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Volume 5, Issue 5

April 2013 


What's your see? squeegie


A muse, a muse, my kingdom for a muse. I sat down to write this month's see musings letter and nothing came to I figured I needed a muse. This notion of having a muse tickled my curiosity and I wondered where the whole concept of "muse" began. Thank the Greeks. There were originally three muses, all daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory and who couldn't use her?) and their job was to inspire all artists. The chances of me running into a Greek goddess are slim - there must be something else out there to jump start the writing process.


Ray Bradbury once suggested that for each of us, our unconscious mind is a muse. Really? My mind must be way past unconscious. I also came across "I Need a Muse," an app that was developed with writers in mind, to spur the imagination when it comes to creating characters. (Where was this thing when I was still writing TV comedy?) Two problems here. I don't have the app and I'm not trying to create characters. What to do? When I "complained" to Kris that I had writer's block, she just smiled and suggested I "introvert."


There was a time when I would have immediately dismissed this suggestion because I had a negative perception of introverts. Many people still do. It wasn't until I was exposed to a captivating explanation of introversion/extroversion that I was willing to challenge my habitual SEE of introverts and came to alter my perception. Challenging our SEE can be scary because we run the risk of finding out that our beliefs, assumptions and opinions are wrong, and they're what give shape to our world and help us make sense of it. On the other hand, this challenge also gives us an opportunity to reconfirm and revalidate our beliefs. Maybe we need to change our SEE about challenging our SEE!


In this month's see musings, we invite you to challenge your habitual thinking about introverts, the role of playfulness in business and the power of teams. Which of your SEEs will change? Which will be reinforced?


Boldly yours,


Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner

March 2013

In This Issue
  • Be a Playful Problem Solver!
  • Amazing Introverts
  • Survive and Thrive in Tribes

BrainPlayful Problem Solving
Curated by Beck Ripley, Principal at BoldWork

Spring is in the air and that means many of us want to play hooky - or at the very least, tap into our playful side on the job. I recently revisited a NY Times article that reinforces the benefit of doing just that.


When we watch comedy, we begin to see differently and actually become better problem solvers. The surprise endings of jokes trigger unexpected solutions to challenges we're facing. We're able to connect the dots in new ways. brain puzzle  Researchers have concluded that "The very idea of doing a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle typically shifts the brain into an open, playful state that is itself a pleasing escape." There's a proven benefit to lightening up! So follow your impulses and indulge in a bit of play.


Neuroscientist Dr. Mark Beeman at Northwestern and John Kounios, a psychologist at Drexel University, have concluded that "Brains that show a particular signature of preparatory activity, one that is strongly correlated with positive moods, turn out to be more likely to solve the puzzles with sudden insight than with trial and error."


Check out this research. It provides proof that a positive attitude leads to creative problem solving - and a positive attitude just might come from getting outside to savor all that is spring! 

Amazing Introverts 
Curated by Janice Criddle, Principal, BoldWork


I am an Extrovert, which means that interacting with the world energizes me. I like to spend time in groups and I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it. I used to think I started out life as an Introvert because I was a shy kid in awe of my older, "life of the party" sister. I didn't know, then, that shyness has nothing to do with Introversion. 


Although a ratified random sample done by the Myers-Briggs organization in 1998 showed that Introverts make up a tad over 50% of the population, it seems as if the business world is dominated by Extroverts, who have some "interesting" misconceptions about Introverts and what skills they bring to the table. Instead of embracing their serious, reflective style, Introverts are often asked to be more outgoing and think out loud...something some experts say is a "colossal waste of talent."


Check out what one Introvert has to say about misconceptions. Carl King, writer, director, artist and Introvert, takes time to clear up 10 misconceptions about Introverts, based purely on his own observations.  


TED logoAnd Susan Cain, Introvert and author of the 2012 non-fiction book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, provides insight and a call to action that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! Check out her TED video. 


Both Carl King and Susan Cain can help change your SEE, regardless of whether you're energized by the outer world of people and things or the inner world of concepts and ideas. You may gain insights about yourself and how you contribute. Or you may gain new appreciation for a co-worker's differences, thereby enhancing collaboration and teamwork.


We Still Survive - and Thrive - in Tribes 
Curated by Kris Campbell, Managing Partner at BoldWork


group walking in purpleFrom the time we're born until the time we die, we live our lives primarily in small groups. We seek to belong and maintain membership in groups and it can be devastating to our well-being when we are cast out from groups important to us. At its core, this need to belong to groups is evolutionary - we actively construct groups in order to prosper and thrive.


Throughout history, humans have formed groups for essential survival. We hunted, cooked and ate together. Belonging to a tribe allowed us to share the hardships of labor and protect one another. Not only were we ensuring our own survival, but all members of the tribe were invested in others' positive outcomes. We may no longer call ourselves "tribes," but many tribal notions remain embedded in our DNA, and we still protect and bond in powerful ways through group membership.


book cover dysfunctionSince its publication in 2002, Patrick Lencioni's book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, has become a classic in the field of team and group development. Through the art of fables, Lencioni outlines five critical pitfalls that can derail and eventually destroy a team: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results.


Do you belong to a group that's important to your life, or do you lead or influence a work group that must perform at its highest potential? If so, we offer up an abbreviated, easy to complete questionnaire, based on Lencioni's research. Explore how the five team dysfunctions might be impacting your important "tribes." 



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