Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 International Conference on Education, Psychology, and Social Sciences

2016 International Conference on Education, Psychology, and Social Sciences
3rd to 5th August 2016
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As requested by dozens of worldwide scholars, the submission deadline is extended to May 30, 2016. Meanwhile, we like to share with you three good news.

First, some papers of ICBFP 2016 will be recommended to the journal 'Sustainability' (SSCI, SCIE, Impact Factor: 0.942) based on the paper's quality and fields. Detail information is available on the conference website. Second, the conference has received local government's sponsor to encourage foreign people to visit Malaysia. Therefore, the participants of ICBFP 2016 will get a free one-day local tour on 3 August 2016 (the first day of the conference). Certainly, you can choose to attend or not attend. The tour information is also posted on the conference website. Third, high quality papers describing original and unpublished results will be recommended to sponsored journals (for example: International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organization indexed in Scopus, International Journal of Education and Psychological Research, International Journal of Cyber Society and Education, International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies indexed in EI, Scopus, ABI/Inform and EBSCO, International Journal of Business and Information indexed in ABI/Inform and EBSCO, Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering indexed in EI and Contemporary Management Review indexed in ABI/Inform and EBSCO) to publish special issues.

With the success of 2014 and 2015, the ICEPS 2016 will be held from 3 to 5 August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With the advancement of education, psychology, and social science, these fields become more sophisticated and interacted. Accordingly,beyond sharing the latest researches, case studies, and industry survey, all attendees are encouraged to seek opportunities of interdisciplinary collaboration. Proposals for panel sessions and special tracks are also welcome. Relevant topics are displayed on the website for your reference. Selected papers will be recommended for fast track reviews by the sponsored Journals. During the conference, there should be substantial time for discussing the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted.

Notably, because the conference gets the local government's support, the early bird payers will be granted a free local tour.

Web address:

Management Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future

Most of us have heard of the Christmas  Ghosts of Past, Present and Future  but almost no one hears of them as applied to management. Before a manager takes an action they should think of how it fits within these three contexts.

Past: What is the history and culture of the organization? Will your decisions fit within the context of the past and can people connect with it now?

Present: What do you need to do and say now? Are there actions that need to be completed? What type of resources do you have.

Future: A few years down the road your decisions will have an impact. Do you know how it will strengthen or weaken long-term goals? Does it give you the most options?

Developing Personal Character

Character is built from overcoming challenges and  developing higher sense of values. A word that isn't used much anymore is character as a criteria for personal and professional success.  Developing character is a process of life long adaptation.

Character isn't like learning a new skill or getting a new degree. Character is more about developing a deeper sense of values and meaning that keeps one moving toward building a life of principal versus something you tell others you have.

Character is a way of viewing the world and one's responsibilities within that world. A person who has developed character leans on their core values when they are challenged. Some will choose it and some will not thereby separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of substance.

Let us say you are faced with a situation where doing the right things means losing something important to you. a person of character is willing to stand on their principals. Few will take that path.

Developing character starts with having a value system beyond the capacity of most people. Think about what is valuable to you and where you can and can't personally commit. If that value is violated or under threat...the  choice you make  will determine the depth of your beliefs.

When faced with a challenge it is necessary to meet, adapt, and overcome. The more you can meet life's challenges and find ways around them, the more character you can develop. The end result is greater confidence and higher performance when new challenges arise.

Not everyone develops character. Most follow the path others laid out for them and don't make much independent thought and action. A few develop deeper and greater character while many fit in the center of the bell curve. Developing character is a personal journey.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Keep Your Team Motivated by New Goals

Developing enthusiasm isn't the easiest thing to do considering the complexity of human behavior involved. Teams must find new challenges if they desire to survive and thrive. Challenges offer an opportunity for goal directed behaviors that further solidify the purpose and behaviors of the group. Making sure those goals have value for team members is important for longevity.

Considering that goals can be brought from outside the team or drawn from inside the team there is likely to be different motivations at play. When outside goals are artificially drawn from the team it is a matter of option and choice as to whether or not participants will adopt them as their own. Homegrown goals have the benefit of creating greater interest among team members.

Once goals are selected teams must have something to do that activates them. As long as they are working toward those goals everything seems to be just fine. People are mentally engaged and stay focused on certain tasks. Once the goals are completed teams often find themselves directionless and ripe for decline.

A good leader can find goals for the team to move toward. They give enough time to relax and enjoy the accomplishment of tasks but don't let lethargy and lack of direction make its way in.  Before the group begins to dissipate new goals are found and teams begin to work on those.

Skilled managers know how to play the balance between reaching for goals and relaxing. They don't burn out their teams nor do they let them just sit around endlessly. As the leader rises in skill he/she will become better on selecting goals that are tied more directly to the motivations of the team members while still staying toward goals the support the team's mission.

On the Issue of Workplace Civility

Workplace civility is a direct reflection on the capacity of an organizations ability to produce sustainable outcomes. As small communities it begins to develop those cultural attributes based on the way in which people act and interact with each other. Even in the best communities there are a few individuals that don't value common acts of civility.

Almost every workplace has a few of these individuals. We know who they are by their rumor dropping, directional joking, and petty grievances that continue to carry on over and over. If it isn't one person they have a problem with it is another person as the target changes but the behavior continues.

Such lack of civility seems harmless but does damage over the long run as work relationships erode. I have witnessed intentional joking that seemed more like an attempt to swipe at someone than to create good natured fun. These seemingly innocent acts do eventually take their toll on positive workplace environments.

The problem is that such activities are not easy to monitor or disciplined. Who can discipline someone for a joke that didn't say anything bad? The acts are so subtle and full of innuendo that they carry subjective meaning for all the parties involved. It is difficult to find any teeth in them for action.

Despite the inability to act and remove such individuals in the short run I find that it is important to support the victims of such behavior. Not that they can't get over it, deal with it, and defend themselves but just to say, "I get it and I empathize with you".

None of this has to be said formally or even in a way that is obvious. A subtle elbow grab, a quick question of how they are doing, or even just a supportive smile can go a long way. Communities are built on these small acts of kindness that support genuine relationships.

I have learned that there are two ways to deal with such issues. You can either ignore the behavior so that those person doesn't get the "thrill" of the chase or you can tackle the issue so that they know there are social consequences. Each method depends on the personality of the target. Both can lead to escalation.

There are no win-win situations when one person hasn't been properly socialized to the subtle acts of civility. It is based on misperceptions of life, their place in it, and the sense of community. These are not things that can be easily fixed without major insight and radical change. Unfortunately, such individuals will continue to move from workplace to workplace creating the same sort of chaos wherever they go.