Communication strategies

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Honoring Those Who Serve

Published November 9, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


This week, as proud citizens of the United States, we will once again take the time to celebrate and reflect on the many services provided by our veterans as we honor all the great she-roes and heroes that have served this beautiful country. In honor of these heroic leaders, we decided to re-post our favorite blogs on the topic of leadership for the Veterans Day Holiday this week. In the meantime, we will continue the discussion we began on strategies for effective decision making next week.

Until then … we hope you enjoy this week’s blogs!


Styles of Leadership

(Original post, December 2012)

The nature of today’s business world produces constant change. Strong leadership expertise is required to handle potential problems with intelligence, diplomacy, and efficiency. Every leader exhibits talent in a different way and no one way of leading is better than another.  In fact, everyone can lead to a certain degree but not all leaders are effective (Glanz, 2002). Generally, visionary leaders that demonstrate a charismatic style tend to experience higher levels of success. This class of strong leader copes with change, delivers guidance, and institutes direction by communicating a vision that generates enthusiasm. These transformational leaders propagate trust, encourage development leadership skills in others, exhibit self-sacrifice and serve as moral representatives. They focus on objectives that transcend their own immediate needs (Baack, 2012).  In addition, they increase levels of fulfillment and performance in their organization by formulating and communicating a vision while building a bond with their staff. They are able to combine personal capability, group skills, managerial aptitudes and motivational proficiency with individual humility and professional determination.

#1 Leaders

Many studies have been conducted to determine the best style of leadership. Most conclude that effective leaders exhibit varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) impartiality, (c) empathy, (d) judgment, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002).  The best leaders continue to re-examine outdated business paradigms to maintain smooth operations, high production rates, while diligently working to keep morale up. In his book, Leadership Aikido, John O’Neil (1999) introduced six concepts inspired by the martial arts tradition that stresses victory without harm. The six master practices he outlines that enable leaders to assess and develop their potential are:

  1.  Cultivating self-knowledge;
  2.  Practicing the paradoxical art of planning;
  3.  Speaking the language of mastery;
  4.  Letting values drive our decisions;
  5.  Turning failure into success; and
  6.  Heeding the law of unintended consequences (O’Neil, 1999).

He believes through the elements of aikido, leaders are able to identify and overcome five inner enemies that impede progress: (a) failure to grow emotionally; (b) failure to make creative decisions; (c) failure to empathize; (d) failure to manage ego; and (e) failure to overcome alienation and boredom (O’Neil, 1999).  This perspective embraces personal power and energy as vital traits to effective leadership.


The bottom line is, individuals are not required to be well liked to become effective leaders. What is important, however, in an effective leader is their ability to garner high levels of trust and respect. The truth is, leaders are not always in a position to produce satisfaction in the workplace because not all policies and regulations enforced are popular. It is imperative, nonetheless, that leaders are accepted and command respect in their leadership role. To sum up, if a leader is not acknowledged or venerated on some level, it will be difficult to achieve objective goals and high levels of success in their position.


“What each of us believes in is up to us, but life is impossible without believing in something.” ― Kentetsu Takamori


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Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behaviorSan Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership styleAlexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership AikidoNew York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Six Basic Elements Essential in Making Sound Decisions

Published November 6, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

This week our posts are focused on the concept that the decision-making process is a skill. Once we accept this premise we can understand better, that this skill, like any other we focus on, can and usually will improve. For instance, as one gains more experience making decisions, one becomes more familiar with the tools and structures that are needed for effective decision-making. Plus, the most perceptive decision makers have discovered that the ability to develop better decision making skills, also helps improve self-confidence.

On Wednesday, our discussion left off with the six essential steps in the decision-making process. Today we take a closer look at each of those steps:


1. Establishing a Positive Decision-Making Environment

When a group of people gather for a specific reason, at times the discussion tends to lose focus because of each individual’s different experience of it. This occurs when the decision-making environment hasn’t been established. In order to establish a decision-making environment it is essential that everyone involved comprehend what the issue is before preparing to come to any conclusions. This would include an agreement on the objective, keeping focus that the issue at hand is being evaluated honestly, and complying on the process to move the decision forward.

Another clear component that must be addressed are the key interpersonal considerations at the onset. For example, have all the stakeholders been included? Do the individuals involved in the decision-making process engage in respectful communication to one another? Are the participants engaging in active listening? Are they able to keep an open mind and encourage the flow of an honest discussion? After all, if only the strongest opinions are heard, or worse, the group is being controlled by a gatekeeper, there is a risk that not all the best solutions will be considered or available to reach a goal that has a fair outcome for all involved.


2. Generating Positive Solutions

Another essential component of developing an effective decision-making process is the ability to generate as many good alternative solutions as sensibly possible. If the first solution is decided on and implemented quickly for the sake of simplicity, then there’s a good chance that even greater alternatives may be overlooked.


3. Evaluating Alternatives

This stage is more often than not the most time-consuming part of the decision-making process. The negative aspect of exploring alternatives can sometimes result in a decision never be made. Therefore, in order to make this step efficient, the decision-makers must be clear about the factors they want to include in the analysis process.

To make the best decision possible, the smartest leaders consider the following three key factors as essential components in the consideration process:

  1. Risk – most decisions involve some level of risk. However the decision-makers must uncover and understand these risks so that they can make the best possible choice.
  2. Consequences – no one can predict the implications of the decision with 100% accuracy. However, decisions can be made more carefully and systematically when leaders identify and evaluate possible consequences.
  3. Feasibility – decision-makers must evaluate whether the choice is realistic as well as implementable. This is an element that is often overlooked. This means that the decision-makers have to consider certain constraints as well when making a decision. As part of this evaluation stage, leaders must ensure that the alternative they are considering is significantly better than the status quo.


4. Deciding

Making a decision can be both stressful as well as exciting. To help leaders deal with their emotions as objectively as possible, it is recommended they use a structured approach in the decision-making process. This requires looking at what is most important in making a good decision. Leaders that take the time to think ahead and determine exactly what will make the decision “right” can significantly improve their results and decision accuracy.


5. Checking the Decision

The most successful leaders remember that some components about the decision-making process are not objective. For example, some believe that in addition, their decision has to make sense on an intuitive instinctive level as well. So far the decision-making process has been based on the perspectives and experiences of the leaders involved. It is at this time the decision-makers must also evaluate whether the decision has validity and make sense. Furthermore, if the decision being contemplated is a significant one, then it’s also worth auditing to make sure that assumptions are correct and that the logical structure used to make that decision is sound.


6. Communicating and Implementing

The final stage in the decision-making process includes communicating the decision and developing a system to implement it. There are leaders who choose to force their decision on others by demanding acceptance. This is a, “because I said so approach” which can result in negative outcomes. Alternatively, leaders are in a better place to gain acceptance by offering an explanation as to how and why their decision was reached. For most decisions – particularly those that need participants to agree before implementation – the most effective strategy is to explain the decision-making process. In other words, leaders that include a plan which discloses how the decision was arrived at and offer steps to effectively implement that plan, are more likely to achieve successful outcomes. This is because people typically respond positively to a clear plan – one that reveals what to expect and what is required.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week’s posts! We will continue this discussion next week by taking a closer look at the importance of decision-making and being assertive with them in the workplace. Until then … have a great weekend everyone, and keep working on improving your organizational management skills!


“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale


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How Good Are Your Decision-Making Skills?

Published November 4, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Welcome back to our discussion this week on the decision-making process. Today our post contains a survey that was designed to help assess how effective our decision-making skills are by identifying some of our strengths and weaknesses. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Survey Instructions:

Grab a note pad and for each statement, choose the number that best describes your decision-making process. Please answer the questions authentically (rather than how you think they should be answered), and don’t be concerned about whether the answer seems to score a “right or wrong” answer. Try to remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Once you’ve answered the questions honestly, add them up to reveal the total score:

  • 5 points for every Very Often answer;
  • 4 points for every Often answer;
  • 3 points for every Sometimes answer;
  • 2 points for every Rarely answer; and
  • 1 point for every Not at All answer

____ Evaluate the risks associated with each alternative before making a decision.

____After I make a decision, it’s final – because I know my processes strong.

____I tried to determine the real issue before starting the decision-making process.

____I rely on my own experience to find potential solutions to a problem.

____I tend to have a strong “gut instinct” about problems, and I rely on it in decision-making.

____I’m sometimes surprised by the actual consequences of my decisions.

____I use a well-defined process to structure my decisions.

____I think that involving many stakeholders to generate solutions can make the process more complicated than it needs to be.

____If I have doubts in my decision; I go back and recheck my assumptions and my process.

____I take the time needed to choose the best decision-making tool for each specific decision.

____I consider a variety of potential solutions before I make my decision.

____Before I communicate my decision, I create an implementation plan.

____In a group decision-making process, I tend to support my friend’s proposals and tried to find ways to make them work.

____When communicating my decision, I include my rationale and justification.

____Some of the options I’ve chosen have been more difficult to implement than I expected.

____I prefer to make decisions on my own, and then let other people know what I’ve decided.

____I determine the factors most important to the decision, and then use those factors to evaluate my choices.

____I emphasize how confident I am in my decision as a way to gain support for my plans.


____ Total Points


What the Test Scores Reveal:

Those with scores of 18 to 42: are individuals whose decision-making process hasn’t fully matured. They have difficulty being objective enough and rely too much on luck, instinct, or timing to make sound decisions. These people can improve their decision-making skills by focusing more on the process that leads to the decision, rather than on the decision itself. What they will gain by doing so is creating a solid process they can use to face any decision with confidence.

Those with scores of 43 to 66: are individuals whose decision-making process is okay. These people have a good understanding of the basics, but now need to improve the process and become more proactive. It is recommended they concentrate on looking at the many different options available, then developing a plan to help them discover and identify any risks with consequences that can act as obstructions to their goals. The better their analysis, the better their decision will be in the long-term. It is also recommended they focus specifically on the areas that reveal their weakest points, to help them implement more effective systems that will work across a wide variety of situations.

Those with scores of 67 to 90: are individuals with an excellent approach to their decision-making process. These people know how to set up the process that will generate a variety of potential solutions. There they analyze their options carefully and make the best decisions possible based on what they know. As they gain more experience, they use that information to evaluate their decisions, and continue to build their skills. However, these individuals are also asked to be mindful of the areas where they didn’t score higher points to evaluate how they can use this information to help improve their process.

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That’s it for today. Next time we’ll take a closer look at the following six themes that were used to develop today’s survey:

  1. Establishing a positive decision-making environment
  2. Generating potential solutions
  3. Evaluating the solutions
  4. Deciding
  5. Checking the decision
  6. Communicating and implementing

Then we will examine the data to reveal how successful leaders utilize these basic components to help structure and improve their decision-making systems to achieve positive outcomes.

Until then … Keep improving your organizational management skills!


 “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” – Paulo Coelho


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Happy Halloween and Nevada Day!

Published October 28, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Happy Halloween and Nevada Day to everyone celebrating! We’ll be back next week with new posts! Until then … stay organized!



Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative. – Judy Gold


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Nevada Day

Published October 28, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


What is Nevada Day?

Nevada Day is a grand celebration commemorating admission to statehood on October 31, 1864. Nevadan’s have the distinction of holding the largest statehood celebration in the nation! The highlight is the Nevada Day Parade, now in its 77th year in Carson.


Nevada’s one of the most conservative states in the Union, but you can do what you want in Vegas and nobody judges you. – Drew Carey


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Conflict Resolution and Solution

Published October 23, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


This week we opened a discussion on the nature of conflict. Today we will conclude our examination by taking a closer look at conflict solutions and resolutions. So far, what our research has uncovered, is that leaders who fail to identify the source and level of a conflict, are more than likely to experience productivity reduction and motivational issues which can further impede worker participation.

Recognizing the level of conflict is a good starting place to begin at. For instance, for a leader facing an organization with everything around them seeming to crumble, it is imperative they acknowledge the critical and immediate need to address the outcomes of the firm’s failures. In other words, the driving force behind this leader’s actions would require an urgent short term response with focused attention on developing a plan that will address and resolve the failed outcome issues as well as come up with better long term plans.

In the meantime, leaders of a firm that are slowly losing customers, a growing number of employees are displaying a lack of enthusiasm in the work place, and are cognizant that revenue is slowly on a downward trajectory as a result of shrinking patrons, are in a position to develop a more calculated approach. In this scenario, smart leaders will see this as an opportunity to examine the situation more carefully. They are able to implement a variety of steps and backup plans that support systematic changes which can then be scheduled to occur over a period of time. These leaders can be more effective in achieving organizational  goals with successful outcomes because in the planning process they recognized the need to develop a long term strategies.


To resolve differences, however, all parties involved require an openness and willingness to do the hard work to achieve positive outcomes. The ability, for example, for a leader to acknowledge and therefore address their own behavioral shortcomings, which can include a form of workplace bullying, is one kind of effective management skill that can help with solutions that will resolve conflicts.  This is not always easy, as it requires a leader’s ability to recognize and acknowledge their own weaknesses, facing the possibility that their behavior may have health-harming effects, especially if they engage in the mistreatment of others.

This may be especially true for leaders that have a limited level of education. Many uneducated leaders like these, rely on outdated views and aggressive behavior passed down from generation to generation from strict cultural beliefs to justify their strategies, which often include verbal and psychological abuse. Many people with these views that are in leadership positions, are typically ignorant that their behavior is out of line. In fact, many do not perceive their conduct as offensive, nor are they able to recognize their intra-personal conflicts can interfere with their ability to comprehend that their behavioral choices serve as obstructions in the development of quality personal relationships with others, whether at home or at their place of employment.


Organizational leaders of this nature, display little concern about the passions, goals, or outcomes of others. If they had more compassion for the needs of others, or took the time to engage and connect more with staff members as organizational partners, rather than treat them as pawns to achieve organizational goals, these leaders could help create an atmosphere that is more conducive to achieving win-win solutions. However, when both parties are fixed in their position and are uncooperative, especially if they display a lack of mutual trust and respect, or reveal an ease in with they can express a deep level of frustration and anger, solutions will inevitably be more difficult to achieve.

Unfortunately, even with counseling and guidance, however, sometimes disputing parties are still unable to resolve their differences and may have to engage the legal system to resolve the issue. Without a willingness to (a) find tradeoffs; (b) deal with important issues rather than trivial ones; (c) find areas of agreement; and (d) focus on ideas and information rather than personalities, a resolution will be hard to reach. The negative effect of these kind of conflicts can ultimately result in noncompliance of orders and decisions in all parties involved. Managers that reduce the efforts to resolve conflicts, display a passive resistance, and engage in unethical behavior, reflect a kind of leadership that is incapable of brokering solutions. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack (2012) reminds us that leaders who are unable to find solutions, work through conflicts, and fail to resolve staff members differences with peaceful resolutions, will eventually have to face the bankruptcy of their business as well as the dissolution of valuable relationships  (Baack, 2012).

Secret Weapon

Looking over our research work this week, we discovered that conflict resolution and solution requires a level of commitment from leaders who understand the concerns and essentials of all the parties involved. When all the players are willing to negotiate and find a solution that includes the examination of all the steps required to address the conflict, the resolution will inevitably lead to one of three outcomes: (1) a win-lose situation, (2) a lose-lose situation (compromise), or (3) a win-win solution (Baack, 2012). In conclusion, while conflict may prevent workers from experiencing job satisfaction in an organizational environment, strong effective leaders who can identify the source and level of a conflict are in a better position to successfully address them to achieve a favorable outcomes and maintain a pleasant working environment; one where everyone feels valued and appreciated equally.

Well, that’s it for this week. Thanks for tuning in … until next time … stay organized!


“You don’t always have to fight to win. Give peace a chance.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita


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Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

The Nature of Conflict

Published October 21, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair



This week we began a discussion on how to face conflicts in an attempt to manage them more effectively. Today, we continue our examination by first acknowledging a significant component: that practically every conflict begins with someone or something violating an individual’s rights, boundaries, or comfort zone. While the primary ingredients in any conflict are the individuals involved, conflicts tend to spring from the same litany of sources for all people (Cowan, 2003).  To begin pinpointing the source of a conflict, a closer analysis can help determine the stage of the conflict – whether it is in the latent; perceived; felt; or open stage.


To help us comprehend the nature of a conflict more clearly, we will analyze one case study of a situation that developed between two organizations we will identify as Company S and Company B. This examination is meant to help us assess what options are available to leaders to help avoid similar conflicts.

Our case study begins with Company S, a small company that sought payment for services rendered to a big company, Company B. In analyzing the situation, we discovered that the small firm, Company S, submitted an invoice for remittance to the big one, Company B, for providing services that required the small firm’s specialized set of skills. However, rather than paying the full amount, Company B rendered payment that represented only a fraction of the sum due. By engaging in this kind of conduct, especially without reaching out to Company S to offer an explanation, Company B’s actions naturally resulted in the creation of a difficult conflict. This action transmitted a clear message; one that revealed a kind of leadership from Company B that had no issue engaging freely in unethical conduct. In short, rather than honor the smaller company’s rates and terms of services, Company B chose to employ a strategy that communicated a form of workplace bullying by refusing to adhere to the terms and conditions laid out by the smaller firm.


Analyzing a situation like this, a perceptive, strong leader would recognize that the strategic actions of the larger firm revealed a reckless form of leadership; one that displayed a willingness to risk creating conflict in order to achieve short term solutions. Effective leaders also comprehend that this form of conduct, revealed from Company B’s leadership, also jeopardizes the possibility of developing a good working relationship with Company S. Furthermore, a smart leader understands that Company B’s actions also put the firm in jeopardy by risking long term consequences that could ultimately tarnish the firm’s reputation from any negative attention or publicity that could ensue from the exposure of unethical practices.

Had the leaders from the big organization at Company B, engaged in more ethical strategic management practices, rather than pursuing the kind of conduct hagglers exhibit in an attempt to receive lower rates, like sheep merchants at a flea market, they could have avoided this conflict altogether. Leaders of large powerful firms that use small firms or independent contractors as mere pawns to achieve organizational goals, are most certain to create conflicts and also face risking a serious breach of trust from their shareholders by deliberately choosing to engage in methods of ethical misconduct.

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In his book, Taking Charge of Organizational Conflicts, Cowan’s  (2003) research also revealed that relationships and organizations suffer when conflicts are not resolved. Plus, they also have a profound affect on those in the organization directly involved as well as those who are not. The truth is, everyone connected with a conflict, including the innocent bystanders, can be affected at some kind of personal level (Cowan, 2003).

Once leaders are able to address the conflict, steps to resolution can begin by identifying some of the following elements: (a) the parties involved, (b) the issues disputed, (c) the positions of the parties, and (d) the parameters of the bargaining zone. If leaders do not address these components, unresolved conflicts and disruptions can lead to disastrous consequences, especially if the tension continues to build and both sides resort to whatever method available to release aggression and seek justice for having their rights violated.

Although the psychological climate for negotiation can seem bleak, individuals and leaders of organizations that are faced with conflicts, will require strong leadership skills to work through them. The leaders who achieve the most successful results are those that are open to active listening, gather all the information available from the players involved, and engage in practices of transparency and accountability, to help them reach their goals.

That’s a wrap for our discussion today. Until next time … do your best to find ethical solutions when conflicts arise and stay organized!


“You can’t solve problems until you understand the other side.” – Jeffrey Manber


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Cowan, D. (2003). Taking charge of organizational conflict (2nd ed.). Fawnskin, CA: Personhood Press.

Facing Conflicts

Published October 19, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Are you, like many others, frustrated and tired of finding solutions to manage various conflicts, then discover you must face them again, repeatedly? That question was the inspiration for this week’s posts as we take a closer look into the nature of conflicts and how effective leaders are able to come up successful resolutions. In our research work, we will also examine whether a model exists that can yield more effective methods for achieving positives outcomes that are in alignment with reaching organizational goals; regardless of whether they are new challenges or the same ones that are recycled over and over again.


To begin our analysis, we must first acknowledge that today’s global marketplace is multifaceted and culturally diverse. The atmosphere consists of people from assorted backgrounds and belief systems that come together in a work environment. It’s only natural that conflicts will arise when issues develop due to personalities that clash over a variety of reasons including: (a) ethnocentrism, (b) lack of trust between parties, (c) breakdown of communication systems, (d) workplace bullying, (e) interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts, (f) ethical incompetence, and (g) lack of emotional intelligence, to name a few.


In addition, conflict in a work arena also prevents workers from experiencing job satisfaction. In his book, Personal Conflict, Daniel Dana (2001) purports that, “Good decision-making helps to prevent conflict” (p. 2). In other words, leaders who can identify the source and level of a conflict, are in a better position to use this information to address problematic issues effectively and successfully to avoid consequences like employees who lack motivation, the slowing of productivity, and most important, damaging relationships which can ultimately lead to the dissolution of an organization.


On Wednesday, we continue our discussion by conducting a closer analysis into the nature of a conflict as we cite and examine a few scenarios that helped contribute to the development of problematic issues. In addition, we will also examine how these problems may have been avoided with practices of accountability and transparency from more effective leadership. Until then … keep working on finding positive solutions and stay organized!


“Conflict can and should be handled constructively; when it is, relationships benefit. Conflict avoidance is *not* the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.”  ― Harriet B. Braiker,


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Dana, D. (2001). Conflict Resolution (1st ed., p. 2). Madison, WI: CWL Publishing Enterprises.

The Effects of Social Learning

Published October 14, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


On Monday, our post was focused on why U.S. Citizens observe Columbus Day because for many of us, our views of the historical event have changed. Now, rather than rely on what we were originally taught as school children, we are considering a new perspective because of the information that has emerged due to what many experts call “social learning.” So today our post is focused on the effects of social learning and the role it plays in our own evolutionary process.


As we continue to acknowledge, the interdependence of the global community is growing exponentially and as a result society is experiencing social and technological change at an accelerated rate. This paradigm shift introduces pressure and challenges based on an individual’s ability to apply discipline and control the direction of their lives. Theorist Albert Bandura (1997) purports self-efficacy plays an influential part in sculpting the parameters of human functionality and the intellectual development that helps shapes an individual’s beliefs, occupational development patterns and the quality of their health and well-being. In his own experiences with overcoming trial and error, Bandura discovered that there is an inherent ability for people to overcome hardship and stress by responding strategically to chance events in order to help build successful lives (Bandura, 1997).


Individuals can guide their destiny with an optimistic view of efficacy. Bandura’s theories suggest this can help an individual deal with failure, frustration and conflicts that easily derail people who lack a strong sense of self-worth and value. His theories further contend that values, attitudes and styles of behavior are shaped through the power of modeling and observing others (Boswell, 2007). This pattern can be observed in the corporate workplace from individuals that work closely together. When I was employed at Capitol-EMI Industries for example, the administrative staff of corporate executives reflected a demeanor that mirrored their departmental leader. For instance, executives that were more reserved and unapproachable, employed staff that modeled a similar reserved unapproachable disposition. On the other hand, the department heads who were more open, personable and approachable, had staff members that modeled a more playful and welcoming persona. In this instance, the subordinates mirrored the behavior to reflect the energy patterns of the leader from the office to which they served.


Bandura’s (1991) research also contends there are many stages of moral reasoning. He cites that different types emerge from continuous stage sequences that can alter uniform thinking models (Bandura, 1991).  For instance, punishment based obedience can destroy self-worth and self-efficacy rendering an individual to a belief system whose values are based on negative reinforcement. This conditioning is transferred into the workplace as an individual with a timid personality that is disinclined to voice their opinions for fear of being reprimanded and ridiculed. One strategy to help overcome these tendencies is for the individual to identify and become cognizant of the triggers that activate feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. This can help the individual take action that can help change their views and motivate them to incorporate positive outcomes. In conclusion, even though the effects of social learning emerge as an extension of operant conditioning, individuals cognizant of the outcomes from negative input, can change the patterns through analysis to respond strategically.

Well …that’s a wrap for today … until next time … keep learning and stay organized!


Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. – Albert Einstein


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Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. Handbook of moral behavior and development, 1, pp. 45-103. Hillsdale, NJ, USA: Standford University. Retrieved March 24, 2013, from

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press.

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Columbus Day

Published October 12, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Many U.S. citizens were taught in school that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 proving for the first time in history that the Earth was indeed not a flat object. However, in her article, Why is Columbus Day Still a Federal Holiday, Valerie Strauss, of the Washington Post, purports that Columbus really hadn’t discovered America. Nor did he prove that the Earth was flat. Plus, she points out that there is also some question regarding the names of his ships, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.


Today many in the U.S. still observe Columbus Day, so we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article to help provide another perspective about this holiday, as a tool to help us evolve and ultimately, bring about a positive change over the debate on whether we should still keep Columbus Day or consider revising it to Indigenous Peoples Day. According to Dr. Phil’s Ten Life Laws, from his book called, Life Strategies, Life Law #4 states, “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge” (McGraw, 2000). So, with that in mind, today we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article, to examine a new perspective on this historical event by assessing the facts as they occurred, not necessarily as they were recorded from the victors of the conquering regimes.


Here is the rest of the article. It is our hope to inspire others to conduct their own research on this topic, to draw your own conclusions:

Why is Columbus Day still a U.S. federal holiday?

Columbus made four trips from Spain across the Atlantic — in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502 — did, however, change human history forever, ushering in what is known as the Columbian Exchange — the historic exchange of plants, animals, disease, culture, technology and people between the Old and New Worlds. The Old World, for example, got chocolate (and many other things) and the New World got wheat, along with bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, malaria, measles, typhoid, etc., which decimated the populations of indigenous peoples Columbus found living on the islands he “discovered.

As for Columbus himself, he mapped the coasts of Central and South America but never set foot on North America, and died thinking he had discovered Asia. He ruled the Caribbean islands as viceroy and governor so brutally that, according to “Even his most ardent admirers acknowledge that Columbus was self-centered, ruthless, avaricious, and a racist.

Columbus has long been believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy, though some historians think he was born in Spain’s Catalonia region. He sailed for the Spanish crown, and his remains are in Spain. Italians in the United States have taken great pride in him and sponsor many of the celebrations held in his name each year to honor Italian-American heritage.

So how did we got a U.S. federal holiday in his name?

The first Columbus Day celebration recorded in the United States was held in New York in 1792 to honor Italian-American heritage and to mark Oct. 12, 1492, the day that Columbus and his ships first made landfall  on an island in the Caribbean Sea.

In 1892, according to, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage with patriotic festivities.

In 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress, bowing to lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic group that wanted a Catholic hero to be honored, proclaimed Oct. 12 to be Columbus Day, a national holiday. In 1971, the holiday date was changed to the second Monday in October.

Over recent decades, the holiday has been the target of protests at Columbus Day celebrations, and some places have changed the name and focus of the holiday. For example, Berkeley, Calif., replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992 to honor the original inhabitants of the Caribbean islands where Columbus made landfall and ruled. In 1989, South Dakota started calling the holiday Native American Day, and Alabama celebrates a combination of Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day. Hawaii calls it Discovery Day. In the Bahamas, it is called Discovery Day, and as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain.

Here are some things to know about Columbus:

*He didn’t prove that the Earth is round.

Kids in school have long been taught that when Columbus set sail in 1492 to find a new route to the East Indies, it was feared that he would fall off the edge of the Earth because people then thought the planet was flat. Nope. As early as the 6th century B.C., Pythagoras — later followed by Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about Earth as a sphere, and historians say there is no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the Earth was round. Columbus, in fact, owned a copy of Ptolemy’s Geography, written at the height of the Roman Empire, 1,300 years before Columbus set sail. Several books published in Europe between 1200 and 1500 discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere,” written in the early 1200s, which was required reading in European universities in the 1300s and beyond. The big question for Columbus, it turns out, was not the shape of the Earth but the size of the ocean he was planning to cross.”

*Columbus didn’t “discover” America.

During four trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America, which, of course, was already inhabited by Native Americans, and he never thought he had found a new continent. You may also remember that it is believed that Norse explorer Leif Erikson reached Canada perhaps 500 years before Columbus was born, and there are some who believe that Phoenician sailors crossed the Atlantic much earlier than that.

* The famous names of the ships he took on his famous 1492 trip across the Atlantic Ocean, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, probably weren’t really named Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. The Santa Maria was also known at the time as La Gallega, meaningthe Galician. The Niña is now believed to be a nickname for a ship originally called the Santa Clara, and the Pinta also was probably a nickname, though the ship’s real name isn’t clear.

The Washington Post article certainly shines a light, giving us a new perspective on the events as they may have occurred, which differ greatly than what most of us were taught in school as children. Perhaps by providing this information and encouraging a dialogue on this topic, we can make begin the healing process.

Well … that’s a wrap for today! Until next time … keep seeking the truth and stay organized!


Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right. – Phil McGraw


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McGraw, D. P. (2000). Life Strategies. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from

Strauss, V. (2015, October 11). The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from Why is columbus day still a U.S. federal holiday?: