I'm told I give really good advice.

Whether you are dealing with a difficult situation at work, or you want to reconcile with an estranged family member.  I can help you think more clearly and therefore more effectively about your problems so that you can solve them in a way you are going to feel really good about.

How do I do it? Applied humanist philosophy. Actively invoking your ethics as you decide what to do about any given situations, tends to yield good results. Seriously it does.

First, taking the time to think, interrupts your instinctual response so that you can choose your response.

Second, thinking about what a good response would be - first requires you to do some thinking about what a good or ideal outcome is.  Notice, this involves the word - good - which involves moral judgement.

Third, once you know what it is you ideally would like to have happen, you can be strategic about how you go about accomplishing that.  I spend a lot of time talking to people who have an outcome in mind and are doing the exact opposite thing to what they should be doing to get what they want.  It's crazy to me.  Take some time to think about the consequences of your actions so that you can have some idea of whether want you want to do will work or not.

Finally, I help give permission to people to strive to be a good person. It's really ok.  Your struggles are normal. Life is hard. Choosing to embody your values doesn't guarantee success, but spending some time  engaging in critical thinking and challenging your assumptions helps.

One way to think of Humanism is that it is the applied study of what it means to be a good human being.  Think of what a good person would do - and then do that.

The compliment to Humanist morality is critical thinking.  We humanists do both.  Compassion tell us what a good outcome is. Critical thinking helps us create a strategy to actually accomplish it.

Finally - the last component is responsibility. We know what the right thing to do it. We have a plan on how to accomplish it. But none of that matters if we don't take action.

Reason and compassion in action. That is what Humanism is. And it really does make life easier.

If you want to learn more about how to actually apply the humanist philosophy in your daily life- I have an online course to help: https://humanistlearning.com/livingmadesimpler1/

How can you use technology to streamline a conflict resolution process?

I provide online training on how to stop unwanted behavior like bullying/harassment using behavioral science. This knowledge can also be applied to conflict management and I have several programs which address how to do that.

The question – can a tech solution to help streamline conflict resolution is an interesting one.  Because the answer is – it depends.  It depends on what exactly is happening.

Conflict isn’t simply a disagreement. It’s a disagreement that has devolved into a personal fight – at least on one side. Often on one side. It’s an unprofessional response to a professional disagreement.

Conflict can also be a symptom of bullying. Where the bully uses conflict to justify their behavior.  Bullying often masquerades as conflicts. 

With these 2 things in mind – there are a couple of things HR can do to use tech to help them.

1.    They can use tech to help provide training to the people “in conflict” to help them learn how to better and more professionally deal with it so it stops being a conflict and goes back to being a disagreement.  This does not take the place of counseling and coaching though. It’s more – complementary to counseling and coaching. The person coaching the individuals through the “conflict” can have them read things or take an online class as part of the counseling/coaching.

2.    The other way they can use tech is as a whistleblowing/reporting  system.  Because conflicts are manifested as inappropriate and unprofessional workplace behaviors, the goal is to get the unprofessional behavior to stop. Additionally, since what looks like conflict may actually be bullying, providing staff with a way to report incidences of unprofessional behavior will help HR a) know what is going on and b) provide a record of unwanted/unprofessional behavior which can be used to justify employment action is retraining fails, which it often will if the problem is bullying. Basically – a whistleblower/reporting system can help you figure out if what is happening – is actually bullying, when used correctly.

To learn more - take one or several of my courses at: 

I am an HRCI & SHRM approved provider. 

Free Will and Humanism

Free will is a central concept to Humanism. The idea of human agency - we have the ability to chose our actions is what makes our moral responsibility possible.

The problem is - free will may not be an actual thing. It feels like it's a thing, but it may not be. But then again, it may be. Basically - the science on this topic is mixed at best.

Here is a quote I came across that I really like that helps us understand the problem of free will.

"If by 'free will' you mean the freedom to do what you desire, then yes, humans have free will. But if by 'free will' you mean the freedom to choose what to desire, then no, humans have no free will. ... Ultimately we should realize that we do not control our desires, or even our reactions to these desires. We don't have free will, but we can be a bit more free from the tyranny of our will." - Yuval Noah Harari
The problem is that we are conditioned by the conditions in which we are conditioned.  Or in plain English - the rewards and reinforcements we receive as a result of our behavior conditions our future behavior in response to certain stimulus and as a result - our responses to our conditions are not always in our control. 

And this is true. I teach behavioral psychology as a tool for training bullies to stop. There is a reason the early philosophic and psychological humanists - didn't like behaviorist. Behaviorists were telling us - some of our behavior - is beyond our control. 

The thing is - just because we are conditioned - doesn't mean we can't chose.  Understanding how we are conditioned and why we are responding a certain way to certain things, can help free us from the tyranny of our will.

In addition to teaching people how to make behavior stop.  I also use behavioral psychology to help people understand our own responses to other people - so that we can choose to over-ride our instincts and chose a different action.  And this is not just doable. Learning how to do it - is liberating.

You don't have to be a victim of your impulses.  You can recognize your impulses for what they are - and over-ride your instincts and chose a different course of action.   Yes, it's difficult to do. Yes, it takes self awarness. But that's the entire point of being self aware - is so you can choose your actions.

Understanding the science of what you are up against and why free will is so hard to accomplish - helps.

If you want to learn this - visit https://humanistlearning.com/jennifer-hancock/and sign up for any of my courses

And if you want to geek out on a deep philosophic discussion on why determinists are wrong because you can make choices even if your atoms don't - check out this link:  http://nautil.us/issue/72/quandary/yes-determinists-there-is-free-will

Don't Ghost People in Business.

It's not professional, or nice.

If you are collaborating with people, and if you are in the workplace, you are - then it's impolite to not respond to them.

I understand people get busy. I am busy too. But if you ask me for help, but then don't respond to me when I try to help you - that's just rude.

And I'm not talking about random inquiries - I'm talking about people where we have formally agreed to work collaboratively on something.

Don't ghost your collaborators. If something has come up - be honest about that. If you have decided to not work on this project you asked them to work on - be honest about that. It's not a big deal. But wasting people's time while they try to get in touch with you - is unprofessional and rude.

A lot of what it means to be professional, is to help create clarity about what is going on.  If things are uncertain, and you don't know the answer to their question - tell them that. I don't know - I'm waiting on something else. Clarify what the delay is. Don't just ghost people.

I recorded a short chirp on this - https://www.chirpapp.com/post/akNJMPVK0r 

I am putting together a humanistic leadership program that will include a 1/2 hour on what it means to be professional. You can currently view it by taking my How to Prevent Passive Aggressive People from Wreaking Havoc in the Workplace Using Science. https://humanistlearning.com/passiveaggressivepeople/
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