IN 1984 a typical business competency would last 30 years. Today, it’s more akin to five. We’re changing jobs more than ever and pursuing multiple careers and projects simultaneously. Take a moment to consider how many jobs you’ve had and how many careers you’re yet to embark upon?
The ability to adapt and thrive at work, also known as your adaptability quotient, demands continuous learning and cultivation. The paradigm shift in work is, first and foremost, a mental one. As humans, what we crave are open, fluid, and personalized systems. And the world of work is gradually opening to provide just that.
Enter the shaper. A shaper is someone who gets energized by work. How they work provides for the highest creative expression of self. What shapers do every day serve themselves and the greater good. They are on a path that embraces their uniqueness so as to lead deep and fulfilling lives.
Taking a Cue from a Comedian
“No one is any one thing,” sums up Martin Short’s outlook on life.
He’s one of the few people in comedy who’s capable of laughing on both the outside and the inside. The youngest of five children, when he was 12 years old, his eldest brother died in a car accident. Six years later, his mother died of cancer, and two years after that his father passed away from a stroke. His wife of 30 years died of cancer at age 58. Despite all this, Short still demonstrates an unparalleled joie de vivre—he just keeps moving forward.
Whether performing a duet with Steve Martin, embarrassing Drake, or playing a host of oddball characters, he’s always experimenting and learning. He welcomes change and regularly takes risks. The comedic chameleon may well be the funniest man alive.
It’s this same strain of continuous reinvention that helps the shaper thrive.
Stoicism and Modern Modalities
Work is now a process and practice to improve. We must demonstrate the fortitude that comes with owning a growth mindset. We need to play, invent, and create—because in order to build more resiliency.
A marked departure from the rigid ways of the past, the new mode of work is much more fluid. It begs us to deal with more ambiguity and complexity. Modern ways of working require us to consistently tap into our cognitive powers, creative energy, and collective genius. The hallmark modality of the new world of work it this fluidity—the ability to move quickly and with dexterity amid constant change.
A learned practice that ebbs and flows being fluid is a sign of strength in times of uncertainty. Those that shine in the workplace move with a similar ease to water—flowing in harmony with everything they encounter. Cultivating this practice means seeking change, always improving, and expertly navigating towards a future that’s only coming at us faster.
Many workers now function like Apps on a smartphone, sitting pretty on top of a company’s operating system (OS). They are selected, downloaded, updated, shared, and deleted on demand.
The robustness of this OS and the fluidity of the Apps have become an intricate dance to crack. The onus falls on us to safeguard our positioning. We want to ensure we’re featured on the homescreen, all the while protecting our freedoms.
While companies continue to shimmy and shuffle to attract talent, we continue to search for meaning and challenge. These are the vital ingredients to help insulate against existential dread and stay featured on the home screen:
Intuiting: Sometimes working things out by intuition and learning to trust our gut.
Noting: Bear witness, observe, pause, respond, refuse, and choose from a place of wisdom. Practice self-awareness so that we can direct our focus to those things that makes our minds soar and our hearts sing. Remain cognizant of our teammates and the entire organization.
Giving: Commit to something greater than ourselves. Dedication can’t be faked, and companies can smell it from miles away. Let the care we have and the quality of our work do the talking.
Relating: Connect with others for depth, not breadth. Building meaningful relationships is enlightened self-interest at work. It helps us build a safety net that provides the confidence to create our personal flywheel for doing our best and deepest work.
Expanding: See the world with wide eyes and remain open to possibilities, understand situations from another’s point of view, and let go of our egos to curiously engage with the unknown.
Discerning: Time is finite. The trick is to be ruthless in managing our energy so that it can expand and become boundless.
Integrating: Give life to a myriad of projects that we are valued for, and that fuel our inner working lives. Combine and recombine as needed.
Expressing: Be a good steward to our unique gifts. Create, experiment, and serve ourselves and others with gumption.
Navigating: The tenacity to engage with the unknown and constantly stretch our capabilities through training, novel experiences, high contrast conversations, experimentation, and feedback. Showing courage to step out of our comfort zones and never rest on our laurels.
Trusting: Nothing fruitful in the long term comes without integrity. Trust is earned with courage over time, and by reputation. There is no quick hack.
Sensing: At the individual, collective and global level, appreciating what’s needed in any given moment—and then having the audacity to show up wholeheartedly.
The question of whether online technology-facilitated mental health disorders should be recognized by the World Health Organization and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has been a subject of considerable debate over the past decade.
Some have argued that problematic smartphone and social media use demonstrates the features of addiction, with key characteristics including impaired control (excessive use, unsuccessful efforts to stop, craving for use), withdrawal phenomena, and social or psychological problems exacerbated by use.
To date, research into the effects of social media on mental health has primarily focused on the potentially adverse effects of Facebook, now used by over 2 billion users worldwide.
In an exploratory one-year study into Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD), social media’s deleterious effects were investigated in a sample of 179 students with Facebook accounts (77% female; Brailovskaia & Margraf, 2017).
At baseline, according to different diagnostic models, between 0.6% and 4.5% of participants met the cut-off criteria for FAD. One year later, 1.7% to 8.4% met the FAD criteria, with a tripling of individuals displaying “withdrawal.” Further, FAD was positively related to the personality trait of narcissism, as well as stress, depression, and anxiety.
However, empirical evidence remains inconclusive, and a causal link has not yet been established. Moreover, as discussed later, several studies point to the psychological benefits of using social media. This is important to remember as we review the current research.
How Does It Affect Relationships and Social Skills?
Social media has revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us.
We can now stay in touch with friends and family worldwide, allowing us to be socially connected to others 24/7.
Compared with pre-social media times, we can develop friendships with many more individuals through our online communities.
However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Some may suggest that an obsession with our social world online diminishes the quality of healthy relationships we build face-to-face.
Typically, when we engage in face-to-face interactions, a large portion of social information is conveyed by non-verbal communication. When we try to understand others, we consider cues such as tone of voice, facial expression, posture, and eye contact (Knapp, Hall, & Horgan, 2013).
In cyberspace, these cues are disrupted. As such, we may have less information available to help us interpret information correctly. This is important as good communication and the ability to build positive relationships with others are crucial in successfully navigating our way through the world.
As more of our lives move online, computer-generated nonverbal messages (e.g., emoji) are likely to have increasing relevance.
Findings Related to Depression and Anxiety
Globally, anxiety and depressive disorders are common disabilities affecting millions of people every year (World Health Organization, 2017). While numerous factors can contribute to the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of anxiety and depression, there is a growing interest in social media’s potential effects on psychological vulnerability.
Research indicates that the volume of social media use is a crucial factor in predicting mental health outcomes. More explicitly, several studies show that a more significant number of hours spent on social media daily is linked to both anxious and depressive symptomatology (Lin et al., 2016; Vannucci, Flannery, & Ohannessian, 2017). However, findings are not conclusive.
Other studies have shown no relationship between time spent on Facebook and depression (Jelenchick, Eickhoff, & Moreno, 2013; see Seabrook, Kern, & Rickard, 2016, for a systematic review). This suggests that other contributory factors may play an important role in predicting anxiety and depression due to social media use.
For example, other contributory factors may include individual differences relating to how one feels about or experiences social media. As such, this could be a more pertinent indicator of social media effects than the quantity of exposure alone.
Pertinently, several studies show that the addictive or problematic use of social media is more directly associated with anxious and depressive symptomatology (Andreassen et al., 2016).
It follows that a direct causal link between social media use and anxiety and depression has not been established. This means that potential mediating factors must be considered in more detail. For instance, as we’ll discuss later, social media use has been shown to influence sleep quality (Levenson, Shensa, Sidani, Colditz, & Primack, 2016).
Perhaps then, it is the lack of sleep that affects psychological disorder levels, rather than social media in its own right.
Does It Affect Sleep Quality?
While it may feel like browsing through our social media helps us switch off and relax before bedtime, the research indicates that using social media can negatively impact our sleep quality.
In general, social media use has been related to poor sleep (Levenson et al., 2016). The association seems to be significantly heightened when used in the 30 minutes before bed (Levenson, Shensa, Sidani, Colditz, & Primack, 2017). The mechanisms underlying this relationship may be via the direct displacement of sleep, through delayed bedtime and reduced total sleep time (Cain & Gradisar, 2010; Scott, Biello, & Woods, 2019).
However, because of social media’s interactive nature, effects may be indirect, through heightened cognitive, emotional, or physiological arousal. While it may seem obvious, getting in a heated Twitter debate about recent political affairs is not going to help you switch off and sleep.
Besides, the blue light emitted from screen-based devices can suppress the secretion of melatonin, the hormone made by the pineal gland, which is responsible for regulating our sleep–wake cycle and preparing our bodies for sleep (Bhat, Pinto-Zipp, Upadhyay, & Polos, 2018; Tähkämö, Partonen, & Pesonen, 2019). Without typical melatonin levels, we may remain in a state of cognitive arousal, affecting our ability to fall asleep.
The Impact on Students and Teens
The online and potentially anonymous nature of social media poses a new set of challenges for adolescents and young people.
While social media presents extra opportunities for young people to socialize with their friends, develop their sense of identity, and proactively engage in social topics, it also means that they can be increasingly exposed to cyber threats.
These include cyberbullying, cyber-racism, emotional blackmail, grooming, radicalization, and pressure to partake in sexting, amongst others. All these digital threats may contribute to adverse mental health outcomes in young people.
Cyberbullying, for example, is associated with depression, suicidality, anxiety, aggression, substance misuse, and self-harm, as well as low self-esteem, loneliness, stress, peer problems, and decreased life satisfaction (Kwan et al., 2020).
Research has further indicated the harmful effects of cyberbullying on academic achievement (Myers & Cowie, 2019).
In young people, the prevalence of anxiety and depression has increased substantially over the past few decades (Polanczyk, Salum, Sugaya, Caye, & Rohde, 2015). Alarmingly, suicide is also on the rise (Bould, Mars, Moran, Biddle, & Gunnell, 2019), which has brought about questions surrounding the influence of technology on young people’s wellbeing.
Indeed, social media’s impact on adolescent mental health has received considerable media attention due to the tragic suicides of Molly Russell and Jessica Scatterson after extensive social media use.
From neuroscientific research, we know that the prefrontal cortex, an important region for emotion regulation, isn’t fully developed until early adulthood (Ladouceur, Peper, Crone, & Dahl, 2012). Therefore, children and adolescents may be more vulnerable to some of the harmful content they may be exposed to on social media.
It follows that it is crucial to continue understanding the potentially damaging mental health implications of new technologies in the digital era.
How good are the relationships that you have with your colleagues?
According to the Gallup organization, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. But it doesn’t have to be a “BFF.” Gallup found that people who simply have a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be happy. What’s more, good work relationships are linked to better customer engagement and increased profit.
Why Have Good Work Relationships?
Human beings are naturally social creatures. And when you consider that we spend one-third of our lives at work, it’s clear that good relationships with colleagues will make our jobs more enjoyable.
The more comfortable co-workers are around one other, the more confident they’ll feel voicing opinions, brainstorming, and going along with new ideas, for example. This level of teamwork is essential to embrace change, create, and innovate. And when people see the successes of working together in this way, group morale and productivity soars.
Good work relationships also give you freedom. Instead of spending time and energy dealing with negative relationships, you can, instead, focus on opportunities – from winning new business to focusing on personal development.
And having a strong professional circle will also help you to develop your career, opening up opportunities that otherwise might pass you by.
Defining a Good Relationship
A good work relationship requires trust, respect, self-awareness, inclusion, and open communication. Let’s explore each of these characteristics.
your team members, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions. And you don’t have to waste time or energy “watching your back.” Respect: teams working together with mutual respect value one another’s input, and find solutions based on collective insight, wisdom, and creativity. Self-awareness: this means taking responsibility for your words and actions, and not letting your own negative emotions impact the people around you. Inclusion: don’t just accept diverse people and opinions, but welcome them! For instance, when your colleagues offer different opinions from yours, factor their insights and perspective – or “cultural add” – into your decision-making. Open communication: all good relationships depend on open, honest communication
. Whether you’re sending emails or IMs, or meeting face-to-face or on video calls, the more effectively you communicate with those around you, the better you’ll connect.
Which Work Relationships Are Important?
Although you should try to build and maintain good working relationships with everyone, some deserve extra attention. Like the relationship between a boss and employee. Gallup found that a manager alone can account for up to 70 percent of a team’s engagement.
let managers build relationships with employees. At these catch ups, you can show how an individual’s work fits with the organization’s “bigger picture,” understand their strengths, and help them identify areas to develop.
, to analyze how your own manager prefers to work, anticipate their needs, and adapt your approach for a smoother relationship.
You’ll also benefit from developing good work relationships with key stakeholders. These are the people who have a stake in your success or failure, such as customers, suppliers, and your team. Forming a bond with them will help you to ensure that your projects – and career – stay on track. A Stakeholder Analysis
helps you to identify who these people are so you can devote time to building these partnerships.
to test how well you collaborate, communicate, and deal with conflict. The quiz will also point you toward useful tools to improve any weak areas. Focus on Your EI Emotional intelligence (EI) is your ability to recognize your own emotions, and better understand what they’re telling you. By developing your EI, you’ll become more adept at identifying and handling the emotions and needs of others. Practice Mindful Listening People respond better to those who truly listen to what they have to say. By practicing mindful listening, you’ll talk less and understand more. And you’ll quickly become known as trustworthy. Schedule Time to Build Relationships If possible, you could ask a colleague out for a quick cup of coffee. Or give a “one-minute kindness” by commenting on a co-worker’s LinkedIn post you enjoyed reading. These little interactions take time but lay the groundwork for strong relationships. Manage Your Boundaries Make time, but not too much! Sometimes, a work relationship can impair productivity, especially when a friend or colleague begins to monopolize your time. It’s important to set your boundaries and manage how much time you devote to social interactions at work. Appreciate Others Everyone, from your boss to the intern, wants to feel that their work is appreciated. So, genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well. Praise and recognition will open the door to great work relationships. Be Positive Focus on being positive. Positivity is contagious and people gravitate to those that make them feel good. Avoid Gossiping Office politics and gossip
can ruin workplace relationships. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping with other colleagues will only exacerbate the situation, accelerating mistrust and animosity.
Handling Difficult Work Relationships
Sometimes, you’ll have to work with someone you don’t get on with. With the rise of virtual workspaces, many colleagues are benefiting from some time apart. But even communicating virtually can cause misunderstandings or tension.
While it’s natural to avoid people who cause friction, it’s not always feasible or for the good of your team. So, here are a few tactics to mend or maintain a professional relationship.
Reflect on your positive history. If a good relationship has taken a turn for the worse after an incident, research shows that reflecting on positive experiences with a co-worker can strengthen a broken bond. Another option is to use an impartial mediator
to bridge the divide and find a quick resolution. Look to yourself. When we feel negative about someone, we can become impatient, get angry, and demotivate others. And others can direct those negative behaviors back at us. The Betari Box can help to break this cycle of conflict, stopping these harmful attitudes and behaviors in their tracks. Find mutually beneficial goals. Have you considered that a difficult relationship might be due to a power imbalance? You can use professor John Eldred’s power strategies model to identify any conflicting goals or power imbalances, and devise a method to communicate better and improve your relationship.
‘This is not an act of ‘separatism’, it is a declaration of war that must be dealt with accordingly’. — Pascal Bruckner, French author. France’s elites… fail to understand the ideological war that the enemies of open societies have declared on them.
Our homes and our churches should be places where everyone feels at home. Guests should never feel that they are causing undue extra labor. In short, all that is really needed to be an excellent host is a loving heart, an open ear, and eyes that see Christ in each person who crosses the threshold.
It was black day in Nigeria Tuesday 20th October. Unarmed Nigerian youths have been protesting and calling for reform of the Police Anti-Robbery Squad which has been terrorizing the citizens.
Rather than address the nation and detailing out what the government will do about the issues, a detachment of the Nigerian Army was detailed to shoot and kill the protesting and unarmed youths so as to bring the protests to a forceful end.
At the major Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the armed soldiers opened fire on the youths as they stood holding Nigeria flag and chanting the country’s National Anthem.
Before the shooting, the soldiers reportedly ordered the Toll managers to demobilize the CCTV cameras and turned out all the lights illuminating the entire area and instantly began shooting at the unarmed protesters.
The soldiers allegedly took away the bodies of the fallen youth in their trucks.
In response, the youth went on rampage in different parts of Lagos torching public buildings and institutions on their way.
NIGERIA has been ranked 94 out of 107 countries in the 2020 Global Hunger Index (GHI), revealing there is a ‘serious’ level of hunger in the country.
“In the 2020 Global Hunger Index, Nigeria ranks 98th out of the 107 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores. With a score of 29.2, Nigeria has a level of hunger that is serious,” parts of the 2020 Global Hunger Index report, published on globalhungerindex.org, said.
The development means that, despite being one of the biggest producers of crude oil in the world, and also possessing large deposits of natural gas and other abundant economically viable mineral resources, Nigeria only performed better than nine other countries out of the 107 nations whose data were calculated for the 2020 GHI scores.
The nine countries which recorded worse hunger levels than Nigeria are Afghanistan with a score of 30.3 in 99th position, Lesotho, 30.7, 100 position, Sierra Leone, 30.9, 101st position, Liberia, 31.4, 102nd position, Mozambique, 33.1, 103rd position, Haiti, 33.5, 104th position, Madagascar, 36.0, 105 position, Timor-Leste, 37.6, 106th position, and Chad, which fared worst in the ranking by taking the 107th position with a hunger score of 44.7.
The GHI classifies hunger scores from 35.0 to 49.9 as ‘alarming’, while scores ranging from 20.0 to 34.9 are classified as ‘serious’, the category which Nigeria fell under.
Hunger scores in the range of 10.0 and 19.9 are classified as ‘moderate’, while 9.9 is categorised as ‘low’.
African countries, among those whose data were calculated for the 2020 GHI scores, which performed better than Nigeria, include Tunisia – the best-ranked country in the continent at 23rd position with a score of 5.7, Egypt, 54th position, 11.9, South Africa, 60th position, 13.5, Ghana, 63rd position,15.2, Senegal, 65th position, 17.1, Gambia, 67th position, 17.8, Gabon, 68th position, 18.2, Cameroon and Namibia at 70th position with the same score, 19.1, Benin, 79th position, 22.4, Botswana and Malawi, both 80th position, 22.6; Mali, 82nd position, 22.9, Kenya, 84th position, 23.7, Mauritania, 85th position, 24.0, Togo, 86th position, 24.1; Cote d’Ivoire, 87th position, 24.5; Tanzania, 89th position, 25.0; Burkina Faso, 90th position, 25.8, Congo, 91st position, 26.0, Ethiopia, 92nd position, 26.2, Angola, 93rd position, 26.8, Sudan, 94th position, 27.2, and Rwanda, 97th position, 28.3. Beginning from 2006, in October every year, the Global Hunger Index is jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, with the objective of comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.
Its scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources, and for each country, values are determined for four indicators namely undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.
Undernourishment deals with the proportion of the population that is undernourished (whose caloric intake is insufficient), child wasting looks at the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition).
In the same vein, child stunting is the indicator that looks at the proportion of children under the age of five who are stunted (who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) while child mortality deals with the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
The 2020 Global Hunger Index, which is the 15th edition of the annual survey, noted that, in Nigeria, disparities were observed in some aspects of the indicators, with some states and regions having greater challenges than others. “Parts of the 2020 GHI report, with specific reference to Nigeria, read, “At the state level, the highest stunting rate is in Kebbi State, at 66 per cent, while the lowest stunting rate is in Anambra State, at 14 per cent.
“Wasting is highest in Sokoto State, at 18 per cent, compared with a rate of just 1 per cent in Bayelsa State. Twenty-five per cent of children in Kebbi State do not live to their fifth birthday, while the under-five mortality rates in Lagos State and Bayelsa State are remarkably lower, at 3.1 and 3.0 percent, respectively.”
It added that “the states with the greatest challenges are consistently in the north of the country (Nigeria), which has been plagued by violence in recent years”.
According to the GHI, an analysis of the effects of conflict on child wasting has confirmed that children exposed to conflict in Nigeria are much more likely to suffer from acute malnutrition.
The report added, “The disparities between the best and worst performers for each indicator are striking, and while there is some overlap in terms of which states face the greatest struggles according to different indicators, it is also clear that the nature of the problem varies from state to state.”
Overall, the 2020 GHI reported that hunger was highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, whose 2020 GHI scores are 27.8 and 26.0, respectively. “According to the GHI Severity Scale, these scores indicate serious levels of hunger. In contrast, the 2020 GHI scores of Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia, and West Asia and North Africa range from 5.8 to 12.0, indicating low or moderate hunger levels,” the report observed.
The high GHI score in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, was attributed largely to the huge number of undernourished people in the region.
According to the report, between 2017 and 2019, more than one in five people – 21.2 percent – in Sub-Saharan Africa did not get enough calories. The rate, which has been rising gradually since 2014, is the highest of any region in the world and represents 230 million people who are undernourished in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries.
However, on a global level, although the 2020 GHI reported that worldwide hunger was at a ‘moderate level’, it also noted that too many individuals are suffering from hunger and undernutrition.
“Nearly 690 million people are undernourished; 144 million children suffer from stunting, a sign of chronic undernutrition; 47 million children suffer from wasting, a sign of acute undernutrition; and in 2018, 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthdays, in many cases as a result of undernutrition,” the report said.
It added that the world was not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal – Zero Hunger by 2030.
According to the report, at the current pace, approximately 37 countries will fail even to reach low hunger, as defined by the GHI Severity Scale, by 2030.