The video made me think of my daughter on a high school year in the US. Last month she was wondering about a kind of clothing she needed for an extracurricular activity, for 52 USD. Then 2 weeks ago she found a 50 dollar bill on the school ground.
The Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter currently runs a series of articles around non-serious personality tests being used by highly respectable organisations. Often as screening or discussion input in the recruitment process or as a tool in the people/talent management process.
Since I certified as Reiss Motivation Profile Master consultant with RMP Nordic, I have learned as lot about these tools that I sincerely wish I had known when I worked as a manager with business and operations in many parts of the world. Many of the present personality test tools are based on philosophical hypothesis and later attempted to be justified through empiric validation), rather that based on scientific research on true inner motivation.
My take on the matter is that the work world and the private- & family world are growing closer and closer. Peoples inner motivation will determine to large extent their behavior in work situations and on their leisure time. If people can´t express their inner motivation at work, or on the private arena, it will take a lot of energy to get the work done and they run high risk of eventually getting ill. Hence the importance of getting people on board with true inner drive on the organisations values and vision. Makes quality deliveries easier, cheaper and more fun for everybody involved!
The market for personality tests has exploded. So far, Det Norske Veritas certified 16 tests, but only two are approved for the Swedish labor market. Many tests used in state authorities does not satisfy the requirements they have set for themselves in their guidelines.
RMP Nordic is currently well into in the process of getting RMP certified and approved for the Nordic labour market at the audit company Det Norske Veritas, says Mikael Leinsköld, CEO for RMP Nordic AB.
Try Reiss Motivation profile (RMP) when you want to find out your inner drive through a scientifically researched tool, which has proven to give basically the same result when later repeated (unlike many of the presently used personality tools). Reiss Motivation Profile also gives basically the same result if someone else close to you judge your answer on the questions.
The RMP questions are also properly translated to Swedish and validated by a large number of persons, to avoid cultural problems with idiomatic expressions.
I personally like to run workshops to provide insights about their inner motivators and how their profile is impacting their communication and relation with colleagues and others.
I also love doing workshops with leaders, providing concrete insights in how they can maximize the engagement by adapting their own communication for different people according to their inner motivation. Insight in the likelihood & underlying reason for conflicts between different persons and how they can be prevented.
Reading this article on Karoshi in Japan, I come to think of one episode when working on a project in Asia. Even though I did not commit Karoshi, I surely did fit the bill of work hours. (A suicide qualifies as karoshi if the person worked more than 160 hours of overtime the last month of life.)
I was in Asia in a contract negotiation around 2004, working as a consultant at the time. It was the first time we negotiated a contract with this operator together with a new national telecom vendor. I got there in the third negotiation week, just to “finish off some add on services”, that had been thrown in more or less as a give away to sweeten the deal.
While in Germany, preparing for the negotiation, I realized a new technical condition that prevented us from using the 7 off the shelf products. We would have to build completely new software, and get nothing extra for it. I was told to hang on there in the negotiation, not give anything extra away and just clarify the customer needs.
We hade excruciatingly long negotiation days during those three weeks. Days during which the highest Asian managers appeared sleeping with their heads in hands! Remarkably enough, they noticed as soon as something needed correction, they where immediately attentive, rattling away in Japanese to the subordinates.
In the evening, I got back to our local office, and worked until far into the night with our Swedish technicians to design and calculate costs.
Getting home to the hotel in the middle of the night (or rather very early morning), I felt completely safe. The only Japanese persons out on the streets where friendly or as me, sleepily/sleeping on the way home or to work. The subway had more sleeping persons than awake ones.
After three weeks, we where all exhausted when the negotiations where over. We had calculated our design, test and production costs to between 15 and 20 000 man hours. The main projekt owner made my hair blow backwards as he screamed at me on the phone:
- – Are you completely insane? It is definitely impossible!
I calmly asked him:
- – Have you calculated how much you need on the enabling exchange side? How much do you need for your customer adaptions? which rendered him speechless.
To make a long story short, they later figured out they needed way beyond 100 000 man hours to complete the specification agreed.
It was an awkward celebration dinner with the customer that night after the top managers had shaken hands on the deal agreed upon. The customer sat on a long row on one side of the table. The CEO in the middle. Us on the other side, knowing that the development costs where too high and still climbing. Our local manager in the middle and I as the only woman next to him. Toward the end of the dinner, the lights where dimmed. Three waiters entered with the delicious special extraordinary course: Three big steaming balls… It took me some time to realize it was tuna fish eyes, still more or less boiling and staring towards the ceiling! At that time, I had not yet learnt the phrase:
- – Excuse me, my religion prohibits me from eating this. (It works wonders in every country, I promise!)
And I was sitting across from the expecting CEO, and could not make him loose face in front of a foreign woman. So I had to take something, with the eating sticks and put it into my mouth. I took some from the outside of the steaming ball, while others dove right into it. Yuccie… Wonderful culture clash. Next time I might invite them up north in Sweden and serve sour herring (surströmming)…
I have seldom worked so many hours a day for so many negotiation weeks. Still I felt that the Japanese where working even harder. And they continued to do so, day in and day out, even though they did not have a major contract negotiation.
Well, we did complete the project eventually, many manhours later, with a satisfied customer.
And no burnouts or Karoshi in the meantime.
Ending well, all is well.
My reflection on this episode in conjunction with Karoshi is the following:
When you are overworked to that degree, your logical function degrades. Your capability to estimate times, workload, risk etc. diminishes more rapidly than you are aware of.
That is why I suggest all people to learn some personal strategies to reduce stress so that you can keep your logic and creativity at best possible. And you may also see earlier need for escalation, or be able to choose other assignments or employers unless conditions change.
And for you next to the person who is working themselves clearly towards burnout or Karoshi, I repeat Martin Luther Kings words:
- – You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.
Martin Luther King Jr. – 1929-1968, Minister and Civil Rights Leader
Perhaps the person is not ready to listen to your advice. That is perfectly understandable. But you can use I-messages to tell them what you see as consequence and how it affects yourself. For example:
- When I notice you don´t take time to help the less experienced in the team asking for it, I am afraid the we will not be able to meet the quality goal of our total team delivery.
And you can tell them that you know of an efficient method to reduce stress (EFT) that can be used by anyone almost anywhere, even for the most hectic schedules, to take down the personal stress levels.
Have a nice weekend!
// Sara Bern
I just read the article that overextensive social media usage actually destroys your brain function:
- “Prolonged consumption of the internet can lead to degradation in parts of the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, with consequences for both the psyche and work performance.”
The world is full of good books, among a number of poor or useless ones of course. Did you see that Newton´s Principia Mathematica about gravity etc was recently sold for 3 700 000 USD?
Books are like an open window to the world
In our home, we read a couple of chapters aloud with our three children every evening, and have been doing so the last 16 years. Our eldest is now 16, the middle son is 14 and our youngest is 12 years. We say to them that reading books is like a free travel to our places and other peoples minds. Stand on other people´s shoulders and reach for new knowledge and adventures. Reading is the most cost efficient way of personal development.
I remember as I as a very young girl was standing at the library´s desk while the librarian called my mum and asked her to come and get me with the car.This time, I wouldn´t be able to take the three bags full of books home on my own. The librarian asked my mum if I was really able and going to read all those books over the period. Of course, I stated boldly! And I stood by my promise.
Books for language training
Books can also be used for language training. At Ericsson, I had to travel the world as Business Manager for example and we have always traveled to meet friends all over the world. In order to keep my languages fit: I read a book in Swedish, then English, followed by one in Spanish and the next in German. Then I started all over again. At language courses, they always try to make you read so called “good literature”, by Nobel prize winners and the like. That can constitute a major language challenge. So to keep going, I selected Spanish and German books with a lot of dialogue and action instead. Like Stephen King thrillers or similar easy light weight literature.
Audio books are also good
When I started to educate myself to be a LifeSuccess Coach, there was too little hours of the day to read all I wanted. As I had to commute in Stockholms overly crowded traffic, from Huddinge to OMX at Gärdet, I started to listen to books downloaded on my iPhone. With a good headset like Jabra Supreme, I get excellent comfort and sound quality even while driving. And I can take calls and listen to driving instructions that interrupt the audio bok whenever needed. Another side benefit was that I was not at all disturbed over traffic jams any more. I happily alotted extra driving time, and if I arrived earlier than needed, I was in good company. And you understand what company. As the saying goes: –With a good book, you are never really alone.
Books also help you change your habits
Since you need to keep your thoughts and actions on a new habit for quite some time before a new action becomes a habit, books help a lot. The books keep you in the preferred thought mode for extensive periods of time. The covers remind you of the content every time you you see the book lying on the table or bedside floor.
Should you also engage in some kind of forum where the content is discussed, even better! Or you may decide to take a course on the subject matter or similar.
My story as an author: From recipes over EFT to agile
I always wanted to write my own book. The recipe book I wrote 2014 with my daughter Maria was my first released book: Green Smoothies: Weight Loss Recipes. It was because my husband had seen me save all the green smoothie recipes on sticky notes in a book, with the testimonials of the one´s who had tried it. Maria helped me insert every recipe in book format, gave them names, searched for images and co-edited the rest of the text. This book made Maria the youngest non-fiction author of the time in Sweden, at 13 years. And we got on the radio for a live interview. That book was really meant as a training book for my “real book”, about personal development. It was an expensive training, as recipe book really need good graphics which do not easily let themselves be professionally made by the author.
That first book was followed by the corresponding E-book: Green Smoothies: Wellness and Weight Loss Recipes. 2015.
This year, I finally released my “real book”: LUGN I STORMEN – EFT: Första hjälpen för den sjuka jobbstressen. The EFT method really changed my and my family’s’ life. It also affected my work, as I included the method into my toolbox as a coach already 2009. EFT is a game changer for many of my clients, removing blocks for change and helping them with stress and other ailments as well. No wonder it became the main topic of my first real book.
My next book will be about Agile. I have received so many ill formulated requests for support as Agile coach and Agile Change Manager. Call for tenders that prevents organisations from getting the support they so well need in time. And many organisations fail in their well intended tries to become more agile. More help in easy to understand Swedish, or Swenglish, is needed. Stay tuned!
To all concerned book interested: Adlibris.se has a fault on their website, stating that my book:
Lugn i stormen: EFT: Första hjälpen för den sjuka jobbstressen
is out of print. Only the E-book is shown there right now:
The first print I made was sold out within 2 weeks after release. But now I have placed the book with BoD as a print on demand house, so it should never go out of print…
The fault is reported to Adlibris and I have asked them for the names of those who tried in vain so I can apologize. Of course they will not give me those out of integrity reasons. Therefore I apologize here instead!
Should you have been affected, send me a copy of the original “Out of Print” message of Adlibris or your book vendor in this period, and I will happily give you a 50% discount on a personal, individual EFT session with me per telephone or Skype.
I wish you all a Happy New 2017 with many new interesting books to read.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year to come! My own resolution for the year to come is to contribute to an environmentally friendly, less stressful planet for all people.
We are going to remodel our private house with solar panels, in addition to the earth heating we already have installed. We will reuse even more stuff and reduce our family’s waterprint on earth by eating more veggie food.
And I will continue to work on helping organisations and people discover easy to use stress reducing techniques for increased performance, productivity and joy. Aiming also for creating some kind of connection between a Swedish stress reducing app that and the digital channel people use to regular healthcare, to reduce the lead time to first aid for stress and anxiety relief. There are several easy to use methods, some more effective than others. It is also a matter of finding a method that suits each individual and each organization. EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a pretty flexible and easy to use emotional regulation method, which can efficiently complement other treatments and self help methods. Let´s see where it ends up.
Happy New Year to all of you!
This year, I have decided to give to charity instead of sending physical Christmas Cards from us and Golden Opportunity.
I hope you appreciate that the money goes to families on the run from war and atrocities towards a brighter future.
Hopefully, some also will find use of my other gift this year: making the stress reducing application GO EFT Tapping on iPhone free of charge.
Merry Christmas to all of you!
- Agil Emotionell Reglering (Swedish, Stockholm)
- Agil Emotionell Reglering – påbyggnad med certifieringsmöjlighet (Swedish, Stockholm)
- Teamwork Gamification – framgångsbeteende med Orangino Work (Swedish, Stockholm)
They are in Swedish, in Stockholm to begin with. Other locations on request.
“Highly relevant courses and just in time!”, as Tobias Strandh, their chief of education, remarked.
- Agile Emotional Regulation
- Agile Emotional Regulation advanced – with certification opportunity
- Teamwork Gamification – success behaviors with Orangino Work.
“Highly relevant courses and just in time!”, as Tobias Strandh, their chief of education, remarked.
All courses are to be held in Swedish, delivered in Stockholm to begin with. Other locations on request.
You will find them in their spring catalog under Leadership specialized as well as Agile Leadership.
The first edition of my Swedish inspirational book about stressreduction “Lugn i Stormen – EFT:Första hjälpen för den sjuka jobbstressen” was sold out 2 weeks after release, YES!
I released the book at the exhibition FitForLife / AlltFörHälsan in Älvsjö end of November, where I worked in the EFT Association booth. We where demonstrating the efficacy of EFT for anyone wanting to try it out. We cleared relationship issues, vertigo, writer´s blocks, sorrow, sadness, pains and numerous fears, just to mention some issues. At the exhibition we tap on people to demonstrate quick results in this noisy and open environment. EFT is however really a self-help method that you can use yourself.
Rene, that I had met on an Executive’s Global Network meeting the day before also tried the method. I later received this email from him:
– I can attest that this method really works. After only one session, I can deal with my fear of heights in a whole new way! I feel calm and confident when I think of or am located in high altitudes. Many thanks!
Rene Lambin IT Operations Manager Capio S:t Görans Sjukhus
I also got the opportunity to speak about EFT Tapping for full house. All seats were taken, people standing at the tables at the back of the room and there were even people sitting on the floor in the hallway next to the seats.
It was so rewarding being able to present both the book and the new upgrade of the iPhone app: GO EFT Tapping©, now Free and available both in English and Arabic.
The next edition of the book is already uploaded to Bokrondellen, which means that any day now it will be searchable on www.Adlibris.se and other bookstores everywhere. Stay tuned! People were so fond of the format with Wire-O binding, so I decided to keep it to the next edition. It enables you to keep the book open by itself while following the instructions and finding the points.