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Showing posts from August, 2018

How to Speak Up at Work

When you express a strong or a divergent opinion, your listeners may use cognitive distortions to interpret your opinion.

The fact of our lives is that what you say will go through the mental filters of those you are saying it to- their experiences, their rules, their upbringing, their culture and their disposition before being parsed and understood by them. You are in no control of how they will understand what you say but you can mitigate the erosion of the message by creating a safe environment for them to understand it.

Here are a few recommended actions:

Use a Behavior or Value Frame:
People build a series of mental "filters" through biological and cultural influences. They then use these filters to make sense of the world. Thoughts become opinions and are affected by attitudes, rules, beliefs, and worldviews The choices they then make are influenced by their creation of a frame. Framing selects certain aspects of an issue and makes them more prominent in order to elicit ce…

The Hazards of Speaking Up

In a sales meeting one hot summer in Doha, I decided that I had an opinion. And instead of keeping that opinion to myself; in a room full of sales staff; I voiced it.
The next few moments are indelible in my memory as an onslaught of nouns personifying my presence and intelligence was showered upon me in the most profound manner. I was a co-owner of that company but as a woman; I should have stayed quiet and listened. Having an opinion contrary or otherwise meant I was insulting the intelligence of the men in the room.

My perceived competency decreased in the room by measures only because I spoke up. I was labeled- aggressive, tenacious, abrasive and several gentlemen would shake their heads in disturbed silence; ending it with closing their eyes in a hopeless gesture simultaneously mumbling " That woman...."
How many times have I made bold, brash statements only to be called "emotional and incompetent." A man making the same bold, brash statements in a loud threateni…

What do your biases say about you ?

Only 5% of our biases are conscious.  That says a lot about how much of ourselves we think is really us acting without biases. Unconscious biases are a myriad of biases that reside in our psyche and get processed by our brains without even our own explicit acknowledgment.

Our behaviors are predominantly determined by these biases. Instant opinions, pre-judgments, evaluations without processing are all devoid of logical thinking and pre-conditioned biases which are deeply ingrained in the processing of thoughts and actions through precedence and experiences. The human brain interacts with its environment using sensory organs. Using the information collected through sensory organs, the brain analyses information, associates and maps it using memory landscapes. Memory is normally associated with the accumulation of previously collected information. So every new information is passed through the same filters unless we make a conscious attempt to use alternative logic to process the path o…