3 questions and 3 suggestions to help you come alive

Uncover your leadership superpowers by trading masks | practice (split each time) | 3 questions and 3 suggestions to help you come alive
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April 3, 2024
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Leading the Way
Uncover your leadership superpowers by trading masks
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Adopting different personas, or "masks," by putting ourselves in others' shoes can foster the superpowers of empathy and emotional intelligence that can help leaders create a culture of trust, loyalty and respect, writes speaker and author Yonason Goldson. See things from others' perspectives by asking questions such as, "Am I effectively communicating my vision?" and "How are my people interpreting my actions and decisions?" Goldson suggests.
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Put it into practice: Put on the mask of a "devil's advocate" to anticipate resistance whenever you're making a decision or implementing a new policy, suggests Goldson. "By adopting the persona of each affected party, you will organically end up with more coherent policies and be better able to communicate them to your people."
SmartBrief on Leadership
3 questions and 3 suggestions to help you come alive
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Reviving a sense of aliveness can help leaders have greater satisfaction in their job and personal life, writes executive coach Jack Craven, who offers three questions to identify what makes you come alive and three ways to bring that "aliveness mindset" into every moment. "[M]ake incremental adjustments that allow you to spend as much time as possible within your aliveness zone. I see this as a game of seconds: every second you are truly alive is a win," Craven writes.
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Put it into practice: Craven recounts an experience at a conference where executives were invited to scream out their unhappiness, but, Craven writes, all leaders really need is self-awareness and a willingness to explore what makes them come alive. "A word of warning: adopting an aliveness mindset will challenge you in ways you might not expect. You'll need to deal with some things that are holding you back. That isn't always easy, but it's worth it."
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The heavier the workload of your employees, the more likely they are to "cyberloaf," while those with better time management skills and higher job satisfaction were less likely to spend time surfing the internet while at work, regardless of workload, according to research by Pawel Korzynski, an associate professor at Kozminski University in Poland. Leaders can gauge job satisfaction through surveys or town hall meetings and provide training in time management skills to help employees set goals and accomplish tasks, suggests Korzynski.
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Put it into practice: If you find that employees are "cyberloafing" because they're overworked or dissatisfied, reevaluate how work is distributed and improve working conditions by offering more autonomy or rewards for exemplary work, Korzynski suggests. "For employees, setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks and taking regular, scheduled breaks can help with maintaining focus and reducing the temptation to engage in non-work-related online activities while on the clock."
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In Their Own Words
Feeling the effects of unresolved conflicts with her parents taught Jen Wolf, managing partner at Initialized Capital, that having hard conversations and finding resolution is important for success, as is transparency and focusing on the long-term. "I want to work with people who want to do the right thing long-term. Thinking and acting long-term helps people make better decisions," Wolf says.
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Daily Diversion
Dogs may understand object names much like humans do
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Gauges of brain activity have shown that dogs can connect specific words and objects in a way similar to human language comprehension, according to a study in Current Biology that used electroencephalography to measure brain activity of dogs that already know objects' names. Fourteen of 18 dogs exhibited different responses when words matched objects compared with when they didn't, but some scientists in the field question the conclusion.
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
"April is the cruelest month" starts a poem by which writer?
VoteElizabeth Barrett Browning
Votee.e. cummings
VoteT.S. Eliot
VoteWilliam Shakespeare
Pets of SmartBrief Leaders
Lady Buttercup, the adorable troublemaker
Lady Buttercup, the adorable troublemaker
(K.G.)
K.G. sent along this photo of Lady Buttercup of Peppertree, aka Buttercup, Muffin and Rascal. "She's 100% orange tabby and a perfect mix of troublemaker, snuggle bunny and fearless explorer," K.G. says. If you guessed that her name comes from "The Princess Bride," that's not "inconceivable!"
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Editor's Note
A study of futurists from TATA Consultancy Services shows that 90% are optimistic about forthcoming AI changes, and 72% envision significant contributions to employee well-being. What does this mean for job loss? Remote work? Get TATA futurist Bill Quinn's insights about work experience transformations -- from potentially shorter workweeks to who owns AI's work -- and participate in an audience Q&A during SmartBrief's April 18 "AI Redefining the Work Experience " webinar. Register now for the free event.
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
It's good to get into the habit of putting yourself in another person's shoes to see situations from their perspective, as Yonason Goldson suggests. Asking if others are understanding your view, or how they're perceiving your actions or decisions or if they trust you can go a long way to building trust and transparency. 

Encourage your team members to do the same -- to swap masks or personas -- so they can get a feel for what it's like for you as a leader. This builds a sense of connection and empathy and can help curb misunderstanding and miscommunication. 

This exercise can, as Goldson writes, "create a culture of collaboration and partnership virtually guaranteed to drive exponential success."

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I have no son or daughter / to mourn my final moments / but I will go anyway / and not go home / on the way
Neeli Cherkovski,
poet, biographer
1945-2024
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