Sunday’s New York Times Magazine featured a thoughtful article by Jennifer Kahn on a relatively new teaching strategy in primary education called social-emotional learning or S.E.L. S.E.L. presupposes that emotions factor into a child’s ability to learn and that educators can and should focus on instilling “deep psychological intelligence that will help children regulate their emotions.” As a former teacher, I can attest to the challenges educators face daily in executing their lesson plans. While trying to resolve conflicts and spend time with children whose inability to effectively deal with their emotions and subsequently, their ability to interact socially with their peers, teachers and administrators can quickly fall off track. The over-emphasis on state standardized test scores diminishes the importance of teaching students how to be good citizens and how to effectively communicate and resolve problems. More importantly, I’d question the value of an education that does not focus some time to teaching kids how to better understand and process their emotions. This is young methodology and as the article concedes, could be misinterpreted and ineffectively administered. I look at the discussion on S.E.L. in terms of how to better hire, manage and evaluate the efficacy of your leaders.
Your most successful people managers possess the people skills to navigate the politics of your workplace and the diverse personalities that populate your office. I’ve seen extremely bright C-level executives with good project plans, clearly stated goals and timelines, fail to see their plan merit results due to lack of consensus, clarity and execution from their teams. In almost every case, they failed to pick up on basic cues from their people that would have helped them understand that the plan was not sold or that team members were confused. Worse yet, employees that did not feel comfortable vocalizing their confusion remained silent while deadlines passed, often misinterpreting their role and submitting the wrong work. Had these leaders possessed bona fides that do not easily show up on a resume, and certainly are not measured on any test, good plans would have had a greater likelihood of success.
According to Chicago-based CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning), there are five competency clusters that educators focus on instilling in their students. Think of your last boss and ask yourself how you’d score them on the following criteria.
Think of some of the most effective world leaders in recent memory. From Nelson Mandela to Abraham Lincoln, their ability to overcome opposition to their initiatives correlates with their own history of overcoming great personal adversity. Lincoln is a prime example of someone who would be described as having tremendous emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Can we teach these kinds of attributes? How do we look for them when hiring leaders?
January 19, 2021
Software development is a team-based endeavor because of the complexity involved in launching a new system. Gone are the days when one developer can be point on the whole back-office software stack. It now takes multiple specialized roles to (appropriately) fulfill the software delivery lifecycle. A typical software project requires: Leadership Product management Project management […]
January 13, 2021
One definition of rot is the process of deterioration. Something that decays over time. By this standard – software rots like food in the Nebraska heat. It’s true. If your software isn’t regularly updated, it deteriorates and breaks down. Consider this – software is written to work at a moment in time…but time marches on. […]
January 4, 2021
OMAHA, NE, January 4, 2021 – In late 2020, Volano Solutions announced it has changed its name to Volano Software and launched a new website: www.volanosoftware.com. The name change was made to more accurately reflect what the company does, and the website was designed to be more informative and user-friendly to clients and prospective clients […]
June 2, 2020
According to LinkedIn technology (software) has a higher overall turnover rate than retail. With that, it isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. Volano has engineered a culture of “by developers, for developers” and this helps our retention. In fact, most of the folks that work at Volano have been here +5 […]
June 2, 2020
It is hard enough to build a successful business, and few want to invest time and resources into worrying about an Intellectual Property Assignment. But alas, you must do your homework. Fortunately, we make it easy for Volano customers. When asked – “Who owns the software and IP for my project?” – it is an […]
May 28, 2020
Many of us remember the grade school game Telephone. It was funny to see how a simple message would get garbled as it was passed along from person to person. But it’s not as funny when that message is a critical business requirement that will be turned into software that will power your business. Yet, […]