Q: So, What do you do? A: …

Marc Cowling does a great job of explaining some simple steps to avoid the pratfalls of gobsmacking the poor sods who inquire about your vocation or how I learned to stop sounding like a jerk when people ask me what I do.

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5 Tips for Explaining Your Job Description to Your In-laws | How to Not Fail (like me)

-Marc Cowling,  August 21, 2014

We’re supposed to admit when we fail, right? And we’re supposed to learn something when we fail, right? This past weekend, when my Father In-law (FIL) asked about what I do for a living, I opened my mouth, started talking, and realized I might need some time to think. I felt as though I needed a few props, perhaps a script and more coffee before I got too far into my description. In the end, I failed at explaining my job. I’m hoping my failure will help you to prep for a similar conversation.

I hope you never feel the job description failure pain I felt.

Oh, so painful.

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On The Importance Of Emotions in Negotiations

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Shirli Kopelman speaks with great insight about her time studying the role of  emotions in negotiating in a recent article titled “Make Your Emotions Work for You in Negotiations“.

The importance of emotions and the role that they play in a successful negotiation cannot be stress enough. Shirli, points out in a rather matter of fact fashion, that the root cause of emotions MUST be acknowledged and assessed in a strategic manner rather than being oppressed and managed away.

in my two decades of research and work with thousands of executives, I’ve found that emotions shouldn’t be managed or overcome. Rather, positive and negative emotions are valuable resources that you can use to your advantage. The key is to recognize during the negotiation what emotion you’re feeling, then quickly evaluate whether it will help or hinder you, and without taking a break, intensify or decrease the feeling, or in some cases change the emotion altogether.” – Shirli Kopelman

She has gone so far as to lay out a five-step road map to more productively engage your emotions during negotiations:

Step 1: Be mindful.

Step 2: Identify your emotional trigger and focus on something else.

Step 3: Reinterpret the trigger.

Step 4: Alter the emotion by changing its physiological expression

Step 5: Take action that others will see.

Read the full details over here!

Chilling findings from Pew Research: Experts Have No Idea If Robots Will Steal Your Job

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Walter Frick over at Harvard Business Review sheds light on the non-news from over 2,551 experts surveyed for a Pew Research study on the impact of non-human factors in the workplace and the employment stress placed on their sentient counterparts.

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Of note is the reflection on the failure of the education system to keep pace with Moore’s Law, which states that computing power roughly doubles every 18 months and although that is of little surprise, it is of primary concern to our nation’s growing wealth gap and climbing unemployment numbers.

“The education system is not well positioned to transform itself to help shape graduates who can ‘race against the machines.’ Not in time, and not at scale. Autodidacts will do well, as they always have done, but the broad masses of people are being prepared for the wrong economy.”  -Bryan Alexander

Although certain functions may be headed the way of the buffalo, we should heed the caveats associated with apocryphal techno prophecy –

“Conventional wisdom has long held that, while technology may displace workers in the short-term, it does not reduce employment over the long-term.”

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Read the whole shebang over at Harvard Business Review