Think twice before deciding which side you are on, while you are listening to other people trash-talking their managers, colleagues, or partners. ⚠️ According to a recent study, by siding with the interlocutor, we are just adding more fuel to the conflict, which discourages the interlocutor to forgive and make peace with the other party. To be supportive, we do not have to choose a side. The most important thing is to create a safe space for the other person to vent their emotions and collect one's thoughts. We can do it by asking open questions, such as: ✔️ What happened? ✔️ How does it make you feel? ✔️ Why is it important for you? ✔️ What is the next step? Remember that our goal as good conversational partners is not to condemn anyone but rather be patiently present with the other person. 👌 Link to the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31464479/
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My answer: I never use productivity tools like this. 🙂 Oftentimes, using them is like treating the pain instead of the disease. A more productive (pun intended), yet less pleasant tool is asking the following: "Why am I feeling unproductive in the first place?" Maybe I feel hungry or thirsty? Maybe I feel tired and need a break? Maybe the task feels pointless? Maybe I have other things to do? After a short but productive (pun intended again) self-enquary, I might realize that 😶 I don't take care of my basic needs 🤔 I don't like what I am producing 😠 I don't like the product I am working on 🤯 I don't know what I am doing with my life Sure, this is not a very positive diagnosis. Who wants to learn that they are actually sick at heart rather than unproductive? However, it is as unpositive as learning that ❤️ you need to change your diet and exercise more due to high blood pressure or cholesterol level, 🖤 unless you want to increase your chances of having a heart attack or developing diabetes. Of course, sometimes it is totally reasonable to boost your productivity by changing the ergonomics of your workplace (e.g. switching between sitting and standing) or using co-working spaces. 👌 Oftentimes, however, lack of productivity is just the tip of the iceberg, hiding diverse psychological issues, ranging from mild deficits in grit to severe deficits in self-respect. The good part is that these psychological challenges can be fully or partially overcome by becoming more mindful of your physical and psychological needs as well as learning more self-compassion. ☀️ At the end of the day, we are just humans, an advanced species of mammals, who are not fitted for the modern and ever-changing world. Moral of the story: it is totally normal to feel unproductive as long as (1) you know why and (2) you know how to live a meaningful live, despite the occasional unproductivity. ✌️
Let's talk about productivity. Some time ago I discovered an app called Focusmate (focusmate.com) (not an ad). The app essentially forces you to get things done with the help of accountability. It matches you with another person for a 50 minute session where each of you work on your tasks live (camera mandatory, mic optional). Since then, I've used it for both personal and professional activities with really good results. What are some techniques or tools that you like to use when you want to stay focused for longer periods of time or when you don't feel like doing that thing?

Robert PožarickijTech | Software | Health
It was an interesting discussion. Alright, I'll have that in mind!
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If you are single and feel lonely, turn up the heat in the room or put on warmer clothes before you go on a Tinder rampage. 🔥 As it turns out, people experience higher levels of loneliness in colder environments, which increases the need for social contact. However, the need decreases when they feel warmer or experience tactile warmth, a direct result of physical contact. 🐻 This is not surprising why short-term dating spikes between October and February (the so-called "cuffing season"), one of the direct outcomes of colder seasons. Fortunately, it's already summer, so you can be more conscious of the people you want to date! ☀️ And if you are still not sure, maybe it is time to talk to somebody? Link to the study. 👇 https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-79280-001
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Antanas Bernatonis asked: "I would love to ask if you could come back in your 20s, what would you do on everyday basis? Where would you invest your time and what would be the main advice you could give to yourself?" Me: I will start with my belief that every human being has a unique story of life, a unique path of how they got to where they are today. It is quite rare that the advice of a person to themselves apply to somebody else. Thus, don't take my answers for granted. They will probably not be useful pieces of advice for you or anyone else because of everyone's unique situation. I would suggest to ask the right questions to yourself and figure out the answers by yourself in a way that makes the most sense to you, as you have the most in-depth knowledge of yourself. And I suggest starting with the question 'What kind of life you want to have?'. Getting back to Antanas' questions, I can say that I feel quite happy where I am today. Thus I wouldn't change anything that I was doing in my 20s. And what was I doing? In my early 20s, I was coding 12-16 hours per day, it was my passion, I loved the process of building software and its impact on people. I mastered my professional skills. However, I wasn't mastering my soft skills, everything human-related. I was so bad at them that I even wasn't aware they exist. The phrase "emotional intelligence" was just a random buzzword to me. In my late 20s, I was running a company with 100+ people. My professional skills were irrelevant in that position. Soft skills were those which were needed the most. However, I had them completely undeveloped. Therefore my advice to myself would be "figure out what the heck is emotional intelligence and master it as good as you code". N.B. This is an experimental insight. What is the experiment? Instead of broadcasting insights based on what you think is interesting, broadcast them based on what people want to learn from you. Do you think it is a good idea? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you like to ask me more questions, do that from my profile. If you like the experiment and want to be asked, let us know! Photo below: my dog in dunes:)

Yannick OswaldVenture Capital, Opportunities are Everywhere
love this!
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Justas Janauskas asked the following question: "Povilai, coaching still has a poor reputation in Lithuania and is often related to success teachers and semi-scam. Could you explain in your own words what it is, and, given your specialization in IT, explain how it can help a professional to transition from a Software Engineer to a Head of Engineering position?" My answer: Bellow, I cover the following: 1) How do I see the reputation of coaching? 2) How do I define coaching? 3) How do I do coaching? 4) Why do people use coaching? 5) How can a leader benefit from coaching? 1️⃣ Reputation of Coaching Indeed, in Lithuania, the reputation of coaching is very mixed ranging from negative among regular people to neutral or positive among executives, especially middle or C-Level. However, in English-speaking countries, the reputation is much more positive and straightforward. 2️⃣ Definition of Coaching Coaching is: - NOT success consulting, although some people who promise wealth and luxury may call themselves 'success coaches' - NOT skills training, although coaching is also based on experimentation and reflective thinking - NOT mentoring, although the coach often has professional experience in his/her area of specialization (e.g. former exec coaching current execs) - NOT therapy, although coaching draws from psychological theory and therapeutic techniques (e.g. listening, mirroring, feedback, experimentation) As a coaching psychologist, I define coaching as a profession as we as a conversational learning tool based on established psychological theories and therapeutic techniques. The goal of coaching is to help mentally and emotionally functional people (individuals or groups) achieve short-term or long-term goals in their areas of interest. These include work, career, life, health, and other. 3️⃣ Application of Coaching We support our clients by asking thought-provoking questions, challenging their thinking patterns, and providing feedback. Contrary to parents, teachers, friends, life or business partners, we are much more professional and ethical in our approach. This means that we give priority to scientifically-informed techniques and interventions. Also, we pay careful attention to the client's agenda as opposed to our own. 4️⃣ Goals of Coaching The reason why people use coaching services is the same reason why they read books, listen to podcasts, attend workshops, and go to university. In other words, they want to become better than they were yesterday in terms of their knowledge, effectiveness, productivity, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and wellbeing. 5️⃣ Leadership Example Speaking of your given example, a software engineer who is new in one's leadership role will definitely have to learn a lot about oneself and one's role in a very short period of time. Because almost every strategic decision counts, the price for mistakes is much higher than before. If that is the case, a coaching partnership will help you get a head start in your role. You will have a safe and supportive space to collect your thoughts and feelings around important questions and decisions. Furthermore, you will build resilience in the face of pressure and failure which, to a certain extent, is inevitable in a new leadership role. Of course, for a coaching partnership to work, the client should feel intrinsically motivated to succeed and have necessary organizational support. My question: Justai, what reservations do you have when it comes to choosing coaching services or any other form of personal growth, including, but not limited to training, mentoring, self-help, or therapy?

Povilas GodliauskasFounder & Coach @ coach.lt
It seems that the success you were striving for in coaching was not the one you were supposed to strive. I would urge you to give it a try for a second time. However, I would switch the focus from solving a problem to improving the current state.
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