Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Day We Sold Education

I come from a family of educators: my mother and my aunt were school and college teachers respectively, and my sister is a faculty at the Ohio State University, and I was blessed to study at one of the sparkling symbols of education in India, the Kendriya Vidyalaya system for a princely sum of three rupees per month (I was given a discount because my sister preceded me by a couple of years.)

Most of the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools were typically housed in ramshackle buildings donated by the Armed Forces or the local Central Government business like the Airport Authority or Railways. But none of that bothered us, because we were immersed in a system of education where the faculty held sway–brilliant people who joined the teaching system with a mission to help children change the world. By the time I graduated high school to join a college, India had discovered the system of “Donations” and “Management Quotas”–euphemisms for selling a place at the college to students who could afford to bribe the education system. In 1985, the Government of India privatized education, and for the next decade and more, the biggest money spinner was building out private colleges and schools. Volume took over, and the results are still apparent: poor quality of faculty, poorer or no facilities for research, and the highest paying students got in. We “sold” education, and sold it far-and-wide.

Today, the largest recruiting houses like TCS and Cognizant put fresh recruits through months of training to make them “just” employable.

India wasn’t (or isn’t) alone.

In a recent post, I was appalled to read about the UW-Madison’s scramble to retain faculty in a state that is struggling to retain education independence from political assault. Student debt in the U.S. is the next wave of unsecured credit, and Wall Street wolves are champing at the bits to make a play of it.

The Republican House passed a budget in 2015 that plans to roll back federal funding for education in order to balance budgets. This obviously opens doors to private funding and control by big business over education. UW Madison is just one example, there are universities across the US struggling to maintain research, retain faculty, and bring in more students into the fold even as grants and funding dry up. Faculty are forced to find million-dollar chairs, or their tenures are at stake.

The two largest democracies are ignoring the perils of messing with basic citizen rights: the access to education.

Education helps in breaking stereotypes. Education helps a human being discover him- or herself. Education unleashes mankind’s only differentiation: intelligence.

We seem to be very unintelligent about how we treat this asset. God help us.
Or perhaps, not.

In disappointment
Karthik

Originally Posted on Linked In by:

 

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

 

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The Jobs With the Highest Gender Pay Gaps

It’s hard to argue that women don’t take some kind of salary penalty—most studies have found some gap between what the genders earn—but in some fields, women are at a particular disadvantage, new research shows.

A report released on Wednesday by salary website Glassdoor found that that women are paid, on average, five cents less on the dollar than men in the same position who are equally qualified and work at the same company. The study, which analyzed 505,000 salary reports from full-time employees in 25 industries, adjusted for such factors as age, experience, company, state, industry, level of education, and job title. Female computer scientists endure the largest gap, at 28 percent.

Many women may have no idea that they’re earning less than the guy at the next desk.

“Money is considered the final frontier of shame,” said Sallie Krawcheck, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital advisor for women. “People are often reticent to talk about how much they make and how they invest,  and that can lead to women not realizing how big the wage gap actually is.” Women may undervalue their education in salary negotiations, said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. “We’re moving toward a workforce where women are better educated than men, on average, and if women don’t fully understand the value of their degree, they may not be asking for what they deserve.”

Jobs with wide pay gaps are common in health care: Women who are dentists, physicians, psychologists, pharmacists, medical technicians, and opticians see a difference in pay from their male colleagues that ranges from 14 percent to 28 percent.

In 2015, California passed California Fair Pay Act to ameliorate the pay gap in that state by mandating that male and female employees who do “substantially similar” work be paid the same. In this light, the bill gives power to employees who feel their compensation reflects workplace discrimination. Such laws serve a twofold purpose, said Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor’s vice president of corporate affairs: They expose the wage gap and help women renegotiate their salaries as labor market conditions and experience levels change.

The job role with the smallest gender wage gap is event coordinator, with 0.2 percent higher average male pay. Some occupations, including social worker, communications associate, social media representative, and research assistant, even swing in the other direction, with women earning marginally more than men.

Krawcheck suggests women overcome that discomfort about asking for a raise. “Getting to his dollar represents a 30 percent or more increase in our pay,” she said, referring to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate of the wage gap. “If you make $85,000 a year and get the raise to men’s level, that adds up to $1.7 million over the course of 30 years. That’s worth the short-term stress.”

(An earlier version of this story was published, in error, with editor’s notes.)
Originally Posted on Bloomburg.com by: 
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

Higher Ed Leaders See Modest Salary Increases, but Gender Disparity Emerges as a Key Issue

Senior leaders in higher education saw pay raises this academic year, but the rate of increase dropped somewhat and is accompanied by a sharpening salary gap between genders, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

Data from the CUPA-HR 2015-16 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey show that the median base salary increase this academic year for administrators for all institutions combined was 2.1 percent; last year it was 2.4 percent, and it had been rising steadily for the previous four years.

The low level of pay increase shown in the survey is largely the result of a difficult squeeze many institutions face, according to CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley. “Colleges and universities continue to struggle to balance the need to minimize tuition increases and the need to adequately acknowledge and reward outstanding employee performance, as evidenced by the small pay increases awarded again this year.”

The survey also found:

  • Private colleges and universities are back on top when it comes to pay raises for senior leaders. Administrators in private institutions saw a median base salary increase this academic year of 2.2 percent, compared to a 2.0 percent increase for those in the same positions at public institutions. Publics had outpaced privates for the past two years for pay increases in this group, but prior to that, privates edged out publics for several years in a row.
  • The median base salary increase for administrators at doctoral institutions this academic year was 2.5 percent; at bachelor’s and special focus institutions, it was 2.3 percent; and at master’s and associate’s institutions, it was 2 percent.
  • The median base salary for a CEO at a single institution ranged from $190,000 at associate’s institutions to $452,370 at research universities. The median base salary for a chief academic officer ranged from $132,940 at associate’s institutions to $353,796 at research institutions. Other executive salaries reflected similar differences based on institution type.
  • The highest paid deans were those in the areas of medicine, dentistry, law, public health, and engineering.
  • Public and private institutions differ substantially in the salaries they pay for certain executive positions. The widest gap exists in the position of president, with private institutions paying nearly $50,000 more than public institutions.

Along with the generally smaller pay raises reported this year, CUPA-HR has identified gender disparity as a significant trend that needs to be addressed. The 2015-16 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey shows that males occupy the overwhelming majority of executive positions in higher ed, and that male presidents outnumber female presidents 2 to 1. According to the survey, the only position in which females occupy the overwhelming majority of positions is that of chief HR officer, in which females outnumber males nearly 3 to 1.

The survey also shows that males earn a higher median salary than females in 12 of the 15 executive positions reported, with the highest salary gap being in the position of chief financial officer; in that position females are shown to earn $.77 for every dollar that males earn.

According to CUPA-HR, the sharp disparity between genders demands increased focus among higher-education institutions. “Closing the pay gap between men and women in leadership roles must be a priority for higher education, as should bringing more women into the leadership pipeline,” says Brantley. “Our hope is that these gender disparities related to pay and position will lessen with each year moving forward.”

Visit the CUPA-HR website to read the Survey Overview, view select data tables, or order survey results.

HigherEdJobs® annually publishes the salary survey results from CUPA-HR and all the survey results will be available once the data is released. You can view the 2014-15 data here.

Originally posted on Higheredjobs.com by:David Bellm

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

 

Trump, Trade and Community Colleges

Donald Trump has moved international trade policy to the top of the list of major issues in the 2016 presidential election.  Trump is attracting Republican voters by mingling fears over immigration and trade policy to paint “foreign threats” as the drivers of job loss and wage stagnation for middle class and blue collar families.  And perhaps for the first time, Bernie Sanders is showing that the internal Democratic split on this issue goes beyond policy wonk arguments and can move voters in Democratic primaries.

The relationship between trade policy and employment is shaped by a complex mix of factors – many of which I won’t discuss in this post.  Whatever one thinks about the substance (or lack thereof) in the political debate over these factors, the importance of trade policy in the 2016 presidential campaign is revealing a profound lack of confidence in the resilience of the American economy and our workforce development strategies.

America’s confidence is waning.  But a trade wall won’t bring it back.  We can’t completely isolate the American economy from global competition; and the job losses that come from other forces aren’t going away.  Confidence can only be restored if the US creates a system that helps workers successfully navigate a changing economy and labor market.

That’s where community colleges, as well as other colleges and universities serving local populations, come into play.  In theory, these higher education institutions should work in partnership with regional workforce development boards and state agencies to provide short term credit and non-credit programs to help workers prepare for changes in the job market.  This role should not be limited to serving just recently displaced workers; but should meet the needs of broader populations who will face job and earnings challenges from many sources throughout the forty years or longer of a career.

Unfortunately, an integrated education and training pipeline just doesn’t exist in most places.  There are lots of small success stories but very few examples of a system robust enough to maintain public confidence.  The anxiety evidenced in the presidential campaign should prevent education and workforce leaders from resting on the laurels of small scale success.

After many years of participation in regional and state discussion, planning and activity meant to meet this challenge, I’ve come to the conclusion that we lack the infrastructure to make it work.  Too many organizations pursue narrow internally defined priorities.  Employers have a hard time providing actionable insights to educators and trainers.  The eligibility standards in most federally funded programs restrict the reach of services and leave many Americans on the outside looking in.

The key elements of a new approach are place, independence, relevance and ongoing measurement and refinement.

Place: The behavior of people and employers define the place that matters, not the political jurisdictions of states, counties, cities, workforce boards, college catchment areas or whatever else you have.  Most people in a metro region know this and can readily define the geography of their labor market unless they happen to be an insider connected to the turf of an existing organization.  The regional labor market must be served.  Federal, state or local policies that get in the way of success must yield to the needs defined by commuting and hiring patterns.

Independence: Colleges and workforce boards cannot be left to their own devices to decide what a region needs.  Their own self-interest gets in the way.  An independent broker that answers to regional leaders is needed.  The broker should play a role in directing funding, but it should never get into the service delivery business itself.

Relevance: This is all about employment and earnings power of the people of the region.  Employers have a lot to contribute to defining relevance, as do professionals in educational and workforce agencies.  But no one sector owns the issue or the knowledge base needed to define relevance.  This is a complicated issue and even “official spokespeople” for major employers can send mixed or wrong signals to service providers.

Measurement and refinement: Relevance and success must be constantly monitored.  Employer satisfaction is important but the ultimate test is the employment and earnings power of the people in a region.  The data tools to measure progress exist and are getting better all the time.  The insights gleaned from this analysis must be used to continually adapt regional responses and not left for annual progress reports.

***

No five year strategic plan is going to fix this.  It’s what I call “forever work.”  The pace of economic and career change is not letting up.  Colleges and workforce agencies must always remember that if they seek to protect their organization from change they are ignoring the reality that those they serve are subject to constant change.  Regional leaders need to take the point and refuse to let any part of the system get too comfortable if we are going to restore public confidence in a resilient American economy.

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Michael Meotti is the Principal of Ed Policy Group and formerly served as CT Commissioner of Higher Education

 

Originally posted on Linked IN by:

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

The Day We Sold Education

I come from a family of educators: my mother and my aunt were school and college teachers respectively, and my sister is a faculty at the Ohio State University, and I was blessed to study at one of the sparkling symbols of education in India, the Kendriya Vidyalaya system for a princely sum of three rupees per month (I was given a discount because my sister preceded me by a couple of years.)

Most of the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools were typically housed in ramshackle buildings donated by the Armed Forces or the local Central Government business like the Airport Authority or Railways. But none of that bothered us, because we were immersed in a system of education where the faculty held sway–brilliant people who joined the teaching system with a mission to help children change the world. By the time I graduated high school to join a college, India had discovered the system of “Donations” and “Management Quotas”–euphemisms for selling a place at the college to students who could afford to bribe the education system. In 1985, the Government of India privatized education, and for the next decade and more, the biggest money spinner was building out private colleges and schools. Volume took over, and the results are still apparent: poor quality of faculty, poorer or no facilities for research, and the highest paying students got in. We “sold” education, and sold it far-and-wide.

Today, the largest recruiting houses like TCS and Cognizant put fresh recruits through months of training to make them “just” employable.

India wasn’t (or isn’t) alone.

In a recent post, I was appalled to read about the UW-Madison’s scramble to retain faculty in a state that is struggling to retain education independence from political assault. Student debt in the U.S. is the next wave of unsecured credit, and Wall Street wolves are champing at the bits to make a play of it.

The Republican House passed a budget in 2015 that plans to roll back federal funding for education in order to balance budgets. This obviously opens doors to private funding and control by big business over education. UW Madison is just one example, there are universities across the US struggling to maintain research, retain faculty, and bring in more students into the fold even as grants and funding dry up. Faculty are forced to find million-dollar chairs, or their tenures are at stake.

The two largest democracies are ignoring the perils of messing with basic citizen rights: the access to education.

Education helps in breaking stereotypes. Education helps a human being discover him- or herself. Education unleashes mankind’s only differentiation: intelligence.

We seem to be very unintelligent about how we treat this asset. God help us.
Or perhaps, not.

In disappointment
Karthik

Originally posted on Linked IN by:

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

What Happens When Millennials Run the Workplace?

Joel Pavelski, 27, isn’t the first person who has lied to his boss to scam some time off work.

But inventing a friend’s funeral, when in fact he was building a treehouse — then blogging and tweeting about it to be sure everyone at the office noticed? That feels new.

Such was a recent management challenge at Mic, a five-year-old website in New York that is vying to become a leading news source created by and for millennials. Recent headlines include “Don’t Ban Muslims, Ban Hoverboards” and “When Men Draw Vaginas.”

“There’s 80 million millennials; we focus on the 40 that went to college,” said Chris Altchek, Mic’s 28-year-old chief executive.

But he is still working out how to manage many of the traits associated with his fellow millennials: a sense of entitlement, a tendency to overshare on social media, and frankness verging on insubordination.

Mic’s staff of 106 looks a lot like its target demographic: trim 20-somethings, with beards on the men and cute outfits on the women, who end every sentence with an exclamation point and use the word “literally” a lot.

Their crowded newsroom on Hudson Street has an aggressively playful vibe, like a middle-school fraternity house. Some ride hoverboards into the kitchen for the free snacks. Others wield Nerf dart guns or use a megaphone for ad hoc announcements. Dino, a white Maltese terrier owned by the lead designer, snuffles between desks.

Mr. Altchek is proud of the freewheeling office culture. “It helps us to have everyone speak out and best ideas rise to the top,” he said. “What that can feel like or sound like is rudeness. But I’d rather have a lot of people speaking their minds than a very controlled environment.”

 

But running an office made up exclusively of millennials, it turns out, is not without its snags. His philosophy was tested when Mr. Pavelski, Mic’s director of programming, requested a week off, ostensibly to attend a wake back home in Wisconsin. “I went to talk to Joel and said, ‘So sorry about your loss, take as much time as you need,’” Mr. Altchek said.

 

Chris Altchek, Mic’s 28-year-old chief executive.CreditJennifer S. Altman for The New York Times

Then, several days later, he noticed Mr. Pavelski tweet a link to Medium, a popular blog for cathartic, personal essays. In a post titled, “How to Lose Your Mind and Build a Treehouse,” Mr. Pavelski wrote about feeling burned out at work and wanting to rebuild a childhood treehouse as therapy. The first line read, “I said that I was leaving town for a funeral, but I lied.”

“I was sort of taken aback,” Mr. Altchek said. “It’s not acceptable to be lied to.”

In a disciplinary meeting the next day, Mr. Pavelski’s supervisor acknowledged that he had been working grueling hours, so he was given another chance. Still, Mr. Altchek wanted to send a message. “Our feedback to him was, ‘This is not a three-strike policy, it’s a two-strike policy,’” he said.

Mr. Pavelski is still on his first strike. But even in an office that is tolerant of youthful boundary pushing, some millennial behavior can cross the line.

Mr. Altchek recalled a companywide meeting last September that coincided with the religious holidays Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha. An Anglo-Pakistani employee asked why management had announced a flexible time off policy for the Jewish holiday, but not for its Muslim counterpart.

“So I told her, ‘Great point, being inclusive and respectful of all religious affiliations is incredibly important to Mic,’” Mr. Altchek said.

Afterward, in front of a smaller group, he was approached by a younger, entry-level employee who said that there were two words missing from his reply. “I was a bit confused and said, ‘O.K., what were those?’” he recalled. “And she said: ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t hear an apology.’”

Mr. Altchek did not think such a comment belonged in a workplace, especially his.

“I was a little taken aback by the tone, but I told her I would address it and make sure the person who asked the question wasn’t offended by the answer,” he said. “You have to control your temper. It was in front of a bunch of people, which was probably better, because I was forced to be calm.”

That employee is no longer with the company. (Mr. Altchek said she was let go for “performance-related issues.”)

A sense of entitlement is not the only stereotype attached to millennials in the workplace.

“Entitled, lazy, narcissistic and addicted to social media,” according toCNBC. “They Don’t Need Trophies but They Want Reinforcement,” Forbeswrote. “Many millennials want to make the world a better place, and the future of work lies in inspiring them,” Fast Company proclaimed.

 

The crowded newsroom has an aggressively playful vibe, like a middle-school fraternity house.CreditJennifer S. Altman for The New York Times

Older managers confused by why millennials like to Snapchat with co-workers, or don’t want to pay their dues with grunt work, had better get used to it. Last year, millennials edged out Generation X (35 to 50 years old in 2015) as the largest share of the labor force, according to the Pew Research Center. What’s more, millennials have also surpassed baby boomers.

Joan Kuhl, 36, who founded Why Millennials Matter, a consulting firm that advises employers like Goldman Sachs on hiring and retaining recent college graduates, said that what is needed is more familiarity.

“We tend to publicize these outrageous acts of defiance, versus emphasizing the majority that I run into and work with, who are very mission focused and value based,” she said.

Ms. Kuhl educates her clients on the quirks of millennials, and why a 21-year-old sees nothing wrong with oversharing. Millennials are pushed to create a “strong personal brand” to land a job, Ms. Kuhl said, so asking them to tone it down once they are employed sends “a lot of mixed messages.”

Still, even Ms. Kuhl has been taken aback by some of the millennials in her office. She remembered an intern who ate a tuna fish sandwich during a 10 a.m. meeting with very senior colleagues. When mildly rebuked afterward, the intern replied, “Well, you said to be myself, and I was hungry.”

So imagine a workplace where all are in their 20s.

Mr. Altchek founded Mic in 2011 (then operating as PolicyMic) with Jake Horowitz, now 28, his former classmate from the Horace Mann School in New York.

Today, Mr. Horowitz reports from the field (such as the Syrian migrant crisis from the beaches of Greece, and interviewing President Obama in the White House), while Mr. Altchek runs the business out of a 15,000-square-foot converted warehouse in the Hudson Square neighborhood.

Millennial news has significant competition for eyeballs. According to the data provider comScore, Mic had about 19 million unique visitors in January, compared with 79.7 million for BuzzFeed, with five other competitors falling in between. (A Mic spokeswoman pointed out that rivals like Vice Media operate multiple branded sites that roll into their comScore number, whereas Mic relies on just one site.)

At Mic, part of the growth strategy is not just airing, but blaring, its business on social media.

Hence there are office conversations held on Twitter, and the blurring of personal and professional boundaries, such as when Mr. Altchek broadcast his dental examination on Periscope, a live streaming video app.

 

Indeed, several Mic staffers cited the “say anything” office culture as one of the things they loved most about working there.

“People are here from morning to night, and we don’t want to leave,” saidElizabeth Plank, 28, a high-energy reporter who lives in the East Village and hosted a video series called “Flip the Script,” which seeks to challenge assumptions like, “What Happens When a Lady ‘Manspreads.’

Ms. Plank contrasted her freedoms at Mic to her previous job at a feminist nonprofit organization, which she regarded as exemplifying the outdated work practices of older people.

“We called people on phones and we — I don’t know — we faxed people,” Ms. Plank said, sounding exasperated. “And we had to mail things. And no one really took my opinion into consideration.”

At Mic, she was able to dabble in different jobs and negotiate grandiose titles like “executive social editor.” Often, she prefers the theater of tweeting back and forth with the editor she sits next to rather than speaking face to face.

“If you can be young at heart, I think it makes your personal, and not only your work life, better,” added Ms. Plank, who left for Vox last month after two and a half years at Mic.

Mic apparently isn’t a good fit for everyone. Madhulika Sikka, who left NPR last year to join Mic as executive editor, announced earlier this week that she was leaving the website, saying on Twitter that she was “ready to take on something new.”

Perhaps because of this very culture of workplace-as-reality-show, Mr. Pavelski, the prevaricating treehouse builder, remains notably unchastened.

“Maybe this is because I’m young, but, like, I don’t think that there is a lot about my personal life that I wouldn’t want to incorporate into what I’m doing professionally,” he said. “The reason I wrote that essay in the first place was about catharsis, and I wanted to walk through my thought process and figure out what was going on with me.”

The logic of that may be more apparent to his age group.

“The one thing I don’t want people to mistake is that we’re serious about this,” he added. “And that we’re taking over. That is all.”

Correction: March 19, 2016 

An earlier version of this article omitted the news of the departure of Madhulika Sikka, which was announced after the article was edited but before it was published. An earlier version of this correction misspelled Ms. Sikka’s given name.

 

Originally posted on NY Times by Ben Widdicombe

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

Effective Leaders Know the Science Behind Their Behavior

Lynn had dreaded this meeting with her team. Frowning, she looked around the conference table and said, “I’ve got bad news. Upper management told me this team’s performance is unacceptable. We have to pull up our numbers by the end of this quarter, or heads will roll. I’ve decided to make major changes. First, all vacations for the rest of the quarter are cancelled. I expect each of you to be here focused on work. Second, you will meet your weekly goals, no matter how many hours it takes.”

Don’t Make Bad Situations Worse

Whatever you think of the content of Lynn’s message to her team, it’s clear that how she delivered it made a bad situation worse. Missing from Lynn’s delivery were use of the self-awareness, self-management, and empathy that are key to emotional intelligence. During the Brainpower webcasts, my colleague Daniel Siegel and I shared with viewers many of the research studies we’ve used as the basis of our work with emotional intelligence and Mindsight.

If Lynn had understood and taken to heart some of that science, she could have handled the meeting more skillfully.

If I were Lynn’s coach, here are a few studies I would have shared with her for how she could apply their findings.

Self-Awareness and Contagious Feelings

When Lynn walked into her meeting upset, she was participating in something called emotional contagion. Whenever people interact, our brains and bodies react to the feelings of those around us. Marco Iacoboni is a colleague of Dr. Siegel’s at the University of California, Los Angeles who studies neural circuitry like the mirror neuron system that operates in emotional contagion. Those systems work automatically, instantly, unconsciously, and out of our intentional control.

Andrew Meltzoff at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at University of Washington also studies how people are hardwired to pick up signals from someone else.

When it comes to spreading emotions, some people have more influence in passing along their feelings. When there are power differences between people, the person with the most influence is the “sender” of feelings. Lynn didn’t realize she was spreading her bad mood.

Use Self-Awareness to Manage Emotional Contagion

Working with a coach and using 360-degree feedback tools such as the Emotional Social Competency Inventory are superb ways to develop self-awareness. Developing a mindfulness practice also can help you learn to be aware of your emotions. Dr. Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness tool is a practical exercise that can strengthen self-awareness.

Sigal Barsade, a researcher at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specializes in studying emotional contagion and its impact in organizations. She suggests ways leaders can manage their emotions and create a positive emotional culture in their teams. First on her list is to be aware of your own mood and to change it if it isn’t useful. One way to do that is to change your facial expression. Dr. Barsade understands the facial feedback hypothesis, which states that our facial expressions impact our emotions. Intentionally smiling leads to feeling positive emotions.

Manage Yourself First

Before leading anyone else, a leader first must manage themselves. Lynn’s lack of self-management started with entering the room in a bad mood and escalated when she blew up at her staff. Lynn’s outburst was a classic “amygdala hijack.” The amygdala is an area in the emotional centers of the middle brain. I’ve learned about the amygdala from the research of Joseph Ledux and his colleagues at New York University.

In my book, The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights, I said,

“The amygdala is a trigger point for emotional distress, anger, impulse, fear, and so on. When this circuitry takes over, it acts as the ‘bad boss,’ leading us to take actions we might regret later…. The key neural area for self-regulation is the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s ‘good boss,’ guiding us when we are at our best. The dorsolateral zone of the prefrontal area is the seat of cognitive control, regulating attention, decision-making, voluntary action, reasoning, and flexibility in response.”

For Lynn to control her ‘bad boss’ amygdala, she needs to build her emotional self-management skills. And, her outburst set off a collective amygdala hijack among her team. John Gottman is a psychologist who has done extensive research on relationship dynamics. His advice is to take 20 minutes to cool off, step away from the situation. That’s the time it takes for your body to process the adrenal surge caused by the amygdala. In a setting like this team meeting, even a 5- or 10-minute break to take some deep breaths and get out of the room would help.

Lead with Empathy

Also missing from Lynn’s handling of the “bad news” was any empathy for the members of her team. By operating without empathy, she was unable to identify with or vicariously experience what her staff members were thinking of feeling.Jean Decety at the University of Chicago refers to three kinds of empathy.

  • Cognitive empathy allows you to sense how someone else thinks about the world. This helps you say things so they can be heard. Without cognitive empathy, Lynn was missing information that could inform how to best present ideas.
  • Emotional empathy means you resonate with how another person feels. Lynn’s inability to read the emotions of her staff left her open to distressing the people around her.
  • Empathic concern is an ability to sense what someone else needs and express how you care about those needs. Lynn’s lack of caring for her team led to a decrease in their motivation.

Empathy is crucial to all forms of relationships, especially in the workplace. Effective leaders need to exercise all three forms of empathy on a daily basis.

Tania Singer at the Max Planck Institute in Germany studies empathy and compassion. Singer has found that something called the insula is key to emotional empathy. The insula, a neural area important for emotional intelligence, senses signals from our whole body. When we empathize with someone, our neurons actually mimic within us that persons’ state. Singer and her colleagues have found that empathy can be learned. They have developed training programs that are available as a free downloadable ebook.

Brainpower: Mindsight and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership is a collection of four streaming videos with Daniel Goleman and Daniel Siegel.

This series provides leaders, executive coaches, management consultants, and HR professionals with a science basis for their leadership development work.

Additional Resources

The Competency Builder
The Coaching Program
The C-Suite Toolkit
The L&D Primer

 

Originally posted on Linked IN by: 

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

This is the Future of Work…and What It Means for Your Career

In my 20s, I was an investment banker; in my 30s, a research analyst; in my 40s, I managed and led large, complex businesses; and now that I’ve entered my 50s, I’m an entrepreneur. Four decades; four separate – but related – careers, each building on what came before.

I can’t say I exactly planned it this way. Nor did it “just happen” to me. But instead it was some combination of my working in an industry undergoing almost constant change and my active search for interesting work. And, as I’ve advanced, it’s also because I’ve sought out work that can have an impact.

The types of transitions I’ve had may be unusual among my peers. But I believe careers marked by transitions, pivots and reinventions are more likely to become the norm going forward – and particularly so for women, given that we tend to take more career breaks. Whereas historically, a career-well-worked has been characterized by a steady upward progression – in title, in responsibility, in pay – going forward it will be more about proactively constructing an interesting career through building one’s skill base and making more lateral moves.

This is because business is changing…fast…and the pace of that change is only going to accelerate. The forces of technology and globalization are fundamentally altering any number of industries; that means that what worked for decades won’t be a given any longer. (Sure, this is true for the tech industry, but also for print media, for financial services, and any number of others….and much more to come.)

This type of dislocation can feel like a negative…and indeed, it does mean you’re more likely to lose your job, as strategies and bosses shift to keep up. But it also means that our career options are increasing, if we’re open to them. For example, it may not be easy to start a business today, but it’s certainly easier – and less expensive – than it has been historically. Think cloud-based computing instead of buying servers, shared workspaces instead of multi-year leases, video-conferencing instead of business travel, crowdfunding instead of venture capital money or bank loans, freelancers instead of full-time hires….everywhere you look, the infrastructure for starting and funding businesses is exploding.

So what is involved in these types of successful career transitions?

First, get past the mourning for the comfortable hierarchy, the big office, the heavy-stock cream-colored stationery, the sense of understanding the “rules of the game,” the singular view of what success looks like.

And get past the old view of what successful leadership looks like: strong, decisive, certain. Instead, the key traits for success will be curiosity, an open-mindedness, an intellectual flexibility, an interest in understanding others’ perspectives. (In my old world, people ran from tech projects…almost literally; they were viewed as always-over-budget time sinks. In the new world, the skillsets for managing them are almost essential.)

Secondly, to successfully navigate a world of such change, you have to embrace a certain intellectual discomfort and a willingness to fail. This one can be tough because we females tend to take a failure harder than men do, personalizing it. For me, being a research analyst was great training, because I had to get comfortable being “out there” and making non-consensus calls…even though I was brought up, like most southern young ladies were, not to rock the boat.

Part and parcel of this is getting comfortable being criticized. This can be another tough one for us ladies, because so many of us were socialized to prioritize relationships. But change can make people uncomfortable, and so many people fight it; if you’re moving in a different direction from them, it can feel like a rebuke. I will never forget, after the announcement that I was working onEllevest (a digital investment platform focused on women), being asked to get on a call with a group of Financial Advisors from my old industry, who expressed disappointment that I was launching this project rather than operating with them in the more traditional part of the market. The tone of the conversation was that I had hurt them in some indefinable way.

Another insight: even though one might imagine there is a sense of urgency with reinvention, I was very careful not to lurch from one thing to another. Instead Igave myself the time to really think things through, try the change on a bit, feel my way into it. I spent about nine months working through my transition to research analyst, thinking about whether I would like it, thinking about whether I would be any good at it. While many facets of it were similar to investment banking, a key difference was the greater responsibility by the individual in making the “calls,” as compared to the teamwork and deal orientation of an investment banker.

On my transition to entrepreneur, it took me a couple of years (my husband might say forever) to work it through, during which I advised a number of start-ups and start-up CEOs….really trying to get a feel for what it’s like and whether I could be successful at such a significant change in career direction. And the outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion; I compared it with other options, such as moving into a regulatory role or into consulting or board work, all of which at the time left me feeling pretty meh.

Implicit in this is that it’s important to “play in traffic.” By that, I mean, getting out there, engaging with people, getting a feel for a new industry or position. This type of transition very likely isn’t going to happen as the result of a headhunter’s call, or even a colleague picking up the phone. It’s important to be proactive here, rather than wait for it to come to you. It won’t.

Which gets me to: You have to prepare financially. You have to prepare in case the shifting business environment knocks you on the head and you lose your job. And you have to prepare for the transitions that you may want to drive. This is where the guys have a leg up on us women: not only do they on average make $1 to a woman’s 77 cents, but they also tend to invest those earnings to a greater degree in the stock market. Over the course of a career, those two things can add up to literally millions of dollars more in earnings.

But for us women taking on what can feel like more risk – asking for the raise (which so many of us dread) and investing in the markets – can pay off in greater career flexibility…and therefore less risk….down the road.

An edited version of this article ran on Fortune.com.

Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women, to be launched in 2016. You can sing up for early accesshere. She is also the Chair of Ellevate Network, the global professional women’s network. She is a Wall Street refugee, having run Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Smith Barney. 

Originally posted on Linked IN by: 

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

Career Strategies When Life Isn’t Black and White

Every few months, the high-tech sector demonstrates another breakthrough in artificial intelligence, generating a flurry of scary headlines about machines taking over the world. If you’re interested in future-proofing your career, there’s never been a better time to pinpoint what it is that people do uniquely well — and software can’t copy.

Let’s start with a salute to the technologists’ latest accomplishment. Google’s AI experts have turned their attention to go, the great Asian board game, and have built software that can beat Le Se-Dol, the 18-time world champion, pretty consistently. Details are in this nifty story from The Verge.

The wow factor here isn’t just that the game of go transcends chess in its complexity, requiring Google’s software to calculate zillions of possibilities. What’s really striking is that when positions get too murky for either humans or AI software to calculate everything, the machines end up playing better hunches than people do. The software can sense new strategies that work, even if  human masters have never tried such approaches.

Before we start shuddering at software’s amazing power, though, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of what makes go so different from our actual jobs. Allow me to submit three factors so obvious — and so fundamental — that we tend to forget how important they are.

  • In go, black and white take turns. Always. There’s no way that either player can “cheat” by making multiple moves before the other can react.
  • In go, black always plays black stones. White plays white stones. Nobody ever introduces a third color, or plays the opponent’s pieces.
  • In go, the board is 19 x 19, every time. It never changes during the course of the game.

Keep everything so orderly, and you’ve created a game (or task) that’s tailor-made for automation. If a factory canteen does nothing but sell cold sodas for $1.25, a vending machine can get the job done faster and more cheaply than a sales clerk. It’s the same story with everything from ATMs to much of e-commerce. Remember: rules and software were made for each other.

In lots of other fields, though, the true nature of the job doesn’t lend itself to neatly codified rules. For example, AI researchers have been trying to codify psychological counseling since the 1960s, but they haven’t put therapists out of business yet. In any counseling session, there’s a lot more going on than a predictable discussion of problems, causes and remedies. Patients are constantly doing what’s unthinkable in a tidy game like go: they are moving out of turn, switching roles and changing the size of the board. Good therapists aren’t flustered. They adjust to the unexpected all the time.

There’s a delicious irony here. Humans don’t keep ahead of machines by succeeding perfectly in rule-based environments. We prevail  when we’re able to come up with some kind of response — even if it isn’t always right — in situations so antithetical to rules-based responses that machines can’t even compute.

Consider the world described by author Jack Viertel in his new book, “The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.” There are familiar patterns in great musicals, Viertel tells us. It’s common to encounter an “I Want” song early on, he tells us. Creators often explore outsized romances, faraway worlds and the like, creating tension with items such as a “conditional love song.” Yet woe unto the composers and song-writers who think they can triumph merely by connecting the dots.

“The best writers are always trying to break the mold,” Viertel declares. People rebel with impunity and delight. We take pride in creating something that’s unique. Take a tour across the performing arts, and so far AI software hasn’t made meaningful headway in creating great songs, novels, movies  or the like. When the board’s shape keeps changing and when players’ habitually upend the old rules, then we’ve defined an area far better suited to humans, with all our imperfections, than to the orderly approaches of machines.

There’s one more point that’s worth making. It easily seen in the world of exercise and conditioning, though it applies to any area where true person-to-person contact matters. I’ve watched with interest the past few years as the world has been flooded with Fitbits and totally automated training apps for your smartphone. Yet workforce demand for personal trainers keeps growing. Why? Because the human touch is uniquely suited to the moods, needs and sensibilities of all of us would-be athletes.

Sometimes it takes a smile, a joke or a gentle taunt to keep us moving forward in our fitness goals. In such situations, friends and acquaintances inspire us in ways that machines can’t. After all, the best AI in the world is still artificial; the most captivating virtual reality is still virtual.

Originally posted on Linked In by: 

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503

The Ins and Outs of Video Job Interviewing

From hiring managers to recruiters to the CFO, there are two costs of hiringthat everyone would like to curb: time and travel. So conducting interviewsvia a video conference is a very tempting proposition. But virtual face-to-face meetings are not without their caveats and drawbacks.

Here are some key perspectives on the proper role of video interviewing in your recruitment program.

Videoconferencing boosts the reach of face-to-face. It’s impractical — and very expensive — to sit down with every candidate of interest. But video can boost your “visibility” into the candidate pool. “We use video interviews toscreen candidates from campuses that we don’t visit, and for students studying abroad,” says Alexa Merschel, U.S. campus recruiting leader atPricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mid-career candidates appreciate the convenience. A key challenge with recruiting highly-qualified professionals is that they’re very busy. “With experienced candidates, video makes it logistically much easier to schedule an interview and make it happen, compared with face-to-face,” says Rod Adams, who leads PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. recruiting for those candidates. “Video conferencing respects candidates’ time and speeds up the process.”

The velocity’s the thing. It might take you weeks to schedule an interview involving travel; a video conference can probably happen tomorrow or even this evening. “Video also helps us increase speed to offer, which we often do the same day,” says Merschel.

Many interviewees have trouble setting the stage. Understandably, set design and stage lighting are absent from the skill sets of many candidates. “In most video interviews I’ve conducted, the lighting was terrible and I couldn’t see their face, or the background was inappropriate,” says Paul Bailo, author of The Essential Digital Interview Handbook.

“And you may have to give some leeway with respect to sound and video equipment quality. On the other end, if your admin sets up everything in advance, that can impress the candidate.”

Telecom technology can inhibit human communications. Videoconferencing may be “face-to-face” in a virtual recruitment sort of way, but it’s not in-person — and that can make a difference.

When mediated by video conferencing technology, communications can be stilted, says Greg Sears, associate professor of human resource management and organizational behavior at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Video or audio delays “can change the structure and complexion of interaction,” Sears says.

For example, in a video interview, people tend to talk longer — because when they switch back and forth, they fear that signal delays will cause interruptions or awkward pauses.

Video may have a downside for selling the opportunity. In their article in Management Decision, Sears and his collaborators found that when research subjects role-played candidates, their feeling was that they had less of a chance to prove themselves in a video interview, compared to face-to-face interviews. Subjects also rated their on-screen interviewers lower on personableness, trustworthiness and competence.

Some see a video generation gap. Video conferencing technology is appealing to Millennials; for some older candidates with less video experience, there can be some hesitation, say recruiting leaders from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Asynchronous video interviews can pump up the volume. Some employers are experimenting with one-way video interviewing — almost a screen test in which the applicant is an actor creating a monologue in response to basic interview questions.

“We have a volume-hiring team, and that’s where we use video interviewing for all entry-level to mid-level candidates,” says Molly Weaver, director of talent acquisition at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

“These applicants don’t always know what job to apply for, and they’re too busy to do a lot of research. So in June we started giving them the option of recording a video interview to introduce themselves to us. We follow up with a call to talk about what position might be the best fit.”

Candidates want video interviewing that’s mobile. As with any important candidate-facing mobile recruitment process, if you don’t choose a fully mobile video-interviewing solution, you’ll miss a big chunk of the opportunity.

Some 43 percent of job seekers research employers with their mobile phones, says a survey by software maker HireVue. Many of these potential candidates will expect to do any video interview on their phones.

Is it still best to close the deal in person? Not fond of surprises when it comes to new hires? Then you should consider a policy of doing a face-to-face, in-person candidate interview with one or more finalists in every search.

“We do not recommend using video interviews to discriminate among top candidates at later stages in a selection process when more nuanced distinctions must be made,” wrote Sears.

Originally Posted on Monster.com By:John Rossheim

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503