February 22, 2015
“It is -22 degrees outside and I am bundled from head to toe, trudging through the hallways of Ross, hoping to break a sweat before I brace the biting Michigan air. As I mentally prepare myself to go out into the “great” outdoors, I notice a long line coming from a student led station by the staircase. I slow my pace and an ear-to-ear grin consumes my face as I recognize my kind +LAB friends buzzing with energy. I proudly stand behind 10 people all excitedly waiting to send a +gram.”
February 17, 2015
A father and his son are in a car accident. The father is killed and the son is seriously injured. The son is taken to the hospital where the surgeon says, “I cannot operate, because this boy is my son.”
This popular brain teaser dates back many years, but it remains relevant today; 40 to 75 percent of people still can’t figure it out. Those who do solve it usually take a few minutes to fathom that the boy’s mother could be a surgeon. Even when we have the best of intentions, when we hear “surgeon” or “boss,” the image that pops into our minds is often male.
February 11, 2015
“During the fall semester of this year, I was President of a student organization on campus. Many members, including those on the executive board, had been excited to plan an event that I knew would not be appropriate or allowed. While I agreed that this event would be fun, I also knew that the cost of participating would be much greater as it would threaten the reputation of the group. What I needed in this situation was courage.”
February 10, 2015
Years ago, while producing the hit TV series “The Shield,” Glen Mazzara noticed that two young female writers were quiet during story meetings. He pulled them aside and encouraged them to speak up more.
Watch what happens when we do, they replied.
Almost every time they started to speak, they were interrupted or shot down before finishing their pitch. When one had a good idea, a male writer would jump in and run with it before she could complete her thought.
Sadly, their experience is not unusual.
February 10, 2015
Recall a time when you participated in an organizational change. Was it a success or failure? What contributed to this outcome?
January 28, 2015
We all use this phrase: whether it be a cheerful reminder after catching up with past neighbors or a hopeful farewell to soon to be “old” friends when embarking on our journey to college. While saying “keep in touch” in these instances makes perfect sense within our social norms, we don’t actually mean what we say. The “touch” we’re referring to is a form of communication, not physical contact. What we really mean is “Keep the connection” or “Don’t forget to call!” We’re seeking out verbal re-connection. Because of this, we can assume that this phrase cannot be taken literally.
But it can, and it should.
January 23, 2015
Sparks of Kindness are deliberate acts of generosity that makes life better for someone else. As we’ve discussed this week, Sparks of Kindness is also a social movement and Facebook group with lots of practical resources. We’ve talked about the wisdom of small experiments and big experiments, along with the paradox of generosity.
Are you a Spark of Kindness?
January 22, 2015
Generosity is giving freely and unselfishly of your time, money, and resources to benefit others. But generosity is a paradox, say sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson.
January 21, 2015
First I recommended the idea of starting small—trying a Spark of Kindness as a small experiment in a safe place. This is a good piece of practical wisdom.
But, you can also go big! Sparks can be small or large—any Spark can start a wildfire! Is a big experiment for you?
January 20, 2015
Trying something new can cause anxiety. I teach courses about Positive Organizational Scholarship, and there’s always something new to try at work or home. Many people, I’ve observed, can be hesitant.
What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m embarrassed?
When this occurs, here’s the advice I always give, which I learned from a colleague: Try a small experiment in a safe place. Would this help you Spark kindness?
January 19, 2015
Want to make the world a better place? Want to be a better person? Not sure what to do? Here’s a possibility: Join Sparks of Kindness.
January 5, 2015
“Chances are that at some point in your career, you’ve taken an idea from someone else. I want to know why.”