Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 27, 2023

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – How Asking Multiple People for Advice Can Backfire
#2 – How to Stay Focused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once
#3 – Is ‘Flow’ the Secret to Painless Productivity?


How Asking Multiple People for Advice Can Backfire

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Hayley Blunden, Jennifer M. Logg, Alison Wood Brooks, Leslie K. John, and Francesca Gino

Summary: Asking for advice often involves seeking opinions from several sources, but this research suggests that it could backfire. Advisors generally prefer to be the only source of advice to maintain their status. When they detect that an advice seeker is consulting multiple advisors, they deem the seeker less competent and their advice less likely to be followed. The study also found that advice seekers often aren’t clear that their intent is just to obtain information rather than expecting the advisors to offer direction. A lack of transparency about goals can lead to misunderstandings in future interactions.

Highlights:

“… You might also benefit from being more transparent about your goals. If you clarify the reason why you are soliciting advice (“I am hoping to explore all my options”), that may help set the tone for the discussion and expectations for the actions you take in the future…”

“… Many of us genuinely want to help those who seek counsel, and our recommendations may not always be the best…”

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How to Stay Focused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Heidi K. Gardner and Mark Mortensen

Summary: Most of us are juggling multiple teams at once. In theory, this system of “multiteaming” offers a number of upsides: You can deploy your expertise exactly where and when it’s most needed, share your knowledge across groups, and switch projects during lull times. The reality, though, is a lot more complicated. You’ve probably experienced some challenges of multiteaming — some of the most common include how to manage your time, stress, and development. To better manage your time, try prioritizing and sequencing your work. To better manage your stress, try setting and communicating expectations. And to better optimize your development, try blocking out time for actual learning.

Highlights:

“… The speed and demands of your projects determine the ideal frequency of check-ins, and the management style and seniority of your stakeholders sets the tone for establishing priorities when push comes to shove…”

“… By telling people not to expect an instant reply, you buy yourself some time to focus, while reassuring them that you will pay attention — later…”

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Is ‘Flow’ the Secret to Painless Productivity?

Source: Fast Company
Author: Greg Smith

Summary: “Flow” is a state of intense focus and absorption in an intrinsically rewarding activity that can enhance creativity, productivity, and mental health. It can be created deliberately by finding a task that is challenging but not overwhelming and avoiding distractions. The epidemic of burnout can be addressed sustainably by cultivating a flow state and making work satisfying again. Leaders can help reduce “never quite right” bias by using the simple and effective “flip it to test it” method to thwart sexist criticisms, and by providing constructive, objective, and career-enhancing feedback to women.

Highlights:

“… “Flow” is the sweet spot on the edge of difficulty, where you’re challenged a bit beyond your comfort zone but not so much that you struggle to continue. When you’re in flow, time passes differently, your ideas are firing, and you’re super focused…”

“… By cultivating a flow state, you can achieve “productive happiness”: a state in which you feel energized, motivated, and fulfilled by your work. And as a bonus, you’ll likely be more successful in the process…”

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