and navigate doctors’ appointments and after-school activities just makes sense.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Her children. They love giving back and understand that service to others and supporting each other is important. They’re caring human beings who aren’t afraid to fight for what is right: they’re not going to see someone struggling and say, well, that’s not my problem. It is. It’s all of our problems.
What do you see work becoming like in the next couple of years, especially with AI and robots coming in?
Globoforce will always have humans. There’s something to be said about eye contact, interacting with one another, and actually caring about each other’s days. A connection with another human being will always make things better, and despite all the negativity in the world today, we can — and must — be the light.
Laury D'Oliveira (LinkedIn)
Understanding Digital Body Language with Erica Dhawan
Mike Wood welcomes Erica Dhawan, one of the speakers at WorkHuman Live 2020, to this week’s show. Erica is the world’s leading authority on Connectional Intelligence and the founder and CEO of Cotential. She is a speaker, trainer and consultant, as well as a bestselling author and podcast host. Named the Oprah of Management by the Thinkers 50, Erica is considered one of the management thinkers most likely to shape the future of business. She and Mike chat about digital body language, the topic she will speak on at WorkHuman Live 2020.
What is Digital Body Language?
A modern dilemma is that while body language makes up 75% of communication, today 70% of our communication is digital. As a result, it’s becoming more difficult to express what you mean in the workplace, and to grasp what others mean. These days we don’t talk the talk, Erica says, we write the talk. She defines digital body language as the cues and signals we send in our messages that truly make up the subtext of what we mean. She says that it is a key skill to help reduce the empathy deficit that strains workplace relationships.
Mike asks what signals we should look for in digital communications. Erica responds that digital body language shapes every interaction we have now, even face to face ones. Some of the new signals are word choice, response time, medium choice, and email signature. The key thing to keep in mind is how our digital body language signals are received by others. She says that we should first ask ourselves if we've given the other person enough context and if we're being clear, then if we’re using an emotional tone that’s in keeping with our company culture.
Practice Patient and Careful Responses
Today’s advanced technology, Erica says, has created a culture where we feel that communication has to be instant. One of the most important elements of digital body language is to practice patient and careful responses. Be patient; you shouldn’t panic or get upset if someone doesn’t respond immediately, Erica says. A better approach is to include response time expectations in your messages. When you rush to respond to messages, there’s a high chance that your response will have mistakes and typos. Hasty responses can cause a breakdown in trust, Erica points out. Respond carefully and thoughtfully.
Using Sarcasm and Humor
There are times when we can use sarcasm or humor in our digital communications effectively, but it depends on the audience and our relationship with them. Erica describes when sarcasm and humor is appropriate, and when it’s better not to use it. Ultimately, she says, everyone has their own style of sarcasm, and if it can cause misunderstanding, it’s best not to use it at all. Mike adds that there still needs to be a tone of business in your writing. Erica comments that digital body language is a whole new skill set but it’s critical for teamwork and leadership in the modern age.
Erica Dhawan on Twitter | LinkedIn
WorkHuman Live 2020