How a hobby away from work can sharpen work skills

How a hobby away from work can sharpen work skills | practice (split each time) | 4 ways to take the conflict out of team conversations
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May 28, 2024
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Leading the Way
How a hobby away from work can sharpen work skills
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Whether you learn to dance, master a second (or third) language or take improv classes, having a hobby outside of the office can "benefit your creativity and leadership skills, thus benefiting both the individual and the organization," writes executive health coach Julian Hayes II. "In a business world that shows no signs of slowing down, hobbies aren't just a nice-to-have; they're essential," Hayes writes.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (5/21) 
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Put it into practice: Learning to dance can improve your ability to read body language, learning another language can enhance decision-making and improv classes can boost confidence and creativity, Hayes notes. "Committing to a hobby is not just about stress relief; it's about preserving your identity and sense of fulfillment."
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4 ways to take the conflict out of team conversations
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Minimize or avoid conflict between team members by setting clear goals and commitments and creating a culture where everyone maintains a sense of curiosity and genuine connection with others, write Karin Hurt and David Dye. "If you've not invested in the relationship, or the other person doesn't trust your intentions, even the most carefully chosen words will fall flat," they note.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (5/24) 
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Put it into practice: "It's hard to be curious when you're furious," Hurt and Dye write, so defuse your anger by asking good questions that can help you understand another's perspective. "It's hard to be angry and genuinely curious at the same time."
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For Black and other minority employees, code-switching -- talking or acting in ways that "fit in" with the dominant culture in the office -- remains a necessity but "can inadvertently reinforce stereotypes," writes LaFawn Davis, the SVP of ESG at Indeed. "While it comes with its challenges and dilemmas, it is also a powerful means of navigating a world that may not always appreciate the richness of our identities," Davis concludes.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (5/24) 
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Put it into practice: Being able to adapt to different situations can be a strength, but code-switching can also be draining, so much so that when you're in an environment where it's not necessary, the relief is palpable, Davis notes. "What greatness are we missing out on because code-switching is filling brain space, time, and energy?"
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In Their Own Words
Heston Blumenthal's "super power": Being neurodivergent
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Heston Blumenthal, renowned chef and restaurateur, has called for a change in workplace attitudes towards neurodiversity following his recent bipolar diagnosis. Blumenthal, who also has ADHD, believes his neurodivergence has been key to his business success and advocates for better inclusion of neurodivergent individuals in the workplace. "My most artistic, innovative and exciting work is because I am neurodivergent, which I describe as my superpower," said Blumenthal.
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Daily Diversion
Your pup can be your airline seatmate -- for a price
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Dogs flying BARK Air won't be relegated to a cargo hold but will have a seat of their own along with treats before boarding and spa treatments and "barkaccinos" in flight. CEO and BarkBox founder Matt Meeker says the idea came after he had trouble booking flights for his Great Dane, Hugo. Flying with your pooch will be costly; an international one-way ticket is $8,000, and domestic fare is $6,000 for one person and one pup.
Full Story: Reuters (5/23) 
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I really like the idea of BARK Air. One of my biggest fears is taking my dog on a flight and having something terrible happen. I am my dog's emotional support human, so the idea of being able to buy him a seat next to me is appealing. The price? Not so much, but founder Matt Meeker says those should go down at some point. If it's successful, maybe other airlines will soon follow suit. I'll be watching!

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