#whatiread takes a break for the summer…or more. To decide whether I continue after the summer, it would be super useful if you could take this 3-question survey. It is anonymous so please be honest. Thanks
Based on clicks, your two favorite themes have been working-from-home and gender for the first part of 2021. And Manu’s TOC cartoon. Below is your top 5.
Jeremy Bailenson’s “Nonverbal overload: A theoretical argument for the causes of zoom fatigue” argues that some of the zoom fatigue comes from nonverbal behaviors typically not associated with days in the office: close-up eye gaze, cognitive load, staring at videos of oneself, and constraints on physical mobility. Based on these, Bailenson and his colleagues developed a scale to monitor “Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue (ZEF)”. To lower our ZEF scores, they recommend moving the camera far from our faces, turning off our video, switching back to phone calls, and walking around while on zoom meetings. Good luck!
I enjoyed Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s “Women and leadership”. It describes the itineraries of 10 women having reached the top of national governments and international organizations – where women make up less than 10% of leaders worldwide. It is not an academic book and does not overuse statistics. Rather it offers eight lessons based on these stories and decades of peer observations. None of them are particularly new. What I liked was the candor with which these female politicians shared their struggles and practical tips. The chapter on how women are judged based on their hairstyles and physical appearances disturbed me. The chapter unpacking the guilt experienced by working mothers (and comments making it more vivid) spoke to me. So many times, as I travelled for work was I asked who was taking care of the kids…including by a UNICEF child rights expert and an INSEAD professor seasoned in ethics and social innovation…I thought the professional journeys of Malawian Joyce Banda and Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf were mind-blowing considering all the hardships they had to overcome to become top politicians. It struck me that most women featured in the book were offered leadership “opportunities” when situations were incredibly complex, desperate or prone to failure. I also noted that none of them were initially seeking power and often asked to step in the top jobs. The book ends with a “GO FOR IT” call to action. But honestly, after reading this book, I would not run.
My graph this week is from Statista’s “The countries with the most women in national parliament” because, for once, Nordic countries do not make the top of the list. I only knew Rwanda was at the top and would never have guessed which were others in the top five.
John Levy’s “The hybrid workplace probably won’t last” identifies strong factors playing against the long-term success of hybrid teams. Communication and trust decrease with distance. Lack of breaks, transitions, and commutes affects reflective capacity. Creating a remote culture of belonging is hard work. Levy, an expert of connection, trust and belonging, predicts that all white collars will go back to the office.