Thursday, February 15, 2018

Your brain on stories

The human brain craves and is hard-wired for stories.  According to researchers Prentice and Gerrig, our brains are built to process information from stories.  This explains why simply listing facts is less effective than telling an illustrative story.  According to Professor Uri Hasson, from Princeton, a story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.   

Researchers have found that when listening to a powerpoint, only the language centers of the brain light up.  When listening to a story, all the sensory areas of the brain also light up.  Telling a story is like hacking into someone's brain.  It is the most effective way to inspire, motivate, and persuade. 

© 2018 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wearing our emotional intelligence....

Today I procrastinated on my film project by imagining emotional intelligence insights in clothing.  I'm not sure anyone would wear this t-shirt but it was fun to create and I like the reminder. 

 © 2018 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thinking is hard!

A great article here on the biases we have that get us into trouble .  Watching out for cognitive biases is a great habit to cultivate in 2018.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Victor Frankl quote for a New Year

“Between the stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Are your leaders inspiring trust?

A new workshop for Spring!  I'm inspired.  Leaving off the name of the client.  Can you imagine your team taking some time together to explore how to increase trust -- and performance?   
Building Trust to Enhance Excellence at ____
In decades of research across all industries, the presence or absence of trust in an organization is the most important ingredient in an organization’s performance.  

High trust organizations collaborate more effectively, operate faster, and achieve sustainable results.
The number one job of any leader is to inspire trust. Trust releases the creativity and capacities of individuals to do their best work. The great news is that trust can be repaired and high trust cultures can be created and sustained. 

In this 3 part series participants will:

·        Examine two dimensions of trust within the culture of ____
·        Explore the costs of low trust and the benefits of high trust cultures.
·        Use assessments to explore trust within departments and self.
·        Explore strengths and areas for growth in inspiring trust.
·        Learn basic strategies in Emotional Intelligence (EI).
·        Use EI skills to increase congruence and trust at work.
·        Use a matrix tool to mitigate risks when trusting others.
·        Learn and practice behaviors to increase and restore trust.
·        Practice telling stories to communicate positive intent and build a trusting culture.
·        Analyze organizational structures that build or decrease trust.

© 2017 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Oldie but a goodie

This article is dated but the research is not. Understanding our purpose at work, connecting to others and the meaning of our tasks enlivens engagement, productivity, and morale at work.
Check out the article here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Emotions can guide us through conflicting and complex situations

What I love about EI is recognizing that emotions offer us an intelligence.  As my hubby and I look for a new house I've had lots of emotions.  Yesterday we almost made an offer on a house but I began to have this nagging feeling.  The feeling nagged me until I slowed down and examined what/who was pushing me to buy that house.  It wasn't the right house for us.  Yay for emotions!

© 2017 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Monday, February 27, 2017

Why is competition so much more compelling than cooperation?

Why is it that competition can feel more fun than cooperation? When I lead team building events, no matter the group -- teams always get more excited when they get to compete against other teams. Some really struggle when I try to coax them (or trick them!) to cooperate in an activity.

I know that Dr. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's research confirms that boredom is painful and the "flow state" comes from meeting challenges and growing from them. Is this the reason?

Today I wondered: could we change the nature of challenge and competition in our culture? What if our measure of success had less to do with $$ and more to do with how well we serve each other?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Coming soon! Emotional Intelligence study cards.

Why cards? 

Since the subject of emotional intelligence is vast, using a single card can help us focus on one idea each week. The cards are brief, so their lessons can easily fit into our day. Physically handling the cards can make learning more tactile and embodied. And finally, cards suggest play. Exploring our inner world can be challenging, but doing so with a sense of playfulness will not only make the journey more fun but also more enduring. 

More information coming soon!
© 2017 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Friday, July 17, 2015

Key to Working with All Soft Skills -- A riddle

I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly. I am easily managed - you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people; and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human being. You may run me for a profit or turn me for ruin - it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I AM HABIT.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Three no-cost elements to inspire motivation at work

A group of managers from a local manufacturing company and I recently explored the power of feeling motivated.  Three no-cost elements can produce an energetic and productive staff:  

  • an environment of interpersonal support,
  • clear work goals, 
  • and opportunities to be creative.
Our group reflected on times they felt especially motivated.

And we looked at what happens when we feel that motivation.

When we face challenges, isn't it great to know our capacities? 

Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Leaders Institute on television.

I love working with The Leaders Institute.  Their  2 hour Build a Bike events build stronger teams and create great memories for colleagues at work,  (and for happy local kids). 

UNC masters students build bikes for kids