Valued Blog Post of the Week! #Fairness

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

My stress level is still well in check even though I have missed my valued Blog Post of the week. I guess you could say I was having trouble picking my next value.

Friday write-in

Picking a personal value

“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]

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Image courtesy of Trust And Integrity Quotes. QuotesGram via Google Images by Rappler.com

We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. This post is late. The holidays are long gone, and I don’t have much of an excuse except that of being indecisive until now. I was going to go with Positive Influence, but then I said no, that’s not it. Then I thought Personal Growth and decided that I’m not ready to cover that topic.

So, I’m choosing Fairness instead.

Fairness is a noun and means impartial and just treatment or behavior without Favoritism or Discrimination. Synonyms for fairness are:

candor – civility – decency – decorum – equity – honesty – humanity – impartiality – integrity – legitimacy – moderation – propriety – rationality – righteousness – suitability – tolerance – truth – veracity – charitableness – charity – consideration – courtesy – disinterestedness – due – duty – exactitude – fair-mindedness – goodness – honor – justness – reasonableness – right – rightfulness – rightness – seemliness – uprightness – equitableness – fair shake – give and take – good faith – open-mindedness – square deal

Oh, I just finished a course on Race and Ethnics this previous semester. Fascinating topic. Many don’t realize how racial or discriminating they are until they begin to dig deep. But what does this have to do with my value topic of fairness?

Lots!

Fairness is a tremendous value even in the workplace.

Why so?

Favoritism is the opposite of fairness – the antonym.

Favoritism = Discrimination

Favoritism comes in several forms and can be considered discrimination in the workplace and can have devastating effects on the company culture.

Consider this:

If one employee favored over another for any single reason, then someone is being discriminated against which results in loss of trust, motivation, morale, lost productivity, and leads to resentment and causes disincentives for overall productivity. It is plain and simple, bad management practice. “When employees see that only a few receive benefits for being in the manager’s good graces instead of from doing a great job, then there is little reason for hard work.”[2] Favoritism can also not only negatively impact the company culture it can hurt the bottom line.[3]

Favoritism can manifest in unfair bonus or promotions and which is evident when a manager looks the other way when an employee is not following the dress code or leaves an hour or two early or comes in late without making up their time. “At extremes, favoritism can lead to lawsuits, which in addition to having severe financial consequences, may have a lasting effect on a company’s hiring efforts and reputation in both the specific industry and the public eye.”[4]

Is favoritism illegal?

That depends on the type of favoritism such as discrimination.

What is discrimination?

“Discrimination happens when employers make job decisions based on employees’ protected characteristics — traits that federal, state, or local governments have decided should not be the basis of employment actions. Under federal law, for example, it’s illegal for employers not to hire someone because of his race, to refuse to promote women, to relegate employees with disabilities to low-paying positions, or to lay off employees based on age.”[5]

But if the decision based on similar beliefs, hobbies, or likes then this is not considered discrimination.

Sexual Harassment Favoritism is illegal.

(Topic to cover later.)

Favoritism as Retaliation

“If a manager’s decisions are intended to punish employees who have complained of illegal behavior (such as discrimination, harassment, or unsafe working conditions), that could be unlawful retaliation.”[6]

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I know that fairness is difficult. We all want everyone to like us. But if you as a leader have earned employee trust, then what is there not to like?

Reference

  1. Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? Accessed January 19, 2018. https://www.employmentlawfirms.com/resources/employment/discrimination/laws-preventing-favoritism-in-the-workplace.

FLEISCHMAN, EDWARD. 2015. The dangers of playing favorites at work. August 4. Accessed January 19, 2018. http://fortune.com/2015/08/04/favoritism-careers-leadership/.

McGonigal, Kelly. 2016. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery.

Notes

[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)

[2] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

[3] (FLEISCHMAN 2015)

[4] (FLEISCHMAN 2015)

[5] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

[6] (Favoritism in the Workplace: Is it illegal? 2018)

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Book of the Month for January 2018

I just finished up a book that was bubbling to the top of my to-read pile as the Holidays passed by me at warp speed. The subject of stress does occupy many minds during the winter months and the up and coming income tax season. But as I began reading the following book I found that this book is a welcome read for any time of the year since stress comes in many forms.

Title: The Upside of Stress

By Kelly McGonigal, PhD

File Size: 1321 KB

Print Length: 301 pages

Publisher: Avery (May 5, 2015)

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B00OI5PGWU

ISBN-10: 1101982934

ISBN-13: 978-1101982938

Rating 5/5  

For most of our lives, we have been told that stress is harmful to our health. What if someone were able to prove this to be otherwise? How would you feel if you found that there are more health benefits to stress then health risks? All it takes is a change in your mindset.

Kelly McGonigal argues in her book The Upside of Stress that psychologists have been telling people for years that stress is bad for you but she has discovered through research that this is not indeed the case. With her research, she can prove the benefits of stress can outweigh the harmful effects of stress that revolves around changing the mindset about stress. If one can believe that stress is beneficial than the coping mechanisms associated with stressful events can cause personal growth which will improve the health of that individual.

“Mindsets are beliefs that shape your reality, including objective physical reactions (like the strength of my arm as Crum pushed on it), and even long-term health, happiness, and success. More important, the new field of mindset science shows that a single brief intervention, designed to change how you think about something, can improve your health, happiness, and success, even years into the future.” (McGonigal 2016, 4)

Kelly McGonigal, Phd., is a lecturer and psychologist at Stanford University and an expert on mind-body relationship. She is a senior teacher/consultant at Stanford for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and also teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program. Her work validates the claims of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.

I understand what McGonigal means when she makes the statement, “When you face difficulties head-on, instead of trying to avoid or deny them, you build your resources for dealing with stressful experiences.” (McGonigal 2016, 18) We all face difficulties over the course of our lives. It is not a matter of what those challenges are but how we handle them that matters most in life. If we don’t manage them well, then we tend to repeat those problems until we can overcome them.

This book explains the reasoning behind why McGonigal believes that stress can be healthy for personal growth. Her research she shares verify why the probability this is correct and she describes this well in the book.

I did not find anything in this book that I would disagree with which is why I have rated this book with five stars.

I highly recommend everyone to read this book, and hopefully, it will change your outlook on stress and help you handle those dreadful times with personal growth and resilience.


Note

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 18). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Reference

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.

Have Americans Gone too far with Christmas Lights? #Christmaslightwars

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Image courtesy of creative commons license via flickr.com by terren in Virginia

I used to look forward to driving home from Grandma’s House at Christmas time when I was a child, to be able to see all the pretty Christmas decorations and lights on our way back home. I remember oohing and gaping every time we passed another decorated house. Nowadays, the homes are a hit or miss. They are either undecorated because no one can afford the light bill or they are over decorated and look gaudy awful and too bright for the eyes to behold.
For instance, in the article, Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights, parking is limited even more because of the draw the Christmas lights have on crowds to the neighborhood. (SCHWEBER, 2016) I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood where the annual Christmas light contest was taking place. First off, I wouldn’t want that light bill nor to waste that much energy on an over-decorated home. Christmas is much more than decorated homes with giant live Christmas trees. I also wouldn’t want to deal with the traffic or know that thousands of tourists are coming to my neighborhood to see a dazzling light display. The traffic is bad enough on my street, more cars and trucks mean that I would need to turn up my television so I could hear it over the traffic.
When we decorate for Christmas, we put up the yearly artificial tree. We did do the live tree for a few years, but then the cat discovered pine tea and knocked the tree over multiple times trying to get that last sip of water out of the bottom of the tree stand. When we switched back to the artificial tree, the tree stands unharmed.
Sometimes we put up a string of lights at the front door with a pair of candy cane lights. This year only the Christmas Wreath decorates our entry which does not mean I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit; it just says we intend to stay within our budget and finish the year on a positive note.

Reference

SCHWEBER, N. (2016, December 2). Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/nyregion/christmas-lights-on-steroids-bring-parking-headaches-to-dyker-heights.html

 

Friday Write on my #PersonalValues #Challenges

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

Friday write-in

 

Picking a personal value

 

“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]

 

 

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Image courtesy of creative commons license via Flickr.com by Doe Zantamata and Unsplash

 

 

Challenge – a call to take part in a contest or competition, especially a duel, or calling for special effort.

Contest

Dare

Encounter

Provocation

Summons

Task

Test

Trial

We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. Another of my values is a that of a challenge.

I love a challenge but within reason. When I say this, I mean a problem that can be met within reason. If I were to stand no chance against the competition, I would give up trying before the competition would even begin. For example, I was never a long-distance runner; a marathon would not be a contest within reason. I know my limitations. But, if I could compete against my self for a better time in a marathon I would accept the personal challenge as a doable test to see if I could beat my best time. If I could beat that time, I would have a sense of accomplishment.

Earning my degree gives me a sense of challenge especially with the online courses since for much of the time, I must answer my questions through research. To top off my challenge, I have dared myself to get the best grades I can get with the hopes of acquiring scholarships to help pay for my education.

Challenges at work are keeping a machine running when the material is being problematic, which was my challenge for the day. Another challenge is meeting a shipping deadline at the last minute.

Setting goals is a great way to create challenges, but if the goal is set too high the challenge will never be met, and self-doubt will kill all effort.

Management professionals should give this some thought when asking employees to take on a new job function. If the initial production goal is at a reasonable level so that the employee can meet the goal, they will begin to develop confidence. Raise the goals slowly but never entirely out of the person’s reach, unless the manager does not want that employee to improve on the job and build on their confidence that leads to higher production and quality. I would hope that manager would not kill the development of a strong work team by making their workers feel inadequate to do the jobs asked of them.

People can be challenges. Understanding the different personalities, cultures, values, and morals. Everyone is raised differently and when there is a mixed culture in the workforce personality challenges can appear. Such a challenge can be overcome as workers begin to learn to accept each other’s differences and identities.

My favorite form of challenges is learning. Education comes in many forms. Learning is not just reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is learning a hobby. I’m a self-taught knitter, crocheter, quilter, sewer, and writer.

Most of all, challenges inspire me to be creative.

 

Reference

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.


Notes

[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)

 

 

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Friday Write on my #PersonalValues

Valued Blog Post of the Week!

I’m giving myself a writing challenge for the next three months. I will pick a personal value as part of a writing exercise as an experiment to see how the topic affects my daily stress level.

All are welcome to join in my weekly writing prompt experiment.

Friday write-in

 

Picking a personal value

 

“Pick one value and write about it for ten minutes. Describe why this value is important to you. Write how you express this value in your everyday life, including what you did today.”[1]

 

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/21318580630

Image courtesy of creative commons license via Flickr.com by Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Acceptance – the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable

Recognition

Approval

Tolerance

Acknowledgment

Belief

Credence

Toleration

Favorable reception

 

We all have specific values that have become a part of our personality over the years. Those values are not something that I have given much thought to until recently. One of my values is acceptance. We all like to feel like we belong or accepted by our community, school, or workplace. If not, then questions begin to surface as to why we continue to engage in that setting. But why would I decide that acceptance is a part of who I am?

I have this habit, and I’m sure it bugs the hell out of my co-workers, where I will greet everyone I see no matter how many times we cross paths during the day. I can see the same person ten times within an hour and feel the compulsion to say hi or hello each time. Like I say, this has become more of a habit than a need and developed after working in the retail setting for over five years. The habit has become part of my nature.

Acceptance does matter in other ways. When I enter a room, it is nice to know that those who are there will acknowledge my presence and not completely ignore the fact that I exist. A simple hi or hello suffices.

But I am not without tolerance. I have a high tolerance level for most people, places, and situations which brings me back to acceptance. Accepting something is admitting the situation, person, or location can’t be changed and is beyond control.

So, if you don’t want to say hi, I can tolerate your choice and will accept that this is who you are and we both don’t have the same values.

Acceptance is more than a personal greeting. It is a belief in one’s self and approval for our actions, building on credence that leads to trusting of the self and others.

 

 


Note

[1] (McGonigal 2016, 72)

 

Reference

 

McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.

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