Tag Archives: leaders

This disclosure could hurt your work relationships

Disclosing a weakness might not be a good way to build rapport with coworkers, research suggests.

Sharing personal information with friends and family is a standard way to build rapport and healthy relationships. But between coworkers, that’s not always true.

In the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, researchers report that for higher status individuals, disclosing a weakness negatively affected their relationship and task effectiveness with their lowers status partners.

“We may think that sharing personal information is always a good thing, but what we found is that when higher status individuals, which could in real situations include star employees, share personal information that highlights a potential shortcoming, it can affect the way they are perceived by coworkers,” says Dana Harari, a doctoral student at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business.

“This is important because it could undermine their ability to be an effective manager.”

The team focused on task-oriented relationships such as those found in a workplace.

Higher status individuals may want to disclose information about their weaknesses to coworkers in the hopes of developing a closer relationship.

The researchers devised three laboratory experiments during which a total of 762 participants completed virtual tasks with either a higher status or peer status partner. During the task, the “coworker,” who was actually a confederate in the study, disclosed personal information that could be perceived either as a weakness, a positive, or neutral.

The researchers found that although the type of disclosure did not affect peer status disclosers, higher status individuals who disclosed a weakness experienced a “status penalty.” As a result, higher status disclosers were liked less, and participants resisted their influence more during the task.

“A lot of the current conversations that we hear about leadership is that we want leaders to be authentic and to bring their true selves to work, but our findings suggest that if doing so reveals vulnerability initially such as sharing their flaws, it could have a negative impact on how well they’ll be able to influence the people that they work with,” Harari says.

Why bad bosses shouldn’t try to be funny

The findings are particularly notable because in organizations, higher status individuals may be motivated to disclose information about their weaknesses to coworkers in the hopes of developing a closer relationship and working better together as a result, the researchers write. Or, in some cases, the disclosing individual may hope to relieve the stress of trying to conceal weaknesses.

But that “status loss” could lead to unintended outcomes, such as the discloser having less influence and experiencing more conflict within their team, the researchers write.

“It is especially interesting that although self-disclosing weakness signaled vulnerability for everyone, only higher status disclosers suffered from this ‘status penalty,’” Harari says. “Thus, although higher status disclosers may feel closer to their coworkers after disclosing information themselves, they may not realize that the receiver may not feel closer to them.”

Source: Georgia Tech

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Mark Zuckerberg wants you to call your member of Congress to support Dreamers

The Facebook CEO posted his plea on Wednesday. In it, he says Congress’s ability to pass DACA legislation that will protect Dreamers is ultimately “a basic question of whether our government works.” Zuckerberg has been an outspoken proponent of Dreamers in the past, as have most tech leaders. Recently he cofounded FWD.us, a lobbying group focused on immigration issues.

LISTEN: The Most Successful Union Organizer in America Thinks Traditional Organizing Is A Lost Cause

If anyone has shown a keen understanding of how to unionize workers in America, it’s David Rolf.

In the 1990s, he was a key player in the Service Employees International Union winning the right to represent some 74,000 home care aides in Los Angeles–the largest union organizing campaign since the 1940s. In his present post, as president of SEIU Local 775 in Seattle, he has spearheaded growth from 1,600 to 45,000 members. In 2014, The American Prospect called Rolf “the most successful union organizer of the past 15 years.”

All of which makes Rolf’s take on the collective-bargaining system–that it is a relic, and that those who truly care about workers should stop focusing their efforts on promoting it–particularly provocative.

“I think we made a valiant . . . bet that if we put enough talent and enough resources behind traditional union organizing that we could somehow bring back the old model,” Rolf told me on the latest episode of my podcast, The Bottom Line. “It wasn’t the wrong theory to try necessarily. . . . But ultimately, when you try something over and over again and cannot achieve the results you want, it’s time to try something new.”

Instead of being sufficiently innovative, Rolf adds, most labor leaders have been “reinvesting and doubling down on our American system of enterprise-based collective bargaining since the union movement started to shrink in the early 1950s.” The result: “Through decades . . . we’ve seen unions grow weaker and weaker every year while continuing to repeat the same strategic directions.”

Today, less than 6.5% of the private-sector workforce in the United States is unionized, a steady drop from nearly 35% in 1955, 26% in 1975, and 10% in 1995.

To move forward, Rolf has plenty of ideas, including promoting worker ownership and introducing “ethical workplace” certification and labeling programs designed to appeal to socially conscious consumers.

Especially important, he believes, is to supplant firm-by-firm bargaining with a European-style paradigm in which representatives of the employees, employers, and the government set standards for wages and benefits throughout an entire industry or across a geographic area.

“The more there’s bargaining centralization,” Rolf says, “the less anti-union the culture is, the more union coverage you have in the workplace, the lower inequality is within the overall society, the lower the level of gender wage inequality is, and the more time people get for social and leisure activity.”

Another part of Rolf’s strategy has been to build advocacy organizations like Fight for $15, which, in his words, has put forth a “bold and morally compelling demand” to elevate the pay of more than 20 million low-wage workers.

Whether a critical mass of labor leaders will ever agree with Rolf and push hard to replace the status quo is far from certain. But nobody, he says, should interpret the organizing triumphs that he and a relatively small number of others around the country have enjoyed as a sign that 20th-century trade unionism can survive the 21st.

“Overall, the trend lines are not good,” Rolf says, suggesting that the current system is simply “marking time until its eventual extinction.”

“It’s not to say that you can’t find a few dozen black rhinos left in the wild somewhere,” he continues, “but that shouldn’t make us think that they’re suddenly going to take over the world.”

You can listen to my entire interview with Rolf here, along with Marty Goldensohn reporting on the state of employee stock ownership plans, and Kanyi Maqubela reflecting on why the toughest obstacle facing driverless cars is psychological, not technical.

The Bottom Line is a production of Capital & Main.


Free report: Bright ideas in business from TEDWomen 2017

At a workshop at TEDWomen 2017, the Brightline Initiative helped attendees parse the topic, “Why great ideas fail and how to make sure they don’t.” Photo: Stacie McChesney/TED
The Brightline Initiative helps leaders from all types of organizations build bridges between ideas and results. So they felt strong thematic resonance with TEDWomen 2017, which took place in New Orleans from November 1-3, and the conference theme of “Bridges.” In listening to the 50+ speakers who shared ideas, Brightline noted many that felt especially helpful for anyone who wants to work more boldly, more efficiently or more collaboratively.
We’re pleased to share Brightline’s just-released report on business ideas from the talks of TEDWomen 2017. Give it a read to find out how thinking about language can help you shake off a rut, and why a better benchmark for success might just be your capacity to form meaningful partnerships.
Get the report here >>

Link to source

To reduce gender inequality at work, focus on ‘small wins’

A new method, dubbed the “small wins model,” is showing promise in reducing the kind of bias that leads to gender inequality within a company’s workforce.

“Step by step, I believe that these small wins are the path to achieving our larger goal…”

The method focuses on educating managers and workers about bias; diagnosing where gender bias could enter their company’s hiring, promotion, or other evaluation practices; and working with the company’s leaders to develop tools that help measurably reduce bias and inequality.

Shelley Correll, director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, explains the method, which she and her team piloted and found successful while working with several technology companies over the last three years, in the journal Gender & Society.

“The change we can realistically expect to produce in any one instance will be small, imperfect and incomplete,” writes Correll. “Step by step, I believe that these small wins are the path to achieving our larger goal, which is the transformation of our organizations.”

Stereotypes and bias

Over the past 30 years, research has shown that stereotypes about what men and women are capable of and how they should behave cause people to evaluate men and women differently, especially when the criteria for evaluation are ambiguous. This bias puts women at a disadvantage in workplaces, where they get hired and promoted at lower rates than men.

Women usually face a higher bar, requiring more evidence than men do to be seen as qualified. In addition, if people judge a woman to be competent, they often judge her as less likable, a correlation that is not true for men.

Because of this research, many companies in recent years have invested resources into reducing the kinds of bias that lead to gender imbalance. The two most common approaches have been unconscious bias training and formalizing of methods for hiring and evaluating employees so that they are based on achievement-related criteria.

Correll says that although the two approaches help companies with diversity, they are not complete solutions.

While unconscious bias training is important and helps improve short-term behavior during hiring and promotion decisions, the effects wear off over time and can be threatening to people in power, leading to more bias rather than less, Correll says.

“Bias training can backfire, increasing bias…”

Formal procedures for hiring and promotions also haven’t been entirely successful. For example, Correll writes, fire departments previously used height as a criterion for screening applicants. Despite height being an objective benchmark, its requirement screens out more women than men and a person’s height isn’t directly related to one’s ability to perform the job of a firefighter.

“Bias training can backfire, increasing bias; and formal procedures can be misused by decision makers or, worse, have gender biases built into their design,” Correll writes. “In spite of these limitations, I argue that educating about stereotyping and bias and formalizing evaluation processes are two key building blocks crucial for producing sustainable change.”

Start small

Although neither approach alone has been entirely successful, Correll argues for combining the two in a way that also includes measuring small incremental changes within the organization.

In this model, a company would provide workers with bias training and experts would analyze the company’s procedures to understand where bias might be creeping in. The experts would then work with managers of the company to develop better procedures or tools, implement them and evaluate what changes they produce.

Gender outranks race when kids describe ‘me’

The entire process focuses on creating objective performance checklists and other tools that eliminate ambiguity and the chance for bias from people using them.

“To create sustainable change, we need to shift the target of change from the individual decision maker to organizational processes,” Correll writes.

Correll and her team tried this model with several companies over the past three years as part of Stanford’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership. They found measurable improvements in gender inequalities at those companies.

For example, at a mid-size technology company in the Western US, Correll says her research shows that after putting in place a new employee scorecard, managers were less likely to discuss an employee’s personality rather than his or her work. Before the new scorecard, comments during these discussions criticized 14 percent of women for being “too aggressive” and 8 percent of men for being “too soft.” A year later, after rolling out the new scorecard, those figures dropped to zero percent and 1 percent, respectively.

“The small-wins approach gives people results and something small they can do daily,” Correll says. “Those small wins start to add up. They are the building blocks to larger change.”

Correll says she has been inspired by the number of managers and leaders dedicated to equality in the workplace whom she has met over the past three years. Although reducing bias and inequality completely will take a long time, Correll says she feels optimistic.

Research teams with women more likely to consider sex and gender

“It’s encouraging to see that many people genuinely want to be more inclusive,” Correll says. “These companies didn’t have to open up to us researchers. And I can’t stress enough how valuable working with them and evaluating their data has been.”

Source: Stanford University

The post To reduce gender inequality at work, focus on ‘small wins’ appeared first on Futurity.

10 Design Leaders On How To Change Their Male-Dominated Industry

Women design leaders at Uber, Facebook, Adobe, Pinterest, and more share stories of workplace sexism–and offer strategies for moving forward.

The tech and design worlds need more balanced leadership. Seventy percent of graphic design students are women, yet only 11% of creative directors are women. In the tech industry, which is notorious for gender imbalance, design leaders are looking for ways to support the career growth of female designers and build inclusive teams.

Read Full Story


design events & competitions • Re: Design Forward Conference

Well, I did meet quite a few core77 forum lurkers at the conference :-) … to all of you who came and took the time to say hello, thank you. I always appreciate meeting c77 posters and readers in person!

I gave a breakout session talk to about 60 people on the importance of retaining the skill of rapid visualization. As we elevate in our careers as designers from individual contributors, to directors, to leaders, it is important to remember and utilize our unique skill sets. The ability to rapidly visualize a solution has benefited me many times in board rooms, in front of retailers, and on the factory floor. Other speakers included Don Norman, Mauro Porcini, Phil Gilbert, Kara DeFrias, Jared Erondu, Bobby Ghoshal, Matthew Cole and many others. Great couple of days. If you can make it next year, I highly recommend it.

Here are the options for dealing with North Korea

In his Tuesday address at the United Nations General Assembly, US President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if the US is forced to defend itself or its allies.

Over the past month, North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test and fired its longest-traveling missile.

Michael R. Auslin is a research fellow in contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, who specializes in global risk analysis, US security and foreign policy strategy, and security and political relations in Asia.

Gi-Wook Shin is a professor of sociology, a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

The two scholars recently talked about the escalating situation between the two countries and what real options the two leaders have on the table.

The post Here are the options for dealing with North Korea appeared first on Futurity.

An Open Letter From Civic Hackers to Puerto Rico & USVI in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

I am working with a group of civic developers committed to supporting Hurricane victims for relief & recovery who have helped with the software development and data analysis of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma primarily in Texas and Florida. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, we want to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the same way. Devastation has already occurred in Puerto Rico and the USVI, and we’re here to help in the response and recovery pending from Maria.

But, we won’t jump in without your permission. These places have a long history of imperialism, and we refuse to add tech colonialism on top of that.

Here’s how we might be able to help:


Sometimes emergency services are overloaded fielding calls and deploying assistance. Remote grassroots groups help take in additional requests through social media and apps like Zello and then help to dispatch local people who are offering to perform rescue services (like the Cajun Navy in Houston after Hurricane Harvey).

Shelter updates

As people seek shelter while communication infrastructure remains spotty, having a way to text or call to findt the nearest shelter accepting people becomes useful. We can remotely keep track of what shelters are open and accepting people by calling them and scraping websites, along with extra information such as if they accept pets and if they check identification.

Needs matching

As people settle into shelters or return to their homes, they start needing things like first aid supplies and building materials. Shelter managers or community leaders seek ways to pair those offering material support with those in need of the support. We help with the technology and data related to taking and fulfilling these requests, although we don’t fulfill the requests directly ourselves.

If you are interested in this, please let us know by emailing me (bl00 at mit) or finding us on Twitter at @irmaresponse or @sketchcityhou.

Here are other groups lending aid already (maintained by someone else).
If you’re looking to jump in an an existing task, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team already has a tasker active for helping to map the area for responders and coordination.