The Pelorus – June 2019

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Welcome to June’s edition of The Pelorus: a selection of content and research Openside have discovered in the last month – which you may not have seen – which we hope will give you actionable insights that you can use in your own firm. We have written a summary of each article with a link to the full article if you want to read more.

How to stop obsessing over your mistakes – Harvard Business Review

Many of us replay situations in our mind in which we performed poorly or in which we didn’t behave in a way we wish we had: “I wish I’d spoken up”, “I wish I’d not said that!”, “I wish I’d not worked with that person.” This type of overthinking – where we can’t stop thinking about events that have already happened – is called rumination and it creates an unproductive focus between the real and ideal self. It can also lead to poor problem-solving, anxiety and depression. In this article, Alice Boyes PhD, a former clinical psychologist, outlines 5 ways in which you can break out of this unhealthy and unproductive way of thinking.

Want to change corporate culture? Focus on action – Strategy&

Leaders have the most impact when they take the company mission and values off the wall and translate them into everyday practice, argues Elizabeth Doty in strategy+business. The article suggests that within many firms, values are often disconnected from the reality on the ground. Doty outlines how 80% of the S&P 500 have ‘innovation’ as a core value and 70% have ‘integrity’ – but often these advertised values have no correlation to performance. Doty argues that to get from “values on the wall” to “values in action” the answer is to embed values in everyday behaviour and organisational systems. Four lessons are then suggested to help leaders integrate values into action.

How pessimists can tap into their hidden optimistic side – Fast Company

There really are differences between people in whether they see the glasses around them as half empty or half full. As author Art Markman outlines, some people are generally promotion focused – all else being equal, they tend to focus on positive outcomes – and we think of them as optimists. While others are generally prevention focused – they typically see negative outcomes, and we call them pessimists. If you’re one of those pessimists, the good news – if you want to hear it! – is that you are not doomed to be a pessimist forever. This article suggests 3 ways you can flip your motivational orientation: focus on what you want, hang out with an optimist and recognise that your inner pessimist has a hidden optimist.

The art of observation: the two types of observation – Farnam Street

“Just because you see does not mean you observe.” In this article by Farnam Street, the author argues that the difference between seeing and observing is fundamental to many aspects of life and that observation is much more than simply seeing something, but rather a mental process involving both visual and thought. The author suggests that to develop your powers of observation you need to watch with an ‘active mind’ and that well developed habits of observation are more important in research than large accumulations of academic learning. The author suggests that as with most things, it is possible to learn how to become better at observation through practice. An interesting article with implications for work and life.

20 signs you’re emotionally mature – The School of Life

This short 7 minute video by “The School of Life” describes 20 signs that prove you’re emotionally mature. With emotional intelligence being so important in the world of professional services, we suggest that you watch this video and then honestly identify those attributes you really possess and those characteristics you don’t yet have – then add these behaviours to your personal development plan.

We hope you find these articles thought-provoking and that, where necessary, they have implications on the way you work within your firm. Please share this email with any of your clients or colleagues whom you think may benefit – there is a link to subscribe to ‘The Pelorus’ below.

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