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Eliminating Bias in the Workplace

Eliminating Bias in the Workplace | Cultural Trendz |
Strategies and helpful tips to help eliminate bias in the workplace.
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Curated by Vilma Bonilla
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Your phone company is watching

Your phone company is watching | Cultural Trendz |
What kind of data is your cell phone company collecting? Malte Spitz wasn’t too worried when he asked his operator in Germany to share information stored about him. Multiple unanswered requests and a lawsuit later, Spitz received 35,830 lines of code -- a detailed, nearly minute-by-minute account of half a year of his life.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Insightful talk about the storage of personal info and privacy.

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Thirty five genius travel tips

Thirty five genius travel tips | Cultural Trendz |
Roll, roll, roll your pants, gently down the seam.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Some good stuff here. Click the image or link above to view full post on Distractify.

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Sweet Thing

by Rufus & Chaka Khan

Music from the Montion Picture: Love & Basketball




I will love you anyway

Even if you cannot stay

I think you are the one for me

Here is where you ought to be...

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FIFA final: Gisele Bündchen escorts Louis Vuitton case and trophy

FIFA final: Gisele Bündchen escorts Louis Vuitton case and trophy | Cultural Trendz |

SPORTS STYLE: Louis Vuitton’s custom-made trunk for the FIFA World Cup Trophy will have a chic and leggy companion when it arrives for the competition final on Sunday.


Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen will accompany the case, commissioned by FIFA in 2010, and the trophy onto the pitch of the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the final.


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Three vital lessons from the pesky millennial generation

Three vital lessons from the pesky millennial generation | Cultural Trendz |

In 2007, I started speaking about Those Pesky Millennials. It seemed that every business I walked into shared the same great pain:

“No work ethic. Entitled. Pain in the ass. Kids—what’s wrong with them?”

It was the pain du jour. So I added my voice to the choir of help. And what I added distilled down into this: The millennial generation may be a pampered lot, but they have a lot to teach us.

Consider these messages from Gen Why:

They are telling us that we spoiled them and did not prepare them adequately for the workplace.

They are telling us, as digital natives, that technology really has changed and shrunk the world.

Most importantly, they are telling us that a working world of drudgery, exploitation, lacking vision and purpose, working simply for the sake of delayed benefits, simply isn’t going to fly.

Even in 2007, when this generation first hit the working world, they wanted a better reason to work. Their resounding chorus was, “Tell Us Why.”

We have seen so many good examples since 2007: Facebook to Apple to Zappos, Patagonia, and Whole Foods. So why, in 2014, are we still talking about this generation gap?

    The reason businesses are struggling is that employers themselves aren’t clear about their purpose. They simply can’t adequately answer the question, “Why?”

Because Baby Boomers are exiting the workplace, and Gen X is taking command. The interesting part is that the people of Gen X, the little generation that could rebel, are taking the same stance as their big brothers and sisters. They are facing the pain with the same scream: “What is wrong with these kids?!”

But the real pain isn’t these kids. The reason businesses are struggling is that employers themselves aren’t clear about their purpose. They simply can’t adequately answer the question, “Why?”

If we consider the soulfulness of our work, and express it from our heart and intellect, this millennial generation will eat out of our hand. Their demand, “Tell Us Why” is a craving for meaning. Show them meaning, and they will clamor to work long and hard. They will scratch and claw to be a part of the vision.

In the last ten years, These Pesky Millennials have grown up. They’ve survived the Great Recession, and they are still beating the same drum.

    Their demand, “Tell Us Why” is a craving for meaning. Show them meaning, and they will clamor to work long and hard.

Here are the three big ideas that we can learn from them:
1. Teach Me

Whatever happened to workplace apprenticeship? Somewhere along the way, we assumed that parents and schools were teaching people how to do everything and how to act. When those institutions failed, we stomped our feet and called a whole generation unprepared, entitled idiots. Let’s blame the victim!

As the economic recovery continues, employers actually want fresh young talent—which is good, because there is a lot of it available. But for employers to get the juice from young talent, they must become mentors and teachers. They must show Gen Y how to be a part of their organizations.

Bring back apprenticeship. Develop a real-life, in-depth, meaningful training program, and you’ll see surprising dedication.

    For employers to get the juice from young talent, they must become mentors and teachers. Develop a real-life, in-depth, meaningful training program, and you’ll see surprising dedication.

2. Will Work for Vision

It’s true that people move from job to job to job. It is true that people do not see any one business as their lifetime work. There is also the belief that this is the fault of Those Pesky Millennials.

There is a combo learning in this. Assume it is true. Assume that people will live longer and move more often. But rather than complain about the change, make your business a great stop on the way.

First, integrate apprenticeship. Then add a big hairy vision. Those companies that keep people longer, get more dedication, and develop a seamless employee pipeline are the ones that have been able to clarify and communicate a world-changing mission and vision. The bigger the purpose, the better.  Make it real, and make it big enough to capture hearts and minds.

    Those companies that keep people longer, get more dedication, and develop a seamless employee pipeline are the ones that have been able to clarify and communicate a world-changing mission and vision.

3. We Are a Tribe

There’s a reason that the lone cubicle is the universally hated symbol of the heinous workplace. Collaboration, cooperation, and connection are the new normal. If you are not creating these qualities in your business, you are destroying the tribe. The truly beautiful thing is that These Pesky Millennials are demanding our humanness. Even in a virtual environment, we can see the vital importance of the tribe.

Often we think that this effort to collaborate and communicate is wasted time. Not so. It is the most important and inspired time we have. So whenever we can, we must do it together and create the necessary space to be more and create more—together.

    Collaboration, cooperation, and connection are the new normal. If you are not creating these qualities in your business, you are destroying the tribe.

While we are losing the huge Baby Boom generation in the workplace, we are gaining a more mature Gen Why. Some day we may look back and laugh at how troubled this made us. (Like all those crazy hippies made their parents crazy…)

This is truly the cycle of life: each generation teaching us something new and potentially irritating. This new century is the dawn of so much newness. I say, embrace it! Embrace each other. Get all the good we can, and stop complaining. Look around, find a kid, and embrace Those Pesky Millennials.

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Psychologists have uncovered a troubling feature of people who seem nice all the time

Psychologists have uncovered a troubling feature of people who seem nice all the time | Cultural Trendz |

In 1961, curious about a person's willingness to obey an authority figure, social psychologist Stanley Milgram began trials on his now-famous experiment. In it, he tested how far a subject would go electrically shocking a stranger (actually an actor faking the pain) simply because they were following orders. Some subjects, Milgram found, would follow directives until the person was dead.

The news: A new Milgram-like experiment published this month in the Journal of Personality has taken this idea to the next step by trying to understand which kinds of people are more or less willing to obey these kinds of orders. What researchers discovered was surprising: Those who are described as "agreeable, conscientious personalities" are more likely to follow orders and deliver electric shocks that they believe can harm innocent people, while "more contrarian, less agreeable personalities" are more likely to refuse to hurt others.

The methodology and findings: For an eight-month period, the researchers interviewed the study participants to gauge their social personality, as well as their personal history and political leanings. When they matched this data to the participants' behavior during the experiment, a distinct pattern emerged: People who were normally friendly followed orders because they didn't want to upset others, while those who were described as unfriendly stuck up for themselves.

"The irony is that a personality disposition normally seen as antisocial — disagreeableness — may actually be linked to 'pro-social' behavior,'" writes Psychology Today's Kenneth Worthy. "This connection seems to arise from a willingness to sacrifice one's popularity a bit to act in a moral and just way toward other people, animals or the environment at large. Popularity, in the end, may be more a sign of social graces and perhaps a desire to fit in than any kind of moral superiority."

The study also found that people holding left-wing political views were less willing to hurt others. One particular group held steady and refused destructive orders: "women who had previously participated in rebellious political activism such as strikes or occupying a factory."

The Nazi effect: The findings lend themselves even further to Milgram's original goal in the '60s: trying to understand the rise of Nazism. Milgram began his experiments in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. He believed his findings might help explain how seemingly nice people can do horrible things if they are ordered to do so.

Does that mean the Nazis were just nice people trying to follow orders and be polite? You probably wouldn't want to go that far, but suffice to say, it turns out nice people just want to appease authorities, while rebels stick to their guns.


Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Interesting findings. Seems the disagreeable types stick up for themselves and others. While the nice, agreeable types, follow orders.

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The ABCs of Public Speaking

The ABCs of Public Speaking | Cultural Trendz |

It’s been said there are two times in life when you are truly alone: just before you die and just before you deliver a five-minute speech. Stage fright can be terrifying, but it needn’t be paralyzing.

Delivering over a thousand speeches teaches a person a thing or two about getting through to the audience. Because I am often asked for advice from nervous speakers, I have developed my ABCs of public speaking.

A is for audience. Learn all you can about those who will be in attendance so that you can tailor your remarks to hold their interest.

B is for body language. Move around, gesture and use facial expressions to demonstrate your enthusiasm for your topic.

C is for creativity. Don’t be afraid to use props, PowerPoint or audience participation to add sparkle and surprise. Even the most serious topics can benefit from a creative approach to make them memorable.

D is for deliver. Your presentation needs to have a focused message that leaves the audience with significant take-home value.

E is for eye contact, a critical feature of an effective speaker. Connecting with your audience can’t happen without it.

F is for feedback. Ask for immediate, unfiltered responses so you can continue to improve your skills. And don’t forget to debrief yourself after the event, including what worked well and what didn’t.

G is for grammar. Pay attention to the language you use. Make certain it is correct and concise.

H is for homework. Study the organization you are addressing: What are the problems, issues, concerns and opportunities. Mispronouncing names is unforgivable.

I is for introduction. Make sure that the person introducing you is a real pro. Provide a prepared introduction with your pertinent information.

J is for jokes. Try them out on several people to make sure they are appropriate and amusing. Humor, anecdotes and stories add so much to a speech as long as they are not offensive.

K is for knowledge. Speakers have to demonstrate a real grasp of the subject at hand in order to be taken seriously.

L is for lighting. People laugh more and retain more in brightly lit rooms. Dim the lights only if you are using PowerPoint presentations, and only as long as necessary.

M is for masking tape. Seal noisy door latches to avoid distractions. Block off the back rows of chairs to keep the audience up front.

N is for noise, which is a real attention killer. After-dinner speakers especially have to compete with clearing tables and clinking glasses. Consult with the host organization about minimizing noise interruptions.

O is for opening. In order to grab the audience’s attention immediately, you need a spectacular opener.

P is for practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute for preparation.

Q is for Q & A. Take questions five minutes before you are ready to close, so that you have the last word and control the ending.

R is for room size. If you have any control over the venue, insist that the room seat only the planned number of audience members. A room that is too big destroys rapport.

S is for smile. Let the audience see that you are pleased/happy/honored to be asked to speak. A smile adds instant warmth.

T is for Toastmasters International, the organization that I recommend for anyone who wants to hone their speaking skills. It’s tremendous training for speakers at all levels of ability.

U is for unforgettable. Make your speech memorable with a well-organized message peppered with clever stories and examples, sprinkled with humor, and wrapped up with a great summary.

V is for voice. Listen to yourself on tape so that you can adjust tempo, tone, timing and inflection.

W is for wisdom. You want your message to teach and inform. I’m particularly fond of starting the lessons in my speeches with a “Mackay’s Moral,” words of wisdom that drive home my point.

X is for experience. (Yes, I know it starts with “e”.) The best way to become a better speaker is to speak as often as you can.

Y is for you. Take pains to look your best.

Z is for zip it up. A smashing closing is as important as a gripping opening.

I have another speaking tips handout, “Harvey Mackay’s 35 To Stay Alive,” available at

Mackay’s Moral: The best way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to know what you’re talking about.

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No | Cultural Trendz |
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Learning to say no without explanation is a skill best learned early on in life but it's never too late. Know thyself. Be yourself. No explanations necessary. ~ V.B.

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Four characteristics of learning leaders

Four characteristics of learning leaders | Cultural Trendz |

by Stewart Hase, Heutagogy of Community Practice

Writing is always a learning experience for me. It forces greater clarity. In addition, the tranquility of the unique Australian bush setting in which I am currently sitting, miles from anywhere, provides a perfect environment for learning. I’ve been working on a chapter for our new forthcoming book (from Amazon in September) called ‘A Practical Guide to Self-Determined Learning: Experiences from the Field’.

It’s an edited work where lots of people share their experiences of using heutagogy in a variety of contexts. It should be fun and, hopefully, useful to people wanting to try something a bit different in their ‘classrooms’. I got so excited while writing the chapter that I thought I’d share some of its content with you. In this day and age there is no need to be patient, which suits me, as patience is not a strong point. And I might get some comments back to help me refine the chapter before it goes to air.

A number of insightful writers have suggested the skills that people need in order to cope with the 21st century. One of my favourites that appears to summarise all of them is from Jackie Gerstein who has put together a neat pictorial of these skills. See also Tony Wanger’s work, which Jackie acknowledges.

The skills she has identified are: effective oral and written communication; collaboration across networks; agility and adaptability; grit; resilience; empathy and global stewardship; vision; self-regulation; hope and optimism; curiosity and imagination; initiative and entrepreneurialism; and critical thinking and problem solving.

Some of the implications of self-determined learning are:

*  involve the learner in designing their own learning content and process as a partner;
*  make the curriculum process flexible so that new questions and understanding can be explored as new neuronal pathways are explored;
*  individualize learning as much as possible;
*  use social media to network learners;
*  provide flexible or negotiated assessment;
*  enable the learner to contextualize concepts, knowledge and new understanding;
*  provide lots of resources and enable the learner to explore essential content;
*  experiment and research;
*  base practice on the latest science;
*  engage learners in collaborative learning;
*  differentiate between knowledge and skill acquisition (competencies) and deep learning;
*  recognize the importance of informal learning and that we only need to enable it rather than control it;
*  have confidence in the learner;
*  be on top of the subject area so you can be a resource;
*  and recognize that teaching can become a block to learning

So, what of the skills needed by learning leaders, given the abilities we should foster in our learners and the rather more learner-centric approach prescribed by self-determined learning?

At the outset, I think we need to get rid of the terms teach and teacher from our lexicon and start talking about the ‘learning leader’. It immediately changes the focus from teacher-centred to learner-centred approaches. So, I think what we used to call teaching is really leadership and the broad abilities are similar whether or not you are leading students or leading people in an organisation.

4 Characteristics Of Learning Leaders

1. Ability to deal with ambiguity

    Low need for control
    Openness to Experience (one of the Big 5 personality traits)
    Moderate perfectionism
    High Stability (low anxiety)
    Project management skills
    Ability to use social media

2. The capacity to foster engagement

    An understanding of how to motivate others
    Ability to foster a shared purpose and vision
    An understanding of human needs
    Interpersonal effectiveness
    Ability to self-regulate

3. The capacity to learn

    Ability to research and learn
    Being thoroughly on top of one’s subject area
    Wide and accessible networks
    Able to share with others
    Knowledge management skills
    The ability to foster collaborative learning

4. The ability to use open systems thinking

    The capacity to scan the external environment
    Able to foster participative democracy/collaboration decision-making and process
    Able to actively diffuse power
    Capacity to work in a team
    Ongoing internal and external analysis of effectiveness (continuous improvement)


Via Skip Zalneraitis, Suvi Salo, Ivon Prefontaine
Vilma Bonilla's insight:

I love this analysis of a learning leader! It is spot on.  ~ V.B.


Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 7, 10:25 AM

Peter Vaill suggested learning and leading are intertwined. Teaching is about learning and leading being intertwined with it.