Workplace Adaptability

Pivot Like a Pro: How High is Your Business's AQ?

Forbes highlights that companies with high AQ are more likely to thrive in today’s volatile market. They’re the ones who see change not as a hurdle, but as an opportunity.

January 5, 2024
Mohit Sahni
Pivot Like a Pro: How High is Your Business's AQ?

In today’s fast-paced world, adaptability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a survival trait. The concept of an "Adaptability Quotient" (AQ) has gained traction, representing an organization's ability to adjust to changing environments. Unlike the fixed metrics of IQ or EQ, AQ is fluid, evolving with your business. It's about how quickly and effectively your company can pivot in response to new challenges, technologies, and market dynamics.

Forbes highlights that companies with high AQ are more likely to thrive in today’s volatile market. They’re the ones who see change not as a hurdle, but as an opportunity.

Assessing Your Company's AQ

So, how do you measure something as dynamic as adaptability? It starts with a self-assessment. Evaluate how your organization has handled past changes. Were transitions smooth, or did they meet resistance? Did your team demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity?

A Harvard Business Review study suggests considering factors like decision-making speed, innovation frequency, and the ability to abandon old norms. These are the hallmarks of an adaptable enterprise.

Cultivating a Culture of Adaptability

Adaptability starts with culture. It’s about fostering a mindset where change is expected and embraced. This requires leadership to lead by example, encouraging experimentation and learning from failures.

Google’s Project Aristotle revealed that psychological safety plays a critical role in team effectiveness. In an adaptable organization, employees feel safe to voice their opinions, take calculated risks, and contribute new ideas without fear of failure or ridicule.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Adaptability

In the realm of adaptability, technology is your ally. The right tech stack can streamline processes, provide valuable data insights, and enable swift responses to market changes. A report by Deloitte emphasizes the importance of digital transformation in increasing AQ.

However, it's not just about having technology; it's about how it's used. Training and upskilling employees to leverage these tools effectively is crucial.

The Engine of Adaptability

Finally, adaptability is fueled by continuous learning. An organization with a high AQ is always learning - from market trends, from competitors, from its own successes and failures.

Investing in employee education and staying abreast of industry developments are key. As per a LinkedIn Learning report, companies that champion learning are more agile and better equipped to adapt to unforeseen challenges.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion for Greater Adaptability

A diverse and inclusive workforce is a cornerstone of adaptability. Diversity brings a plethora of perspectives, ideas, and problem-solving approaches. An inclusive environment ensures that these diverse voices are heard and valued.

Research by Boston Consulting Group found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation. This indicates that diversity is not just good for company culture, but it's also beneficial for business.

Encouraging diversity in your workforce means more than just hiring practices. It's about creating an environment where all employees feel they can contribute their best work. This involves regular training, open communication channels, and policies that support diversity at all levels.

Building an Agile Infrastructure

An organization's infrastructure can significantly impact its adaptability. This includes not just physical infrastructure but also organizational structures and processes. An agile infrastructure is designed to support quick shifts and rapid decision-making.

This might mean adopting flatter organizational structures that facilitate faster communication and decision-making. It could also involve investing in cloud-based systems and tools that allow employees to work flexibly and collaboratively from anywhere.

Moreover, agile infrastructure is about having the ability to scale up or down quickly in response to market demands. This flexibility ensures that your organization can adapt to various scenarios, whether it's a sudden increase in demand or a need to cut costs during slower periods.

Incorporating these additional sections into your article will provide a more comprehensive view of the different facets that contribute to an enterprise's Adaptability Quotient.

The adaptability of your organization is an important indicator of its future success. By assessing your current adaptability, nurturing a culture of openness to change, utilizing technology wisely, and committing to continuous learning, you can enhance your organization's adaptability. In doing so, you position your enterprise not just to survive but to thrive in the ever-changing business landscape.


How to Battle Gaslighting and Toxic Workplaces

March 5, 2024
Mohit Sahni
How to Battle Gaslighting and Toxic Workplaces

Work should be a place where you feel motivated, valued, and have opportunities for growth. Unfortunately, toxic work environments and insidious tactics like gaslighting can make your professional life a nightmare.  Gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation, involves making someone doubt their own perceptions, memories, and even their sanity. It often manifests in power imbalances and can erode your confidence and well-being.

Understanding these destructive dynamics is the first step towards protecting yourself and creating change.

Identifying Gaslighting: Red Flags to Watch Out For

Gaslighting: Learn the Warning Signs
Denial and Contradiction

Gaslighting can be deceptively subtle, making it difficult to recognize immediately. However, gaslighters often rely on certain patterns of speech and behavior designed to confuse and undermine you.  Let's look at some of the key tactics they use:

Denial and Contradiction

Gaslighters might flatly refuse to acknowledge something they said or did, even when you have proof.  This direct contradiction of your memory can leave you feeling disoriented and questioning your own experiences. For example, you might confront a colleague about their disparaging comments during a meeting, only to be met with the response, "That never happened. You must have misheard."

Trivialization and Minimization

When you express frustration or hurt, a gaslighter might downplay your emotions, making you feel like you're overreacting or being too sensitive. This is a way to invalidate your experiences and make you doubt your own feelings. For instance, you might express exasperation over being consistently overloaded with work, and they respond with, "Stop being so dramatic.  Everyone has a heavy workload sometimes".

Shifting Blame and Guilt-Tripping

Gaslighters are masters of redirecting blame.  Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they twist situations to make it seem like everything is your fault. This manipulation can leave you feeling guilty and ashamed, preventing you from advocating for yourself. For example, when a project goes wrong, the gaslighter might say, "This entire disaster is your fault. If you hadn't been late with that report, none of this would've happened."

Gaslighting by Proxy

Sometimes, a gaslighter enlists others to participate in their manipulation. They might spread false rumors about you to colleagues or paint a misleading picture of your behavior, further eroding your confidence and isolating you within a team. For instance, a gaslighting boss could speak poorly of your work ethic to other managers, leading to a widespread perception of you as an unreliable employee.

Emotional Withholding and Silent Treatment

Emotional manipulation is a powerful tool for a gaslighter.  They might suddenly become cold and distant, refusing to talk or withdrawing affection as a form of punishment or to instill a sense of insecurity in you.  An example of this would be a gaslighting romantic partner who, following a minor disagreement, refuses to speak to you for days, leaving you feeling bewildered and questioning your actions.

Discrediting Your Perceptions and Reality

The ultimate goal of gaslighting is to make you doubt your sanity – your memory, your judgment, and your very perception of reality. Phrases like "you're crazy," "that's just your paranoia," or "you're too sensitive" are common ways to chip away at your confidence in your own experiences. Imagine you bring up a clear inconsistency in a story the gaslighter has told, and they respond with, "You're clearly imagining things. Honestly, you might want to see a therapist."

Remember, gaslighting doesn't always manifest in blatant outbursts. Sometimes, it can be hidden within seemingly harmless jokes laced with criticism or backhanded compliments designed to sting. Pay attention to how your interactions make you feel.  And most importantly, trust your gut – if something consistently feels off, it likely is.

The Toll of a Toxic Workplace

Toxic workplaces aren't just about one bad apple. They are characterized by patterns of dysfunctional behavior that  impact everyone:

  • Lack of Communication: Healthy workplaces have transparency and open feedback. Toxic ones thrive on gossip, secrecy, and leaving employees in the dark.
  • Unrealistic Expectations and Pressure: Constant unreasonable demands and an atmosphere of fear and negativity lead to burnout.
  • Bullying and Harassment: This can be overt or subtle – insults, put-downs, exclusion from important meetings, or being micromanaged.
  • Favoritism and Lack of Recognition: Hard work goes unrewarded, while certain individuals receive preferential treatment, creating resentment and distrust.

Strategies to Combat Gaslighting and Toxicity

Surviving (and thriving) in these environments takes a combination of self-preservation, gathering support, and proactive steps to create change.

1. Trust Your Gut and Validate Yourself

Your instincts are powerful.  If something consistently feels off, honor that feeling.  Don't let anyone undermine your perception of reality. Practice self-affirmations and remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities.

2. Document Everything

Maintain a thorough record of incidents. Include dates, times, specific details of conversations, and the names of any witnesses. Save emails, project notes, and anything that provides a concrete record, both for validating your experiences and potential escalation.

3. Build a Support Network

Don't fight this battle alone.

  • Trusted Colleagues: See if others share your concerns and experiences. They can offer both emotional support and practical advice.
  • Friends, Family, Therapist: A safe space to vent, process your feelings, and gain outside perspective is invaluable in combating gaslighting.
  • HR and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): If available, utilize these resources for guidance navigating your company's policies and procedures.

4. Set Boundaries

This is essential for regaining a sense of control:

  • Limit Contact: Minimize interactions with the gaslighter when possible. Choose email over in-person conversations for clear documentation.
  • Learn to Say "No": Respectfully decline requests outside your job responsibilities or that negatively impact your workload and well-being.
  • Assertive Communication: Practice clear, unemotional communication without aggression. State facts, avoid accusations, and focus on solutions.

5. Protect Your Mental Health

Toxic workplaces and gaslighting take a toll. Prioritize self-care habits:

  • Stress-Reduction Techniques: Deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, and meditation can calm your nervous system in the moment.
  • Physical Well-being: Focus on sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise to manage stress and boost resilience.
  • Therapy: Professional therapy offers tools to unpack the gaslighting, process its impact, and build long-term coping mechanisms.

6. Focus on What You Can Control

  • Your Reactions: While you can't control the gaslighter, you can choose how you respond. Limit emotional outbursts and strive for neutral responses.
  • Your Perspective: Reframe their manipulative behavior as a reflection of their own insecurities, not a deficit in you.
  • Your Goals: Stay focused on what you want to achieve professionally and don't let negativity derail your progress.

When Do You Stay or Walk Away?

Sadly, sometimes the best option is leaving a toxic workplace.   Consider these factors:

  • Severity and Impact: Is this a personality conflict with one individual or pervasive dysfunction in the company culture? Is the damage to your well-being too severe to stay?
  • Potential for Change: Does HR take these issues seriously? Have you tried addressing concerns with leadership, and is there any openness to improvement?
  • Alternative Options: Do you have another job lined up or the financial means to quit before securing one? Having a plan eases the transition.

If You Choose to Stay: Additional Strategies

If leaving isn't immediately possible, focus on harm mitigation:

  • Limit Interactions: Minimize contact with the gaslighter when possible. Communicate via email for documentation.
  • Grey Rock Technique: Become emotionally unresponsive, uninteresting to the gaslighter, and therefore a less appealing target.
  • Focus on Your Goals: What do you want to achieve in this role? Prioritize deliverables and minimize getting sidetracked by the negativity.
  • Build Your Exit Strategy: Start networking, update your resume, and actively look for opportunities that align with a healthier work environment.

Remember: You Are Not Alone

Gaslighting and toxic workplaces are, unfortunately, far too common.  By building awareness, setting boundaries, and seeking support, you can protect your well-being.  If possible  be part of the change by advocating for a healthier work culture. You deserve a workplace where you feel safe, respected,  and empowered to do your best.

Personal Wellbeing

The best foods for your heart — Tips from a cardiologist.

November 25, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team
The best foods for your heart — Tips from a cardiologist.

The holidays are just around the corner, and it can be challenging to survive this hectic season; this becomes even more challenging if you are a person with diabetes. During this time of year, food and alcohol are abundant, and temptations are no doubt great, but maintaining good lifestyle habits requires daily mindfulness and preparation. 

To help you have a great party season without having to worry about heart disease, we asked a cardiologist expert to share some heart healthy food tips. 

Go Green With Your Diet

Food for your heart — Tips from a cardiologist.
Photo by Vitalii Pavlyshynets on Unsplash

The first step you can take is to increase your dietary fibre intake. Eat foods such as carrots, broccoli, whole grain cereals and grains, peas, lentils, melons, oranges, and pears. An individual fruit contains more fibre than three to four whole fruits used for making fruit juice.

Those with diabetes should avoid eating too many fruits. Choosing whole fruit and vegetables will increase your fibre intake and other nutrients. Instead, choose fruits that are low in sugar and rich in fibre, such as strawberries, oranges, sweet limes, apples, and pears.

Every meal should include a salad. You can get more nutrition by adding raw vegetables to a salad. Vegetables are a fantastic source of nutrients. In order to complete a full supper, you need a substantial amount of sprout-filled salad and vegetables. As sprouts are high in proteins and fibre, you should eat two daily servings.

Methi (fenugreek) seeds can be added to your meals. Its ingredients reduce cholesterol and are heart-healthy, making it an excellent source of soluble fibre.

In addition, people with diabetes and cardiac issues may benefit from adding raw methi seeds to curries, dals, or curd.

Let's say goodbye to salt and oil.

Let's say goodbye to salt and oil. Food for your heart — Tips from a cardiologist.
Photo by Matthijs Smit on Unsplash

We are not asking you to stop consuming oil and salt entirely but rather to limit their consumption. A daily salt intake of 5-6 grams is recommended for healthy people. However, if you have been treated for heart disease or had heart surgery, the daily salt consumption should be at most 2 grams or roughly half a teaspoon.

"The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison." - Ann Wigmore 

The commercial marketplace also offers a wide variety of heart-healthy oils, including rice bran oil, mustard oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and groundnut oil. Using more than one cooking oil per month can provide additional benefits.

Be mindful of both quality and quantity.

Keep an eye on the amount of frying oil. It's essential to monitor the quantity of cooking oil you use, no matter what kind you use. The amount should be at most 15 ml (or three teaspoons) per day. 

You can use ghee in addition to cooking oils; however, you should not consume more than 15 ml per day. Consider taking one teaspoon of ghee and two teaspoons of oil instead of three teaspoons of oil a day.

In case you are uncertain about portions and types and want expert advice, you can approach HR at work about a corporate wellness program where an expert nutritionist will guide you through healthy heart dos and dont's.

Maintain a portion control policy. Spread your meals out over the day and consume small portions. A person who eats three full courses in one sitting may strain their heart, other organs, and stomach. 

It is best to eat six small meals throughout the day or two meals followed by pauses for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks mid-afternoon snacks. In addition, simple, light foods should be served at supper. Avoid fatty and gas-producing meals at dinner, such as beans and cauliflower.

The nuttier, the better

There is no doubt that nuts are heart-healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining the health of your heart, and they supply the highest amount. The benefits of this include maintaining blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation, and preventing heart disease. In addition, there is a lot of PUFA in almonds and walnuts, which makes them excellent for the heart.

Consider your snack choices carefully. Incorporate light snacks such as sprouts chaat, vegetable chaat, boiling corn chaat, puffed rice (kurmura), or bhel into your menu. 

When it comes down to it, it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on your consumption and speak with a nutritionist if you are particularly mindful.

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