What might happen if more people could create positive change at work  - and in the world?
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Dear Rebels,
This month we offer some questions -- and entertainment --  to consider as you reflect on how to grow and make work more meaningful in 2017.
With optimism,
Lois and Carmen

Courage is Developed

Courage helps us challenge what no longer works, fight for better ways, achieve more than we thought possible and overcome all the stress and unexpected land mines that are thrown in our paths.

How do you become more courageous? These four strengths amplify our courage. Social scientists have found that more you use and develop them, the stronger they become.

1. Perseverance: finishing what you start; persevering in a course of actions despite obstacles.

2. Bravery: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty; speaking up for what's right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular.

3. Vitality: approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.

4. Integrity: speaking the truth but more broadly acting in a genuine and sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for your feelings and actions.

So as you plan how to become a more effective Rebel at Work in 2017, consider:

How have you used each of these strengths in the past to overcome challenges?
How could you use each strength in a new way  in 2017?
How could you use one of these strengths every week to build your courage muscles?

Which Mistakes Can You Stop Making?

The Five Mistakes Employees Make When Challenging the Status Quo: our recent post in the Harvard Business Review.

Gifts For the Rebel Who Has Everything?

Appreciating our work mates and managing our emotions are two especially useful practices for Rebels.  So when we spotted these nifty note pads at the RISD Store, we knew that they were the perfect gift for our rebel friends.

More Conversations, Please

Have you ever read a book about a bad habit and thought, "Oh, NO, that's me!"

I recently heard Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of the new book Reclaiming Conversations, talk about how we're destroying our relationships by hiding behind our screens.  It's an epidemic. And I plead guilty.

The vast majority of us avoid prefer to use texts, Tweets, emails, and other person-behind-the-screen communications than have an in-person or telephone conversation.   Without conversations, our relationships turn into transactions and we lose our capacity for learning, trust building, friendship, and empathy.

Why is this so important for change makers? The first step to creating change is building trusted relationships. This can't be done by hiding behind the safety of our emails, says Sherry.

"People would rather text than talk because there's safety hiding behind the screen," explained Sherry. "Conversations take place in real time and we reveal ourselves in talking together. There's no control.  If you'd rather text than talk to someone you might want to ask yourself what you're trying to avoid."
In 2017 I am going spend more time having conversations.  Not all will be "good" conversations. Some will be uncomfortable and that's OK,  because relationships are messy and talking about change almost always creates discomfort.

As the data in Reclaiming Conversations shows, it's far better to show up as ourselves and listen with a naked heart than hiding away behind a screen.

And there's so much to talk about when we stop hiding.

What Habit Will You Shatter?

In order to change anything you have to change something.

Change does not happen because we wish it or because the universe magically aligns to make it so. It occurs when we make the conscious choice to imagine a better future and then choose the steps that bring us to that very future.

In order for that transformation to take hold -- whether it’s a deeper spiritual practice, a lighter body, more ease when under stress, or a clear devotion to having a lot more fun in life – we have to shatter a habit. We must take the clay that has formed around our day, locking us into the same way, with the same people, holding the same thoughts and feelings, and with a clear strike, knock at least one tiny crack into that clay.

In this way, the old way begins to fall apart. In this way, we move toward a life that breathes.

Dr. Maria Sirois

Movies for Rebel Inspiration

What if you gave yourself permission to be magnificent at work?
Happy Holidays.
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