When CEO Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, he started defusing its toxic culture by handing each of his execs a 15-year-old book by a psychologist - Deepstash

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When CEO Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, he started defusing its toxic culture by handing each of his execs a 15-year-old book by a psychologist

https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-satya-nadella-nonviolent-communication-2018-10

businessinsider.com

When CEO Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, he started defusing its toxic culture by handing each of his execs a 15-year-old book by a psychologist
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella bought all the members of his senior leadership team a copy of the book "Nonviolent Communication" in 2014 when he took over the company. At the time, Microsoft was known for having a culture of hostility, infighting, and backstabbing.

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The 4 components of effective communication:

  • Observing what is happening in a situation (such as someone saying or doing something you don't like).
  • Stating how you feel when you observe the action.
  • Expressing how your needs are connected to the feelings you identified.
  • Addressing what you want by requesting a concrete action.

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Observing without evaluating

Good communicators are able to separate their observations of a situation from their evaluations or judgments of it.

For example,  "Janice works too much" contains an evaluation: working too much is subjective, and if Janice heard that, she may take it as criticism and become defensive. Saying "Janice spent more than 60 hours at the office this week" is an observation without any judgments attached.

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Strengthening our vocabulary for feelings

When you're expressing your feelings, it's better to use words that refer to specific emotions rather than words that are vague and general. 

Don't say you feel "good" when words like happy, excited, relieved, or anything else could describe how you feel more precisely.

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Observe and recap

The Non-violent communication (NVC) process begins with neutral observation.

In conversations, this is most easily done by recapping what someone has said, without emotional input.

Describe emotions, not positions

For NVC, talk feelings, not issues. 

The hard part in nailing this step is expressing only your own emotional turmoil, rather than translating your emotions into blame. 

Describing feelings of concern, fear, heartbreak, rage, dismay, or confusion are useful.

Identify needs

According to NVC teachings, all of the emotions we experience when we’re upset are connected to an unmet need, which is a requirement for contentment.

In a heated conversation, returning to identifying needs can remove roadblocks.

The speed of change

The amount of data generated doubles every two years, reflecting a

Communicate your leadership signature

A leadership signature: Who you are as a leader and how you view and approach the job. 

  • Discover your leadership signature by asking how you lead day by day. Are you task or people focussed? 
  • Ask people who work with you how they would describe your leadership.
  • Consider the impact you have. Are you changing the culture? Driving results?

Be a sense maker

Sensemaking refers to the process of creating meaning out of the chaotic world around us.

We need to make sense when something in our environment seems to have changed. We collect data, learn from others, look for patterns to create a new map of the landscape. Then we experiment with new solutions to see how it will respond to this new environment.

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.