ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Friday, September 14, 2018

Conflict – Communication – Change

Conflict – Communication – Change

Someone asked me what I enjoyed doing most in my consulting practice – in other words what is my “sweet spot.”
I immediately replied:  Working with groups of people to resolve conflict. 

I went on to say that I was not afraid of anger or other emotions and so it was easy for me to bring people together – whether two or two-hundred – to help them air their grievances, make decisions to resolve their differences and help them communicate effectively with each other.

Together – after they get past the anger and resentment – we can make positive changes that work for both sides of the dispute.

It is so satisfying to help create these positive changes.

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Get more done in less time daily

I remember the days when we worked 9 – 5 (or maybe 8 – 4)  We’d leave work and have a life after work.  Sometimes we’d meet friends for dinner, other times we’d go home and work on personal projects.  There was relief from whatever it was we did at work.
Than it became 8 – 6.   Why?   Because those that started it were trying to prove they were more valuable than those who came in an hour later and left an hour earlier. 

Soon, especially here in California 8 – 6 was the norm and those wanting to “look good” started coming in even earlier and leaving even later.  Today, in some of our high tech companies you are expected to be available 24-7.

BUT – that’s about time.  What about productivity?  What about creativity?  What about quality and excellence?

Research (including some of my own) shows that for simple tasks productivity might increase with the increase in time – but only for a short while.  Then productivity goes down to the same level – or even less – than it was at 9 – 5 hours.

Creativity, quality and excellence all suffer because of the stress and fatigue consistently working such long hours creates.

We talk about work-life balance – but most people today merely give it lip-service.  Truly, if you had time to relax and refresh on a regular basis you’d get both more quality and quantity in your work.  You’d also have the opportunity of having time for social and community service activities.  In other words you’d have time for a range of different ways to spend your time and use your brain.

So – in order to get more done with better quality – spend less time and be more alert and focused on what you are doing.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

these stupid ads

these ads are NOT from me - I never saw them before in my life and don't know how they got here.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Anti-social not disabled

Priests, Teachers, Doctors, and other professionals – all taking advantage of their position of power to abuse young girls and boys.  It’s horrible.  It’s hard to imagine.  It’s real! 

We call them perverts – but that assumes they have some emotional – psychological or intellectual disability.  Most of them don’t.  They just have shut off their conscience – the “Jiminy Cricket” in their brain (reticular activating formation) that tells them that this is unacceptable, immoral and unethical behavior. 

Don’t make the mistake of forgiving them for being disabled.  At other times, in other cultures it was a natural part of the behavior of men towards young boys and girls.  They say that of the Ancient Greeks and of people from many Asian countries.

As we have evolved socially – ethically all modern societies have laws and codes of behavior precluding taking advantage of young girls and boys.  We – all over the world – have decided this is BAD.  So, don’t do it!

Some people think their own needs/wants supersedes the code of morality of their culture. They are above the law they think.  And so they mis-behave in what most of us consider heinous ways.

Thank You #METOO for putting a stop to these behaviors.  Thank You for lifting the carpet and exposing the rats residing underneath them.  Thank You for letting boys and girls all over the world know they can say NO and get out of a situation in which they are about to be misused. 

But, I have to say again as a warning – let’s keep some balance here – let’s not automatically assume guilt anytime – everytime someone shouts harassment. 

Training is critical – for adults and children – and it should be friendly, interactive, role-playing and lots of q&a….. Let people explore and learn together.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bill Cosby: Sexually Violent Predator

Bill Cosby:  Sexually Violent Predator

I grant you that Bill Cosby is a “dirty old man” and deserves punishment.  BUT calling him a sexually violent predator is really an exaggeration.  His reputation has been (self) destroyed.  His life is close to being over....  he is clearly not a danger to anyone.

I am bothered by this designation because it diminishes the importance of using it for men who are predators – who seek out young girls and boys to rape.

We need to be careful that we don’t become “the boy who cried wolf” when we call someone names.

Bill Cosby is a creep – but a danger to others?  I doubt it.

Why do I care?   

Because I don’t want to see #METOO become a laughing stock or ignored because it has lumped all levels of harassment and abuse into one giant category. 

Recently, I was at a meeting where they were condemning someone for having used foul language, told dirty jokes and touched a woman on her knee.  There were a series of speakers – and each one said something stronger about this man than the one before her.  He went from being a creep, to a harasser, to a rapist, to a pervert to a pedophile.    The behaviors didn’t change – just the name-calling.

Although his behavior was inappropriate and he deserved to be admonished for it – and maybe even suspended, I don’t think he deserved this gross exaggeration of titltes.

Let us not make light of people who are pedophiles or rapists.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Safety in the wsorkplace

Safety from Violence in the Workplace – and School Room

It is important to note that in all of these cases, it is the loner, the misfit, the person who is uncomfortable in their own skin that erupts into violence.

Until we recognize this fact, and take action to help these people, not tease them, all the bars, and locked doors and police-presence won’t stop the violence.

Do you remember ESL?  That was a situation in which Richard Wade Farley (probably “on the spectrum”) was ridiculed and teased and exploded with violence.  The back-story was his unrequited crush on a lovely co-employee named (if I recall correctly) Laura Black.   Since he was never able to get her to go out with him – and her complaints to her employers were pretty much ignored, he went to some of the male co-workers asking for advice.  They told him that women liked “strong men.”  So he dressed up like Rambo, guns and all and as he entered ESL intending to show off to her, some people laughed at him and he exploded.  (This is information I gained from talking with several people who knew the situation.)

Think about all the kids that thought they were showing off or getting even by coming to school and shooting people.  What did they all have in common?  Yes, they were socially awkward and felt like outsiders – or people unfairly victimized by “the system”

I just spent the better part of the last three days working with a board of directors persuading them to put the needs of the people before money.  Finally, they did and the expected outcome of what might have been an awful situation is much better.  It has become a win-win for all concerned.

Treating people with courtesy and kindness will go far further to ensure safety in the workplace and school-room than all the locked doors, etc. 

By that I don’t mean that we should not hold people accountable, or make business decisions rather than emotional ones.  It’s how we do it, that matters.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Emotional Intelligence needed to Manage others

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.

I’ve been consulting here in Silicon Valley and other parts of the country – indeed other parts of the world for over 30 years.
What do I find?  C-level leaders tell me that they have great difficulty promoting their talented people into management – because they lack “soft skills.”   Translation – they have poor social skills and are low on EQ.

Much of the work I do – although it always has other names – such as management training, communication skills, conflict resolution, etc. – is really about helping people improve their ability to “walk in another man’s shoes.”  Sensitivity to others.

It’s also about noticing the social clues.  If more brilliant technical people had these skills, we would have far fewer complaints of sexual harassment.  Why?  Because most of what we call harassment (to irritate or annoy) comes from awkward and mis-guided attempts to be friendly.  I hasten to add, I am not referring to abuse or bullying, but those behaviors that some men find “cute” and most women dislike.

So, what is emotional intelligence?

Let’s start with a definition of emotion.  Dr. Nathaniel Branden described an emotion as “an instantaneous psycho- somatic response to a value judgment.”   That means, your mind and body are connected and you have a reaction immediately to a stimulus based on your prior experience with that stimulus or similar ones. 

Let me give you an example of what I mean:

A police officer walks into the room.   What’s your immediate reaction?

  • ·       If he is your husband coming to pick you up after work, you would have a pleasant reaction. 
  • ·       If you had recently reported an expensive piece of jewelry as stolen, you might have a positive anticipatory reaction thinking he was coming to tell you your jewelry was found.
  • ·       On the other hand, if you were the thief, you would experience fear wondering if he had come to arrest you.

See what I mean?  Same stimulus – different reactions based on past experience.

OK – that’s emotion.  What’s emotional intelligence or EQ?   It is your responses to a test that measures several factors, including how you understand yourself as well as how you understand and respond to others. 

One measurement device from Multi-Health Systems, Inc. offers an instrument they call EQ-I. (I am certified in this instrument.)  It measures:

·       Self-Perception Composite
o   Self-Regard
o   Self-Actualization
o   Emotional Self-Awareness
Self-Expression Composite
o   Emotional Expression
o   Assertiveness
o   Independence
Interpersonal Composite
o   Interpersonal Relationships
o   Empathy
o   Social Responsibility
Decision Making Composite
o   Problem-Solving
o   Reality Testing
o   Impulse Control
Stress Management Composite
o   Flexibility
o   Stress Tolerance
o   Optimism

In his handout for Leadership, Dr. Raley Nadler the CEO of True North Leadership quoting Cherniss and Coleman) states:   “Emotional Intelligence affects the quality of relationships and emerges through relationships.”

You cannot successfully manage and motivate the best in others if you don’t try to understand them and interact with them accordingly.

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“Raise the Bar – Make Things Better”

“Raise the Bar – Make Things Better”

That was my contract.

What do Change management, culture, conflict, creativity, conflict, cooperation, crisis, compliance, and control have to do with each other?  The answer:  They represent the range of work I do when asked to “Raise the Bar – Make Things Better.”

I am unlike many consultants who come into an organization with a narrow specialty that results in a written report with recommendations that most companies never bother to follow.  I’m also unlike the “talking head” or junior associate of a large consulting firm that is merely parroting words from her power point presentation that has been created by someone else.

Why am I different?  Because I have over 30 years of consulting experience, many years of actually working – and managing – in the business world and bring a multi-faceted approach which includes business, psychology, education, law, and a smattering of other disciplines to my work.

How am I different?  When you hire me, you get me.  That’s my experience, insight, and ability to help you communicate better.  I work WITH people rather than at them.  I am not afraid of emotion – and help people resolve conflict, increase cooperation and communication.  By freeing people from hiding things under the rug and being resentful, talking issues through and cooperating to find mutually acceptable solutions results in increased creativity and productivity.  The culture becomes more positive because the conflict has been resolved.  This is real change management.

I help people bring out the best in themselves and others.  This includes Professional Development, Management training (how to treat people as works best for them) and Leadership Development – including coaching, shadowing, and problem-solving.

Because of my business background, I am also able to work with teams on process improvement.  Again, by making it safe for them to talk about processes that could have been simplified – as well as by sharing my own observations and knowledge.

There are many letters of reference and testimonials from clients on my website:  Please refer to them and you will see what I have done for other clients in the past.   You may also contact me:  408-554-0110 or

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