Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Sunday, 11 August 2013
When it comes to negotiating, many people believe that it's usually best not to make the first offer. They wait for the other guy to say how much he is willing to give or ask for. A lot of people assume that by encouraging the other person to make the first offer, they gain an information advantage.
This assumption however isn't quite right. Adam Galinsky, at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management has looked at the research and found that: “more often than not, negotiators who make first offers come out ahead.”
One explanation for this is ‘anchoring’, which we have discussed in previous posts. The first offer act as an 'anchor'. Once the first offer is made, that becomes the focal point and it gets more difficult to get it off the table and discuss a completely new number. We end up spending the negotiation trying to adjust the opening offer.
This was well demonstrated in an experiment by Greg Northcraft and Maggie Neale at the University of Arizona. They got experienced real estate agents to inspect and estimate the independent value of a house. In what appeared to be accidental, the estate agents saw one of two different price lists for the house in question. The price list was done up by someone else. Half of the agents saw a listing price of $119,900. These agents then estimated that the house would sell for just over $114,000. The other half of the agents saw a listing price of $149,900, and they came in at a figure of $128,000. The list price should have been irrelevant but it anchored their appraisal and valuation.
So when it comes to negotiation, don't be afraid to ‘play your card first’ and put a number on the table. You don't want to spend the negotiation process counteracting the other sides opening offer and not get the chance to explain your number and its worth.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
I recently read a post by Alex Fradera at the BPS Occupational Digest which looked into how two different types of employees working in the same organisation would respond to change. One employee was well paid, felt valued and had an attentive boss. The other was poorly paid, under valued and disconnected from their boss.
If change was being introduced to the organisation you might expect the happier employee to be more resistive, as they have more to lose. It turns out that research specifically asking this question suggests that the better you are treated, the more open you are to change, even though you have most to lose.
The better employees felt they were treated, the less anxious they became. They had good reason to expect that if they were treated well before the change, they would continue to be treated well afterwards. The employee treated badly is already in a mind-set where they expect to be taken advantage of and the forthcoming change agenda was just another way for that to happen.
I was surprised by this, I had assumed that those with most to lose would be most anxious about losing their current cushy number. Then I thought about a large multi national insurance company I had worked in where there was a merger and major departmental changes.
The overriding feeling at the time was uncertainty as to how individual roles would turn out. We were reassured by management euphemisms about synergies and stability. Not being completely naïve, my colleagues and I viewed this as spin and PR, the real proof would come once the change was implemented. The feeling of uncertainty came down to trust, did we trust what we were being told?
This could be at play in the research cited by Alex Fradera. The person treated well probably trusts the employer and their change agenda, the other guy is probably very cynical and has no reason to believe that the change will lead to any good. It just means even more hassle.
So if you are changing how things work, watch out for those with nothing to lose, they could be the most resistive. If you want the change to go a little smoother, make an extra effort so that staff feel valued beforehand.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Monday, 6 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
There are a number of other similar lab based studies which come to the same conclusion, we fail to consciously look at and accurately assess the 'important' person in the centre. This leads to a biased (although favourable) assessment of whoever is in that central position.
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Saturday, 27 April 2013
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Friday, 12 April 2013
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
It is now much more memorable and we have different cues and levels of processing to assist recall. Next time we meet ‘JS’ ‘Just Super’ nice John, we won’t be stuck for a name or get caught trying to read his name badge. This might be why nick names tend to stick and are easily remembered.
Monday, 8 April 2013
Research by Pham and Taylor at the University of California, suggests however that visualizing needs to involve the process of achieving your goal, not just the outcome. In other words, you visualize your run up to the ball, feet position, momentum, the contact with the ball, the release of the strike on the ball. Just visualizing the ball going between the posts is not enough.
Thinking about the process, in detail and ‘experiencing’ it via visualization helps us to focus the mind on potential problems, what needs to be right, what can go wrong and how to overcome any problems.
Just visualizing the outcome lets us prone to the ‘Planning Fallacy’ This is a cognitive error which affects most of us, regardless of experience. We continually fail to anticipate just how much of any plan can and will go wrong. We are hardwired to think everything will be much easier than it really will be.
In the research cited, students were asked to either visualize their ultimate goal of doing well in an exam or the steps they would take to reach that goal, i.e. studying.
The results were clear-cut. Participants who visualized themselves reading and gaining the required skills and knowledge, spent longer actually studying and got better grades in the exam.
Just imagining reaching a goal may be worse than ineffective, it may reduce our performance. In the study by Pham and Taylor, participants who just envisioned a successful outcome studied less and actually had reduced motivation.
So for visualization, like the song goes, “it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it”.
Saturday, 6 April 2013
Different descriptions, allow us to think about it in different ways, we then end up with different perspectives and this increases the potential sources of a solution.
You could get different members of your team to each describe the problem in their own way or from their perspective. The differing descriptions could show up different avenues for a solution or work around. For example, a server or web site starts to run slow. The techies will have something to say about load balancing, VMware etc, the Customer Service Manager will have the end users in mind, the Sales Manager might consider it a PR / Sales problem.
Each perspective expands the problem but also expands the mitigating tasks you can employ e.g. contact all users and let them know there is a problem but you are working on it. This will reduce the inbound support calls. This frees up the techies to fix the issue and not get pulled into reactive inbound support calls. The Sales Manger contacts key clients with updates from the techies. When it is fixed, users can be contacted with the good news and the episode used as an example of how well your support works.
Put it another way. When you start solving a problem, you normally have a fairly specific description of what is wrong. You think about the problem in terms of how it presents itself. If you are trying to fix your car when it won’t start in the morning, you think about the battery, fuel, the starter, plugs or alternator.
When you describe your problem as being something other than, ‘How do I start the car?’, e.g. ‘How do I get to work?’, ‘How do I get someone to cover for me if I can’t get in?’, 'who can fix my car?' your thinking gets a little more abstract.
You now think about not having transport, not being able to keep to a schedule. As the details change, it leads to new insights and potential solutions. You might decide to call a mechanic, call work and put on your ‘out of office’ or work from home for a few hours.
That might be a better solution than dissecting your engine and figuring out if the spark plugs or starter is bust. You will still be late for work and may only have swapped one problem for another.
Monday, 1 April 2013
Heading back to work after the bank holiday. Does last weekend seem like ages ago, and work deadlines this week scarily close?
The Past feels psychologically further away than the Future. Recent research by Caruso et al (2013) showed that Valentine's Day will feel closer in time one week beforehand than one week after. This has been dubbed the ‘temporal Doppler effect’.
Caruso had a scale from 1 to 7 (1 is close in time, 7 being distant in time). Participants rated an upcoming Valentine's Day an average of 3.9 when it was one week in the future, but an average of 4.8 when it was one week in the past.
This could be a good thing. We appear to be future orientated. This may even be adaptive as it is useful in helping us plan, we are more concerned about (perceptively closer) future events. It may help us move on from past mistakes (‘that was ages ago’ type of feeling). It allows us to focus on and meet deadlines we think are imminent.
There could also be a downside however, as we tend to forget the past, repeat mistakes and focus on ‘getting it right next time’. Either way, as long as we know that we are prone to this way of thinking we can factor it in.
Sunday, 31 March 2013
None of this is news. When it comes to networking, we have the rule of thumb, the more important people we can meet the better. The higher up you can network in your industry the better.
Friday, 29 March 2013
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Its therefore not that hard to see how losing sleep, makes us unable to control the overwhelming impulse that most of us share of checking our Facebook or Twitter while at work.