You are on page 1of 90

Humans Arent

Computers
Effective Management
Strategies for IT
Leaders

Who Are We?


Michele Chubirka, aka "Mrs. Y., host of Healthy
Paranoia Podcast, information security feed of
Packetpushers and official nerd stalker.
www.healthyparanoia.net
chubirka@postmodernsecurity.com
@MrsYisWhy
Joe Weston, workshop facilitator, consultant, and
author of the book Mastering Respectful
Confrontation. Also founder of the Heartwalker
Peace Project.
heartwalker@joeweston.com
http://www.respectfulconfrontation.com/

Who We Arent

How engaged can you be today?

How many of you started out as engineers


or technical staff?
Are you happy and energized by this
choice?
Would you like to improve the quality of
your professional environment?
Why did you accept a leadership role?

Whats the SLA with Our Staff?


Employees Are the Most Valuable Asset.
Why is the relationship so challenging?
Do we treat them better or worse than our
hardware assets?

Leadership is not a rank, its a decision.


-Simon Sinek

State of the Workplace

According to Wikipedia:
An "engaged employee" is one who is fully
absorbed by and enthusiastic about their
work and so takes positive action to further
the organization's reputation and interests.

Gallups 2013 State of the American


Workplace
Engagement brings higher productivity,
profits, customer ratings and employee
retention
Disengagement costs U.S. $450 to $550
billion per year.
70% of American workers are not
engaged or actively disengaged.
Those with college degree are less likely to
be engaged.

2012 Global Workforce Study by Towers Watson

Out of 32,000 full-time workers, only 35%


were highly engaged.
Employee retention depends on
relationship with management, trust in
senior leadership and ability to manage
work-related stress.
Less than half surveyed believed that
supervisors have time to address
interpersonal issues.

Drivers of Engagement

Leadership
Stress, balance and workload
Goals and objectives
Supervisors
Organizations image

Motivation and Engagement


Study sponsored by the Federal Reserve
Bank found three main factors motivate
people in their work.
Autonomy
Mastery
Purpose

What Can You Do About It?

Power and Leadership in the


21st century

Key Areas to Balance for


Successful Leadership
Productivity
Relationship
Self Care

Human beings have discretionary energy,


and they would give it to you if you treat
them with dignity and respect.
-Paul ONeill, former Treasury
Secretary of US under George W. Bush

When one moves into their


vulnerability,
then their true power is revealed.

Brain RTFM

"The human brain hasn't had a hardware


upgrade in about 100,000 years."
Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional
Intelligence

Neuroscience 101
Limbic System: The interior of the cortex, includes the hippocampus and
amygdala. Supports emotion and long-term memory.
Prefrontal Cortex: Region responsible for planning, decision making and
moderating behavior.

Think of the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex as a horse is to a rider.

Demonstration: A Brain In the


Palm of Your Hand
Hold up your hand and make a fist.
This is a good representation of the
brain and spinal column.
The brain stem, limbic system and
neocortex.
* These two slides are oversimplifications of a very
complex system.

The Threat Response: Step 1


Cortex receives input (externally or
internally) from the thalamus, a component
of the limbic system.

The Threat Response: Step 2


Limbic system and prefrontal cortex (the
executive or evaluator of the brain) take in
data. Limbic system processes faster.

The Threat Response: Step 3


Amygdala, responsible for emotional
response and memory, acts as an alarm
activating the fight/flight hormonal
response if threat is perceived.

The Threat Response: 4


The sympathetic nervous system sets up
organs and muscles for fight/flight
response, inhibiting digestion and the
hypothalamus prompts the release of
stress hormones.

Emotional Contagion
The limbic system is an open loop,
influenced by other peoples emotions, aka
mirror neurons.
Mirror neurons activate when an animal
performs an action or when an animal
observes the same action of another
animal.
They are thought to be the basis of
empathy.
Also called emotional contagion.

The Power of Mirror Neurons


Marie Dasborough observed two groups:
One group was given negative feedback
accompanied by positive emotional signs,
nods and smiles.
Another was provided positive feedback
that was delivered using negative
emotional cues, frowns and narrowed
eyes.

Entrainment
Those receiving positive feedback with
negative emotional signs reportedly felt
worse than participants receiving
negative feedback given with positive
emotional cues.
Your emotions and actions are mirrored
by those around you.

Negativity
The brain has a negativity bias because
the limbic system is quicker than the
prefrontal cortex at perceiving and
analyzing potential threats.
Traumatic experiences are stickier than
positive, happy experiences, i.e. harder
to un-map.

No Escape From Threat


Most are in a permanent state of cortisol
overload due to the constant stressors of
modern life.
Stress hormones stay in the body for
hours.
Decreases intellectual capacity, memory
capacity and lowers impulse control.
Stress makes you stupid.

Amygdala Hijack?
An intense and immediate emotional reaction,
followed by the understanding that it was
inappropriate.
I thought that stick on the ground was a
snake!
I dont like you or Im bored, so I wont
cooperate or listen to what you have to say.
That guy who cut me off in traffic was trying
to kill me!
Why were you so insulting to me in that
email yesterday? (studies show theres a
negativity bias in email.)
Other examples?

Thin Slicing
Human beings make quick decisions based
on intuition.
This is called Thin Slicing or Fast
Thinking.

Thin Slicing: Bedside Manner


The likelihood of a doctor being sued
doesnt correlate with the number of
errors made.
Psychologists are able to predict which
doctors will be sued by analyzing the
amount of time spent with patients and if
the tone of their voices sounded
concerned.

Theres No Mr. Spock


Neurologist, Dr. Antonio Damasio, had a
patient who had been a successful
corporate lawyer.
A tumor was discovered in his prefrontal
lobes and the surgeon who removed it
inadvertently severed the circuit between
this area and his amygdala.

Somatic Marker
No damage to his cognitive abilities, but
his life fell apart.
He couldnt make decisions when
presented with simple choices.
He no longer had any feelings regarding
options, no preferences.
Case is basis for the Somatic Marker
Hypothesis, a theory that emotions assist
with decision-making.

Bounded Emotionality

It is a gross
misconception
that reason can
be completely
separated from
emotion.

Connections matter

How To Engage a Terrorist


Interrogator, Matthew Alexander discovered
that building rapport with prisoners in Iraq
was the most effective interrogation
method, not torture.

The quickest way to get most (but not all)


captives talking is to be nice to them.
Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

Common Social Heuristics


Tit for Tat:
Be kind first, keep a memory of size one, and
imitate your partners last behavior.
Only the last behavior is remembered and
imitated.
Political scientist Robert Axelrod found this to
be the most frequently winning strategy.

Dont Break Ranks

Is Efficiency Overrated?
Study conducted by Gillian M. Sandstrom
and Elizabeth W. Dunn of the University
of British Columbia.
Participants who smiled, made eye
contact, and talked with the cashier at a
coffee shop reported higher satisfaction
and moods than those who avoided
interaction.
Small, unimportant interactions with
others can create a feeling of connection
according to researchers.

Social Connections Matter


Anthropologist Robin Dunbar found that a
species brain sizesize of its neocortex,
the outermost layeris linked to the size
of its social group.
We have big brains in order to socialize.

Were Wired To Be Social


In the brains non-active moments, it
reverts to a configuration called the
default network.
According to researcher, Matthew
Lieberman, this appears to resemble
another configuration, the social thinking
brain, which is empathetic.

Make Stress Your Friend


A study tracked stress in 30,000 adults
over eight years.
Researchers found those under great
stress had a 43% increased risk of death,
if they believed stress was dangerous.
Under stress, the pituitary gland releases
Oxytocin, the bonding hormone.
Acts as anti-inflammatory which can
counteract negative effects of stress.

Your Response to Stress Matters


"When you choose to connect with others
under stress, you can create resilience"
- Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist and
researcher, Stanford University

Methods of Engagement
Interaction based on core competencies
of Emotional Intelligence, such as selfawareness, self-regulation, empathy, and
motivation.
Social engineers and con artists use the
same skills to create emotional and social
affinity with a target.
Conflict resolution methods.

We have to face the fact that either


all of us are going to die together or
we are going to learn to live together,
and if we are to live together we have
to talk.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Effective Collaboration Levels


Personal
Social
Institutional
Personal + social = institutional change

Communication Models Based On Empathy


XYZ model
NVC
Respectful Confrontation

Marshall Rosenbergs Non-Violent


Communication

Facts or observations
Feelings
Needs or whats alive
Request

Joe Westons Respectful


Confrontation

Behavior
Impact
Need
Make a request

"Niceness can be a dodge to avoid engaging


in unpleasant interactions."
-Bill Kahn, Ph.D.

Goals
Learn about empowered, collaborative
engagement.
Reframe views on confrontation,
assertiveness, and true power.
Achieve greater self-confidence, personal
freedom, fulfillment, and peaceful
interactions with others.

My truth The truth

Respectful Confrontation

The
The
The
The

practice
practice
practice
practice

of
of
of
of

developing the respectful self


respectful engagement
respectful offense
respectful defense

3 Fs
Fight
Flight
Freeze

break down your communication, connection, and collaboration.

ICEBERG CHART

10%
VERBAL

BODY LANGUAGE
FACIAL EXPRESSION
PHYSICAL SENSATIONS

CONDITIONS AND BODY CHALLENGES

/ ENVIRONMENT
TEMPERATURE, TIME OF DAY

SURROUNDINGS

RELATIONSHIP
POWER DYNAMIC
POWER STATUS
PAST HISTORY
MOOD
EMOTIONS, PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY,
BELIEFS, PREJUDICES, JUDGMENTS,
CULTURE, RACE, GENDER, CUSTOMS,
RELIGION, EDUCATION, LOVE
FEAR, WOUNDS,
NEEDS, DESIRES,
LONGING, TRAUMAS,
INSECURITIES

90%

Hmm, Id like a cup of tea

5 Steps of Clear
Communication
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Contact with yourself


Contact with other
Desire/Impulse
Act of communication
Received message

True power = Brute force


Confrontation = Conflict
Assertiveness = Aggression

Brute force true power

4 Pillars of True Power

Grounding
Focus
Strength
Flexibility

Conflict confrontation

Courage is what it takes to stand


up and speak. Courage is what it
takes to sit down and listen.
- Winston Churchill

Conflict
1 : FIGHT, BATTLE, WAR
2 a : competitive or opposing action of
incompatibles : antagonistic state or action
(as of divergent ideas, interests, or
persons) b : mental struggle resulting from
incompatible or opposing needs, drives,
wishes, or external or internal demands;
see DISCORD

Confront
confront
1 : to face especially in challenge : OPPOSE
2 a : to cause to meet : bring face-to-face
<confront a reader with statistics> b : to
meet face-to-face : ENCOUNTER

Respectful Confrontation
Definition
CONFLICT: an encounter that leads to
the further separation of individuals,
the breakdown of relationship, and
the disempowerment of the other.

Respectful Confrontation
Definition
CONFRONTATION: an encounter that
leads to individuals coming closer
together, deepening of relationship,
and the empowerment of all involved.

If you fear making anyone mad,


then you ultimately probe for the
lowest common denominator of
human achievement.
- Former President, Jimmy
Carter

FEELINGS
..............................................................................................

PLEASANT / UNPLEASANT
ALIVE

DESPERATE

INSPIRED

PLAYFUL

ANNOYED

DISAPPOINTED

INTERESTED

PUZZLED

APPRECIATIVE

ECSTATIC

IRRITABLE

SAD

CALM

EXCITED

JOYFUL

SATISFIED

CONFIDENT

FASCINATED

LONELY

SCARED

CONFUSED

FRUSTRATED

LOVING

SHOCKED

CONTENT

GLAD

MISCHIEVOUS

SUSPICIOUS

EMBARRASSED

HELPLESS

NERVOUS

TENDER

DESPAIRING

HURT

OVERWHELMED

TIRED

................................................................................................

DESPAIRING

HURT

OVERWHELMED

TIRED

................................................................................................

NEEDS
................................................................................................

ACCEPTANCE

EQUALITY

TO KNOW

RESPECT

AUTHENTICITY

FLOW

LOVE

REST

BELONGING

FREEDOM

TO MATTER

SAFETY

CELEBRATION

GROWTH

MEANING

TO BE SEEN

CLARITY

HARMONY

ORDER

SUPPORT

COOPERATION

HONESTY

PLAY

SUSTENANCE

CREATIVITY

INFLUENCE

POWER

TOUCH

EASE

INTEGRITY

PROTECTION

UNDERSTANDING

VALUES
................................................................................................

ACCOMPLISHMENT/SUCCESS

EQUALITY

LOYALTY

ACCOUNTABILITY

FAITH

MONEY

ACCURACY

FAMILY

PEACE/NON-VIOLENCE

BEAUTY

FREEDOM

PLEASURE

CALM

FRIENDSHIP

POWER

CHALLENGE

FUN

PROSPERITY/WEALTH

COLLABORATION

HARD WORK

SERVICE

COMMUNITY

INDEPENDENCE

SIMPLICITY

COMPETITION

INNOVATION

SKILL

CREATIVITY

JUSTICE

STATUS

DELIGHT IN BEING/JOY

KNOWLEDGE

TRADITION

DISCIPLINE

LEADERSHIP

TRUTH

EFFICIENCY

LOVE/ROMANCE

WISDOM

................................................................................................

Choose ten values from the list

Aggression Assertiveness

Assertive
1 : disposed to or characterized by bold or
confident assertion <an assertive leader>
2 : having a strong or distinctive flavor or
aroma <assertive wines>

Aggressive
1 a: tending toward or exhibiting aggression
<aggressive behavior> b: marked by
combative readiness <an aggressive fighter>
2 a: marked by obtrusive energy b: marked by
driving forceful energy or
initiative : enterprising <an aggressive
salesman>
3: strong or emphatic in effect or intent
<aggressive colors> <aggressive flavors>
4: growing, developing, or spreading rapidly
<aggressive bone tumors>

Respectful Confrontation
Definition
AGGRESSION: any behavior, action,
remark, gesture, or facial expression
that impacts another with the goal to
disempower and/or is received by the
other in a harmful, threatening way.

Respectful Confrontation
Definition
ASSERTIVENESS: any behavior,
action, remark, gesture, or facial
expression that impacts another with
the goal to empower and/or is
received by the other in a positive
way.

With realization of ones potential, and


self-confidence in ones ability, one can
build a better world.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water


will wear away rock, which is rigid and
cannot yield.... what is soft is strong.
- Lao Tzu

http://www.respectfulconfrontation.com/

Key Takeaways
Bad trumps good in the human brain.
You cant turn your emotions off or leave them at
home. Its like wearing a bad toupee. You arent
fooling anyone.
If the limbic system is an open loop, were all
responsible for the quality of the emotional
landscape.
Stress makes you stupid, by shutting down blood
flow to the critical pre-frontal lobes. If you set off
a stress response in someone, you minimize the
chance of having a rational dialogue.
Confrontation isnt always negative. Resistance to
change can be a valuable source of feedback.

Where Can You Find Us?


Michele Chubirka, spending quality time in kernel
mode.
http://www.healthyparanoia.net
Twitter @MrsYisWhy
Google+ MrsYisWhy
networksecurityprincess@gmail.com
Joe Weston, writing and teaching workshops.
http://www.respectfulconfrontation.com/

References
Esfahani Smith, Emily. "Social Connection Makes a Better Brain." The Atlantic 29 Oct. 2013: n. pag.
Print.
Global Workforce Study - Engagement at Risk: Driving Strong Performance in a Volatile Global
Environment. Rep. no. TW-NA-2012-25644. N.p.: Towers Watson, 2012. Print.
Goleman, Daniel, and Richard Boyatzis. "Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership." Harvard
Business Review Sept. 2008: 74-81. Print.
Goleman, Daniel. Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam, 1998. Print.
Hanson, Rick, and Richard Mendius. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love &
Wisdom. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2009. Print.
Kryder, Suzanne. The Mind to Lead. N.p.: NeuroLeap, 2011. Print.
Luders, Eileen, Florian Kurth, Emeran A. Mayer, Arthur W. Toga, Katherine L. Narr, and Christian
Gaser. "The Unique Brain Anatomy of Meditation Practitioners: Alterations in Cortical Gyrification."
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6.34 (2012): 1-9. Print.
O'Connell, Andrew. "HBR Blog Network / The Daily Stat." Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business
Review, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Nov. 2013.
Pink, Daniel H. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. New York, NY: Riverhead, 2009.
Print.
Pink, Daniel. "Why Bosses Need to Show Their Soft Side." The Telegraph 17 July 2011: n. pag. Print.
Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer,
2003. Print.
Siegel, Daniel J. The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-being. New
York: W.W. Norton, 2007. Print.
State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. Rep.
N.p.: Gallup, 2013. Print.
Weston, Joe. Mastering Respectful Confrontation: A Guide to Personal Freedom and Empowered,
Collaborative Engagement. Emeryville, CA: Heartwalker, 2011. Print.