Think about your average day. From the moment your alarm clock jars you from sleep, you’re about to plunge into hour after hour of constant activity. For many of us, coffee is gulped while commuting, e-mails are answered while walking and lunch is a concept more than an actual noontime meal. Thank goodness the function of breathing is automatic because many of us would forget to do it. Add an extra layer of stress to the mix and suddenly, the whole process of an average day can put some folks quite on edge.
Managers have to contend with people in an agitated state from time to time. Depending on your line of work, it can seem like the workplace is involved in a constant state of unease, while in other trades (say, retail for example) intense reactions are more cyclical. Author Mark Goulston discusses a terrific way to handle this problem in his book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
He writes about the need to help people exhale both physically and emotionally. We read from time to time about the use of breathing techniques as a method of stress reduction. Goulston supports this argument by pointing out that allowing an agitated person to emotionally exhale his or her emotions before attempting to seek a solution is necessary to prevent a conflict from growing.
Just Listen is full of some of the more interesting views on communication that I’ve read in some time. You can check it out for yourself. It’s part of Soundview’s February edition. Take a breather and do a little reading.
I enjoy reading other blogs when I’m not busy writing this one (or reviewing one of the dozens of books that flood our editorial offices on a daily basis). Recently I came across this post on ReadWrite Start, a blog for entrepreneurs. The blogger listed three books that make for good weekend reading for budding entrepreneurs. I was glad to see him mention Guy Kawasaki’s Reality Check. This book continues to be one of the best overall guides to the art of entrepreneurship. Kawasaki is also a straightforward writer with one of the best voices in business books today.
The blogger also mentions Chris Anderson’s FREE: The Future of a Radical Price. Those of you who were lucky enough to check out our recent Soundview Live event with Anderson know why his book’s popularity continues to climb. Some of the brightest entrepreneurs of tomorrow will have businesses based solely online. Understanding the zero price concept will be a key part of their ability to survive.
The blogger asserts that Kawasaki’s book, as well as Anderson’s, are a good way to spend some free time on a weekend. I agree, but between you and I, Soundview has summaries of both books available. We pack the essential information into eight pages, saving you time and maximizing your results. Click the links above to see where you can pick up our summaries of Reality Check and FREE. As for Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, well … maybe someday.
Be honest … how many times each day do you check up on the folks you follow on Twitter? I’ve admitted before in this blog that I’m a bit slow to adapt when it comes to any technology or social media trend. The other Soundview editors and I tease one another about walking down the hall to relay information. “Walking? Jeez, couldn’t you just tweet your question to me?” Still, even I find myself taking a few peeks during the day to see what some of @Soundview’s friends are up to on Twitter.
We’re delighted to say that we’ll be working with Goldsmith again in our next edition of Soundview Live. In our interactive Web event, Goldsmith will delve into the drivers behind mojo. It’s the emotions and decision making that occurs when one feels as though everything is on a roll. It’s a vital component of business and life. As we continue to press forward into economic recovery, some of the best opportunities will be taken by those who have the mojo to know their moment and seize it.
Take a look at what Goldsmith himself tweeted about mojo yesterday, “Mojo is vital for happiness and meaning because it is about loving what you do and showing it.”
I can hardly wait for our event. Soundview Livefeaturing Marshall Goldsmith will go live on Friday, February 5th, 2010 at Noon (eastern). For more information, visit us by clicking this link. Remember, if you’re a Soundview subscriber, this event is FREE to attend.
Despite my best efforts, I continue to worry my way through life. I suppose it’s something with which many of our readers struggle. The business world, particularly over the last few years, is a place where worry is washed down with the morning cup of coffee. Depending on the material that makes up your cup, you could be adding to your troubles, at least, that’s what this article is speculating. Researchers are continuing to study the effects of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), a substance that has been banned by several manufacturers of baby bottles and no-spill cups for children. Now researchers are examining a possible link between the consumption of BPA (through drinking from beverage cans and bottles) and the risk of heart disease.
While the article acknowledges the tenuous nature of the current research results, it raises further question about the materials used to make everyday products and their long-term effects on humans and the planet. These questions are addressed at length in a book featured in our latest edition of Soundview Executive Book Summaries. Daniel Goleman’s Ecological Intelligence is an excellent look into the knowledge gap between what we buy and what it does to us and our surroundings.
Goleman discusses a problem he describes as, “a fundamental disconnect between what we do and how it matters.” In reflecting on his work and how it relates to the BPA debate, I can’t help but notice that BPA gained widespread use in the 1950s. One change we’ve encountered as science and business have progressed over the past 60 years is a more determined effort on the part of companies and regulatory agencies to gain a better understanding (if only in the short term) of a product’s effects on individuals. This type of responsible manufacturing is a practice that continues to grow. Goleman notes that consumers play a key role in shaping the way companies treat the Earth.
One hopes that Goleman’s efforts to increase the number of informed consumers and producers will lead to the changes we need. Maybe then I can stop worrying about the cup in which my coffee comes and get back to something else on my list of concerns.
As we continue to contemplate the ways in which we can improve the world, many experts speculate that the secret may lie in first improving ourselves. Business books often support this logic. An organization is strengthened by having its components, from senior management to ground-floor staff, working on ways to improve their performance. With each individual raising his or her game, the company’s performance should climb, as well.
Productive communication is a key part of personal development. Psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston provides executives with new, powerful communication techniques in his book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. So much of a manager’s job is finding the right communication methods to achieve results from a variety of audiences. This book is a great asset to help make the job a little easier.
Our special bonus summary this month is James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s rewarding leadership must-read The Leadership Challenge. This summary takes the best from the updated edition and reflects the new and changing ways in which leaders address their jobs in a global marketplace.
The global marketplace and the environmentally troubled globe on which it operates is the subject of our third summary Ecological Intelligenceby Daniel Goleman. In a world that is driven by manufacturing and consumerism, what goes into all the “stuff” that fills our lives? More importantly, what happens to the “stuff” that is used to produce, package and ship all the stuff we buy? Goleman’s book attempts to answer these questions and provoke a new line of thinking on the part of both manufacturer and consumer. It’s an unsettling read but one that is filled with hope. It contains important arguments to aid the continued efforts to rescue the planet from ecological destruction.
We’ve got quite a trio of titles this month. Visit us at Summary.com to learn more!