Mini Mission Monday

Participating in charitable or service organizations is a wonderful way to give back to your community while also having the chance to meet and work with like-minded folks.  There are so many opportunities to help out, but which one is the right one for you?

Today ask 5 people you respect what organizations they support and what they do to help.

Make sure that you frame this as an information seeking exercise and not an audit – you don’t want to put anyone on guard if they do not do as much as they would like.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Relationship Roundup, some thoughts on how to put the most authentic version of you out in front and a special roundup for a true innovator.

To clear the way for transparency, check your ego – A recent study by the Corporate Executive Board revealed some pretty scary results that prohibit true candor and transparency.   http://bit.ly/qV2cIc

The delicate dance of candor, transparency and authenticity – A deep dive into the communication faux pas of Netflix that we can all learn from.  http://bit.ly/mXnz2y

The only way to stay clear of candor, authenticity and transparency – Thanks to @JPMartin for the reminder  “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing” – Aristotle

In closing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a tribute roundup for an innovator who built an intimate relationship with all of us in one way or another. Rest in peace Steve Jobs.

His Vision:  http://slate.me/nVRcmo
His Inspirational Words:  http://bit.ly/nI37s2
His reminder to us all to Think Different:  http://bit.ly/iktt

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager

Legendary Networker – Heidi Roizen

Check out an excerpt from the transcript for The Social Capitalist interview featuring Heidi Roizen. Click here for the full transcript: Social Capitalist Transcript – Heidi Roizen. Access the audio recording here. Enjoy!

Tahl Raz:     So what are the big a-has and takeaway for people?  What lessons, both general ideas and concrete strategies, have proven over the years to deliver the most value and create the most change for other people?

Heidi Roizen:     I think that, first of all, just being given some guidelines and being told that you don’t have to be a natural.  That everyone can develop these things gives people some belief in their ability to go out and do things.  And I’m a big believer in, you know, the first step is you got to believe you can go make a change and you can make something happen.  I think the idea also that everyone has something to give.  What do you possibly have to give to someone else?  And by the way, the fundamental approach for me, if you want to boil this case down to one thing to takeaway, it’s don’t approach someone because you want something from them.  Approach someone because you have something to offer.  Now there’s no reason that offer can’t be a win-win for you as well.  But think in terms of what value are you bringing to other people because ultimately, that’s why they’re going to continue to connect with you and they’re going to answer your phone calls and your e-mails and your whatever, is because they see you as someone who can be helpful to them.  And I think that’s a very easy thing to learn, right?  And that’s a very easy thing to test and check as you go out and prosecute your life is when you go out and intend to form a relationship with someone, the first thing you should think is, what value am I to them? Continue reading

Should a Cover Letter Ever Have a Smiley Face?

Emoticons have become ubiquitous. Although they seem like a more recent trend, in actuality emoticons are over 30 years old, according to this piece by Mashable author Amy-Mae Elliot. The birthplace of emoticons was Pittsburgh, where a Carnegie Mellon scientist first used a plain text hyphen, bracket, and colon to signal an emotion.

Fast forward to the present: A barrage of emoticons are dancing, winking, and even sticking their tongue out all over the social web – love it or hate it.

Due to the fact that often times tone can’t be conveyed in a text, or an email, or even a Facebook wallpost, people have turned to emoticons. It seems like an obvious choice for friends – but what place should they have in business communications? Can someone who plasters yellow smiley faces throughout a Skype conversation be taken seriously? How many :) is too many? Are there off-limits zones – like cover letters, for example?

Have a great day! :p

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Flex Your Idea Muscle

On the latest Social Capitalist webinar, guest James Altucher introduced myGreenlight to what he calls “The Daily Practice,” four steps that put you in the right place to succeed by helping you create better ideas and more energy. It was “The Daily Practice” that picked James back up after each of his failures and ultimately led him to success.

The Daily Practice:

  1. Take care of your physical health. You can’t succeed if you’re sick and out of shape. Eating right and getting physically fit increases your energy and makes it much easier for you to succeed.
  2. Take care of your emotional health/intimate relationships. If you’re in a series of bad relationships or constantly arguing with your family, spouse, or boss you are not going to have the emotional health to find the energy to build a business or succeed.
  3. Mental health – flex your idea muscle. You have to be able to generate ideas and have the confidence that your ideas are good. Building your idea muscle requires practice and time just like building any other kind of muscle. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

As the saying goes, change is the only constant.  Note the change up in the Relationship Roundup!  Now being featured every Friday!

This makes some room for those of you who want to contribute to the myGreenlight blog community.  Contact us for more information on how to be a guest blogger.

Now, food for thought in this week’s Relationship Roundup…

Vulnerability has value: Greater Transparency, Greater Start up Success http://bit.ly/ofXA6s

Relationships = Repeat Revenue: Thanks @Aimee_Lucas for sharing What’s a Lifetime Customer Worth? You’d Better Know – Forbes http://onforb.es/qbGvEQ

Anti-Social Media?: According to this AdWeek article, corporate social media could use a generosity mindset shift http://bit.ly/nd5kUX.

Tweet with Generosity: No surprise that our afternoon tweets reflect the well-acknowledged afternoon energy office slump. However, what a great time slot to plan some of your generous outreach. If you can’t make someone’s day, make their afternoon.  http://bit.ly/otG9P5

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager

The Science of Success

Check out an excerpt from the transcript for The Social Capitalist interview featuring Heidi Grant Halvorson. Read Tahl’s Raz’s blog post on the interview here. Click here for the full transcript: Social Capitalist Transcript – Heidi Grant Halvorson. Please access the audio recording here. Enjoy!

Tahl Raz:    So the application of all of these new – and when I say “new”, the last 30 years of social science’s focus on, as you say, the science of success or achievement – you said something incredibly provocative, I thought, that you make suggestions in your book and that you have implied that you have the answer.  But what are the best goals to pursue – as in, what goals kind of create the most well-being, the most fulfillment, the most – I think you said authenticity – what are those best goals?

Heidi G. Halvorson:    Well, again, they have to do with – I mean, it’s a broad class of goals.  So it’s not that there are three very specific things you need to do.  But it all comes down to why you’re pursuing the goals that you are pursuing.  So if you are trying to, for example, get ahead at work, which many of us are – you know, kind of climb the ladder – are you doing it because you find it personally challenging and rewarding, or are you doing it in order to, for example, seek the approval of other people?  So often it’s not about necessarily what the goal is on the surface, but really the why that matters.  And when we choose goals in our lives that satisfy our basic human needs – people have been arguing for thousands of years about what human beings really need in life.  And really the consensus in psychology has kind of focused on three in particular.  We talk about the need – for anything to be universal cross-culturally – the need for belonging.  So people have this basic need to relate to other people and to be part of meaningful groups, to contribute to their communities.  Another need is the need for what psychologists call competence.  And that has to do with sort of growing our abilities, working on new skills, acquiring knowledge, being able to sort of impact your environment in meaningful ways.  And then the third basic human need has to do with the sense that psychologists call autonomy, the idea that we do things because we are intrinsically motivated to do them, because they reflect something about our values, who we are as unique individuals.  So really it’s the why that matters.  Why are you deciding to go to medical school?  Why are you doing what you’re doing at work?  Why are you in a particular relationship?  And if it’s to satisfy these basic needs, then if you are successful, that’s going to bring you that kind of authentic lasting happiness that many of us associate with being truly successful.  It’s when our actions and our goals are motivated by things outside ourselves, by the approval of others, by seeking things like power and fame for their own sake, rather than to use them to do something positive, those kinds of goals can make us happy – I mean, certainly when you have reached a goal you’re going to feel some happiness.  The question is whether or not that happiness is fleeting. And it your goals really satisfy these basic human needs that we all seem to have, relatedness, competence, and autonomy, then that happiness is going to be a more lasting deeper happiness than you would have otherwise.  I mean, achieving goals is always a good thing.  But when we pursue things that really satisfy us as human beings, then you’re going to have another kind, another level of happiness than you would otherwise have. Continue reading

Gratitude: The Relational Elixir

Very skilled social capitalists often receive attention for the really clever, grand activities they incorporate into their work life, everything from the organizational systems they implement to the fancy parties they throw. In the context of these elaborate strategies talk of something like the power of expressing gratitude can seem so small and so overblown — until you read the research.

Want a quick booster shot to immediately improve a relationship? A minor thankful gesture, according to the following study, has a transformative impact:

This research was conducted to examine the hypothesis that expressing gratitude to a relationship partner enhances one’s perception of the relationship’s communal strength. In Study 1 (N = 137), a cross-sectional survey, expressing gratitude to a relationship partner was positively associated with the expresser’s perception of the communal strength of the relationship. In Study 2 (N = 218), expressing gratitude predicted increases in the expresser’s perceptions of the communal strength of the relationship across time. In Study 3 (N = 75), participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition, in which they expressed gratitude to a friend, or to one of three control conditions, in which they thought grateful thoughts about a friend, thought about daily activities, or had positive interactions with a friend. At the end of the study, perceived communal strength was higher among participants in the expression-of-gratitude condition than among those in all three control conditions. We discuss the theoretical and applied implications of these findings and suggest directions for future research. (Source: “Benefits of Expressing Gratitude, Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Changes One’s View of the Relationship” from Psychological Science.)

Gratitude doesn’t just immediately improve a relationship, it can make it more productive. Bob Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss, covers another study on the power of “thank you” in the workplace:

The simple act of having a boss come by and offer a public thanks to one group, and but not the other, really packed a wallop.  These fundraisers were paid a fixed salary, so Grant and Gino compared the number of phone calls made be each fundraiser before and after the “thank you” intervention.  The results were pretty impressive, as while there was no change in the average number of calls made by the group that was not offered thanks, the folks who heard a warm two sentence thank you from a boss made an average of about 50% more calls during the subsequent week. (Source: “A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior” from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.)

Piling up daily small interpersonal wins with seemingly trivial gestures is the social capitalist’s bread and butter.

Tahl Raz is the host of myGreenlight’s Social Capitalist Series.