Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Time to Revive Handwriting… Growing Stigma over Phone Rudeness… Discrimination Alive and Well in Workplace

Time to Revive Handwriting

The skill of writing in cursive has lost its appeal in the digital age, but researchers say taking notes by hand improves recall and information processing. Studies demonstrate that notetaking while typing on a digital device results in a frantic attempt to copy every word said. However, jotting down notes by hand requires sifting through what is heard to capture only main ideas and salient examples. This sifting requires critical thinking and focus that do not occur when we are typing.

There is a happy medium: taking notes using a pen-friendly device. The following tools can be used to jot down notes on a digital screen:

  • iPad Pro or recent iPads with an Apple pencil
  • Apple’s Notes app
  • GoodNotes app
  • Ink-friendly PCs using OneNote and Microsoft’s SurfacePen
  • Sony’s Digital Paper with a stylus
  • Moleskine’s Smart Writing set

From The Wall Street Journal

Growing Stigma over Phone Rudeness

With people checking their smartphones on average every twelve minutes, it’s no wonder the phenomenon has acquired its own word: phubbing, the practice of ignoring others and focusing on a digital device. However, a backlash has begun. To curb our collective rudeness, new tools are being developed to remind us to pay attention to people instead of phones.

Apple has created several apps that work to limit time spent on its iPhones and iPads by warning users when they reach a predetermined limit. One app even locks the phone after a period of time. Likewise, Google has issued an app that alerts users to stop binging on YouTube and another offering the option to receive a single daily summary of notifications.

Enterprises, too, have joined this growing movement to discourage overuse of phones. Some restaurants have instituted phone-free days for their diners, while an increasing number of schools are requiring students to place their phones in holders as they enter a classroom.

As society continues to adapt to this relatively new technology, experts say more controls will emerge.

From The Telegraph

Discrimination Alive and Well in Workplace

Minority job applicants who mask their race improve their chances of landing interviews, according to research from the Harvard Business School. The researchers found that by removing reference to race, Asian and African-American job applicants were twice as likely to be called for an interview.

Harvard investigators sent out 1,600 résumés for Asian and African-American applicants looking for entry-level jobs. Some résumés highlighted the candidates’ race; others were “whitened,” removing all racial clues. Employers’ responses favored those applicants who had removed reference to race.

Even employers who claim to value diversity fared poorly, the study found. The researchers said this pointed out a disconnect between the organizations’ pro-diversity stances and their behaviors.

From Harvard Working Knowledge


To Hug or Not to Hug?… Millennials Take a Gloomy View of Business… Promotions Are a Gender Thing…

To Hug or Not to Hug?

With #MeToo accusations popping up regularly, the etiquette around hugging at work is unclear. To one, a congratulatory hug may be a sign of warmth; to another, it may signify a power play. What to do?

In many industries, hugging between clients or colleagues is fairly common. In fact, in long-term relationships between, say, a sales rep and a client, a handshake instead of a hug could be interpreted as coldness.

Still, some organizations steer clear of the workplace hug, especially since a federal court ruled that hugging might constitute creating a hostile work environment. Women in particular may wish to stay away from hugging in the workplace to appear more professional. Another reason to avoid friendly embrace: Research shows that not everyone wants or needs to feel affection at work.

A few pointers from experts:

  • Supervisors should never hug anyone they manage.
  • Everyone should avoid giving a hug if unsure how the other individual would react.
  • Hugs should always be brief.
  • Non-huggers should feel free to set boundaries with their more affectionate counterparts.

The good news is that a firm handshake can be effective at creating a bond between people.

From The Wall Street Journal

Millennials Take a Gloomy View of Business

In its seventh annual survey of millennials, Deloitte’s research unearthed the generation’s dimming view about the nature of work, politics, and the future of industry. Specifically, the survey found that millennials

  • think business ethics are declining as a result of the disconnect between what millennials believe responsible businesses should do and what businesses think they should do
  • feel unprepared for the advent of the evolving workplace and consequently appreciate and prefer organizations that train and support employees in anticipation of these changes
  • view the gig economy as a good way to supplement or replace traditional jobs
  • value good pay, positive workplace cultures, diversity, and flexibility on the job
  • consider positive workplace factors key to their loyalty.

The report states: “The message is clear. Young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society—and to be responsive to employees’ needs.”

From Deloitte

Promotions Are a Gender Thing 

Research has now confirmed that when promotions are given out, the sexes stick together: men promote men, and women promote women.

The survey, conducted by Fairygodboss, Female Quotient, and Progyny, found that managers tend to promote workers who are “similar” to themselves. The researchers noted that this propensity may be one of the causes for the gender pay gap, since the majority of managers are still male.

The survey also found that women were less likely to have asked for a raise than their male counterparts, and that more men claim their careers take precedence over women’s because they are their families’ primary breadwinner.



“Find Your Passion” is Bad Advice… How to Shine at Work…

“Find Your Passion” is Bad Advice

If you’re waiting for the appearance of a passion that leads to career happiness and success, stop—and get busy instead.

The misguided mantra to “find your passion” distracts people from actively cultivating interests, say researchers from Stanford and Yale. They claim the word “find” suggests a magical process uncontrolled by the individual. However, the research showed that passions or interests are developed by investing time and energy into discovery rather than waiting for the proverbial lightbulb to appear.

The study measured mindsets linked to “theories of interest,” specifically the effects of fixed mindsets, or the belief in innate interests, versus growth mindsets, or the belief that interests are acquired. The study revealed that people with a fixed mindset who have the belief that passions simply appear tend to be less curious than people with a growth mindset, who view acquiring interests as a process that unfolds. This more take-charge process is more likely to lead to a satisfying career.

From Quartz Media

How to Shine at Work

What do employers value in employees? The attributes below are characteristics that will help any worker stand out on the job.

Punctuality shows respect for others’ time.

Focus demonstrates self-discipline in a time of countless distractions.


Eagerness means taking on additional responsibilities and looking for learning opportunities.

Integrity makes an employee trusted and credible.

Objectivity removes emotion from business dealings so that actions are fair.

Flexibility is essential in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

These attributes add up to professionalism, the underpinning of all successful careers.

Gentlemen, Please Step Up

Practically daily, the media report on another addition to the #MeToo movement. According to The Wall Street Journalopinion columnist Peggy Noonan, the reason is that too few men are gentlemen.

Noonan does not defend predators—men bent on sexual assault and rape—but separates those acts from general boorish behavior. Men can be grabby creeps, slobs, pigs, Noonan writes. But those problems might ease if men behaved courteously and honorably, showing dignity and respecting the dignity of women.

Noonan notes that on one hand, social media have created the forum for a lack of decorum that brings out the worst in male brutishness. On the other hand, there may be hope, she writes: The Internet is laden with definitions of what a gentleman is and how to be one.

From the The Wall Street Journal