It’s probably not a good sign when all of my hobbies have become redundant and boring. But then again, there’s only so much a person can take of Politics, Firearms, and Tech. It’s always the same thing, packaged slightly differently. I need a new hobby..
Category Archives: Life
I came across this article on LinkedIn.com and really enjoyed it. In From Argument to Engagement, David Liddle discusses how traditional HR grievance resolution methods do little to actually help resolve conflict in the work place:
Traditional grievance or bullying and harassment procedures do little to resolve disputes. Drawing on a quasi-legal structure they are inherently formal and profoundly adversarial. When I speak with employees, managers and HR professionals, they tell me that they do everything that they can to avoid going into a grievance procedure. When they do however encounter the grievance process, the experience has been described to me as harrowing; upsetting; destructive; stressful; frightening; and ultimately counterproductive. Let’s not forget that this is the procedure of choice for resolving disputes in the majority of… organisations.
The dichotomy is plain to see. I call it ‘The HR Paradox’. HR professionals, on the one hand, are a key proponent and enabler of employee engagement. Yet on the other hand, HR are the custodians of a dispute resolution system which tears workplace relationships asunder. The HR Paradox has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of HR and in doing so, it creates the potential for cynicism and distrust of employee engagement initiatives. Nevertheless, employee engagement, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), is a core function of the HR profession.
He then goes on to discuss mediation, what it is, and how it can help your organization.
Mediation can be defined as a:
- Framework – a process whereby a neutral third party intervenes in a dispute to help the parties to secure a satisfactory and constructive resolution.
- Competence – a set of skills that HR, managers and business leaders use to secure constructive outcomes at times of conflict, change and crisis.
- Mind-set – a way of thinking and an organisational culture which embraces dialogue and collaboration rather than blame and retribution.
The mediator is an impartial third party. They help the disputing parties to have an open and honest dialogue so that they can identify and secure a mutually acceptable outcome. A win/win outcome. Mediation is different because it about collaborating rather than blaming.
Mediation is an opportunity for parties-in-conflict to have a new conversation. Mediation provides parties both the privilege and the burden of creating their future.
The benefits of using mediation to build an engaged workforce:
- It gives parties in a dispute a voice and a chance to be heard.
- It encourages openness and honesty.
- It generates empathetic, adult to adult connections.
- Parties focus on their interests and needs rather than the strength of their relative positions.
- The parties craft their own solutions – avoiding the need for solutions to be imposed.
- It encourages creative and innovative thinking.
- Issues are resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
- It develops resilience – for individuals and for teams.
- It underpins economic growth and drives competitive advantage.
I would LOVE to find a way to integrate mediation into my workplace, even in my own little corner of the organization. Being a grunt, I don’t really have a way to do this presently.
Tam discusses the pant wetting going on regarding the TSA’s decision to allow small pocket knives onto airplanes. In usual Tam fashion, she ends her post with a zinger. After hearing a flight attendant claim that she’s a first responder and the last line of defense, Tam responds:
“No, honey, you’re a waitress in a bad restaurant at 28,000 feet!”
Anything is Possible – Author Unknown
If there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing,
IT IS NOW.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily…
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that’s your inspiration,
something that’s your dream.
You owe it to yourself
to make your days here count.
Know, though, that things worth doing seldom come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up,
and call it quits.
Those times tell you
that you are pushing yourself,
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.
Because with an idea,
and the right tools,
you can do great things.
Let your instincts,
and your heart,
believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.
Of working hard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lazy afternoons.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.
The start of something new brings the hope of something great, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Gives us strength to endure adversity.
Matthew 22: 36-39
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
by H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
- Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
- Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
- Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
- Be forgiving of yourself and others.
- Be generous.
- Have a grateful heart.
- Persistence, persistence, persistence.
- Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
- Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
- Commit yourself to constant improvement.
- Commit yourself to quality.
- Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
- Be loyal.
- Be honest.
- Be a self-starter.
- Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
- Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
- Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
- Take good care of those you love.
- Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.
Marko Kloos tweeted:
A long and highly interesting treatise on the future of American liberalism by Walter Russell Mead: bit.ly/woaPt6
— Marko Kloos (@markokloos) January 21, 2013
So, being a good little lad, I went and read it. In addition to being incredibly insightful, I happen to be studying systems theory in one of my classes this semester. This article fits. Like. A. Glove.
The author, Walter Mead, discusses liberalism and its four phases in American political and social life.
We can see this process at work in modern Anglo-American history, during which liberalism has gone through at least four distinct incarnations. Liberalism 1.0 was the political expression of the original Enlightenment philosophy that developed in Britain and shaped the Glorious Revolution of 1688. That Revolution remains the seminal political event in the history of the English-speaking world. The American Founding Fathers set out consciously to imitate the spirit of 1688. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights flow from the ideas of a revolution that once and for all made Parliament supreme over the Crown in British history.
But the Revolution of 1688 had its limits, and by 1776 liberalism 1.0 was no longer enough. In Britain, the corruption of the House of Commons allowed George III to reassert royal control; Americans realized that the constitutional monarchy of liberalism 1.0 was no longer ideal. The 2.0 liberalism of our Founding Fathers replaced constitutional monarchy with a republic expressly founded on natural rights and the sovereignty of the people. The 1.0 Revolution of 1688 had replaced an intolerant established Church with one constitutionally more tolerant; the 2.0 American Revolution of 1776 separated the church from the state to the benefit of both.
Liberalism 2.0, as developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, was rooted in the thought of 1.0 liberals like John Locke. But Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington developed and put into practice a set of ideas about how individual liberty could be reconciled with economic development and good governance. Note how the names changed. In 1688, if you supported the Glorious Revolution you were a Whig and a liberal. In 1776, if you supported those same principles against the Declaration of Independence you were a Tory conservative.
He goes on to describe liberalism in America and its various strengths and weaknesses. He describes modern liberalism as blue liberalism, or liberalism 4.1. He also discusses how we are at the end of an era and in a position to create liberalism 5.0
As with earlier versions, liberalism 5.0 must build on the best of what has gone before while making adjustments—radical when necessary, though never gratuitously so—to existing beliefs and institutions. 5.0 liberals must challenge the right of blue liberals to own the L-word, seeking both to convince 4.1 liberals to come back to the future and denouncing those who won’t as the blinkered reactionaries and speed bumps they are.
Go read this article.
Sebastian writes up a review of Dave Hardy’s history of the background check issue. Go. Read. Then come back.
Welcome back. Sebastian and Dave simply point out what we all no: gun control is not about safety and it’s not about public health – it’s about control. Plain and simple. Gun control is about “solving the problem of there being gun owners.”
This video demonstrates my 8-month-old daughter’s favorite game:
Ladies, I want to hear from you on this. MSN reports:
[Allyn Rose,] [t]he 24-year-old Miss DC[,] plans to undergo a double mastectomy after she struts in a bikini and flaunts her roller skating talent. She is removing both breasts as a preventative measure to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed her mother, grandmother and great aunt.
As a man, I don’t really have a way to understand what goes in to making this decision because I don’t have breasts and I’m not a woman. I don’t even have a valid comparison. Initially, I tried to compare this to a man with a family history of testicular cancer having his testicles removed as a preventative measure. However, that is not really a fair comparison.
Ms. Rose is a beauty queen and one result of her competing in beauty pagents is she is objectified and sexualized. Breasts are hyper-sexualized in American culture and can be an important part of a woman’s identity, whether as an object of desire of their partner or as a mother and everywhere in between.
I do not want to get into a discussion about the rights/wrongs of Americans’ social views about breasts. I want to hear your reaction to a piece of news like this. Is your reaction to this news similar to the reaction that you had when Christina Applegate had her double mastectomy? Why or why not? Do you have a family member or close friend who has had a similar experience? How was your reaction to that news different or similar to these other stories?