Sure, you have your blue recycling can underneath your desk. You may have even taken public transportation to work today. As you scribble on the last corner of a sheet so as not to waste any paper until it’s completely used, you’re probably asking yourself, “Is this really worth it? Will my one plastic spoon really be the item that sends us back to the Dark Ages? Does anyone really care what happens to the world after they’re dead?”
Take a breath. I understand. Being green is hard. It can be easy, though, if you can get over self-doubt.
“Supporting social issues often requires perseverance from individuals who want to make a difference,” wrote the authors of “It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Role of Self-Evaluations in Explaining Support for Environmental Issues,” a study conducted by scholars from Rice University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Toronto. “Our research explains how the mixed self-evaluations of these individuals spring from their interpretation of issue-support challenges.”
Scott Sonenshein, an associate professor of management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, says people’s support for environmental issues and their doubt in their behavior’s effectiveness manifests itself in benign daily tasks such as recycling or the mode of transportation one chooses.
“It’s this ongoing challenge,” Sonenshein said. “No matter what you do, the sense from the study is that it’s never enough. For example, you could drive your Prius to work or you could walk to work instead. It’s this never-ending set of doubts of ‘Am I doing enough to help the environment?’ It turns out that people are very different in how they can respond to these kinds of persistent doubts. Some people are able to cope with that through building immunity through their self-assets, and other people, unfortunately, fizzle and burn out.
“I would like to see a deeper understanding and appreciation of the difficulty of being an environmentalist,” Sonenshein continued. “Environmentalists have a psychologically very difficult task in front of them in part because of the enormity of the problem that they are solving, and that creates a pretty difficult psychological environment for them to be effective.”
There is a way, though, to help alleviate self-doubt, and that’s by thinking about a long future. Most of the time, environmental concerns are expressed with stories of impending doom. However, a study from researchers at NYU Stern and Columbia University found that when people were aware of an elongated sense of history, they were more apt to support environmental causes.
“Our research suggests to rely less on end-of-world scenarios and to emphasize instead the various ways in which our country—and our planet—has a rich and long history that deserves to be preserved,” said Hal Hershfield, a researcher at NYU Stern. “By highlighting the shadow of the past, we may actually help illuminate the path to an environmentally sustainable future.”
If you’re following today’s posts, you may begin to see a theme.
As Jason mentioned, today is the second annual “#GivingTuesday” a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first GivingTuesday brought in over $10 million in online donations in 2012.
We know that many of our venues participate in charitable programs, so we reached out to IAVM Headquarters neighbor, Paul Turner, CFE, director of event operations & security for AT&T Stadium, to see what they do to make a difference for their community, and Paul shared that the stadium has several programs in place including:
“As an industry, I think we recognize the unique role that we (venues) play in society and in our communities and that we look for ways to be of service beyond our guests, event clients, performers and athletes who visit and use our facilities,” Turner said.
We know many of our venue members give back. Share what you do to make a difference in your community!
(photo credit: by Tim Green aka atoach)
Today is Giving Tuesday. It arrives on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days marked by heavy consumption and spending. It’s nice to have a day where we’re encouraged and reminded to give back to others (though I’d argue that every day should be a giving day).
There are a lot of ways you can give to people in your communities, and there’s no one thing you have to do. However, there is one easy thing to give, according to Adam Grant, a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s simply an introduction.
“When I look back on the moments that fundamentally changed my life, the vast majority began with quiet and generous introductions,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “I met my wife through an introduction (thank you, Mike) and chose my career due to an introduction (thank you, Tal). When I wrote a book about the hidden power of helping others, it was featured in a New York Times magazine cover story because of an introduction (thank you, Wendy). Adam Rifkin was one of the stars of the book, and fittingly, I met him through an introduction (thank you, Jennifer).”
Grant says that most people overlook introductions as a form of giving, with only 27 percent making an introduction last year.
“One of the barriers is that we worry about putting our own reputations on the line,” he wrote. “As Liz Ryan pointed out last week, most introductions are reactive: we make them after someone reaches out for help. This puts us in a position of evaluating whether we want to stick our necks out on behalf of someone else. We can circumvent this problem by being more proactive, initiating introductions before people ask. When we choose who we want to connect, we can introduce people where there’s likely to be a mutual benefit and provide a compelling reason for why they should meet.”
I encourage everyone today to take a moment and introduce two people who were previously strangers. Ask them then to pay it forward. In the end, we’ll all get to know each other a little bit better and perhaps a few good things will come of it.
Do you present a blank face during meetings? Is your body language more akin to a fence post? Are your words less than two syllables when you talk? Then you may be suffering from “surface acting,” a serious occurrence of managing emotions.
“According to a new study, meeting attendees who feel the need to mask their emotional reactions get less from the meeting itself, and are more likely to experience negative long-term outcomes such as burnout,” wrote Alex Fradera at BPS Research Digest.
The study, conducted by Linda Shanock and colleagues, is part of a growing body of research on work meetings and their effectiveness.
“Shanock’s team predicted that because surface acting demands self-control and puts pressure on our resources, it can restrict the attention we put towards the actual goals of the meeting, making it less likely to get a satisfactory outcome than if we were not so distracted,” Fradera wrote.
Data was collected from 178 participants and long-term effects from three months out were also measured. Those participants who exhibited high amounts of surface acting were more burned out and more likely to quit their jobs.
“Surface acting during meetings and perceived meeting effectiveness may relate to how emotionally exhausted employees feel and their intentions to seek other employment,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “Given the cost and pervasiveness of meetings in daily organizational life and their potential effects on the well-being of employees, understanding how to make meetings effective is paramount—particularly if researchers and practitioners want to better understand how perceived meeting effectiveness may be related to various employee outcomes.”
How do you encourage your employees to express authentic emotions during meetings? Please let us know in the comments.
As venue professionals we are all aware of Severe Weather Season. It’s the time when Mother Nature ramps up the likelihood of a severe weather incident, and it typically runs March to August. While once isolated to a few months, severe weather has now become a full-time concern, and the severity of storms has seemingly increased. This up-tick in destruction isn’t all in our heads, fed by social media and personal accounts captured on camera phone video. It’s real and you better buckle your seatbelts and batten down your venue’s hatches.
A recent USA Today story about a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report shows that deadly and destructive thunderstorms, and the violent tornadoes they produce, are forecast to see a “robust” increase across parts of the U.S. in upcoming decades because of climate change. While most previous research has been inconclusive, this study is one of the first that’s found a solid link between climate change and severe storms.
“Springtime severe thunderstorms could increase by as much as 40 percent over the eastern U.S. (roughly from the Rockies to the Atlantic) by the end of the century,” says lead author Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University.
In addition to spring, the study also predicts an increase in storm days in winter and fall as well. Overall, for the entire year, the researchers forecast an increase in severe storms of 25 percent to 30 percent. Continue Reading →