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Starry, Scary Night

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Empowerment
Starry, Scary Night

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“Starry, starry night

Flaming flowers that brightly blaze

Swirling clouds in violet haze.” Don McLean

In 1889, post-impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh, painted one of his most memorable paintings, The Starry Night, as he looked out of his asylum east window. On October 10, 2019, when I looked out our east window, the starry night was aglow with flames and they were not the brightly blaze of flaming flowers. Normally, I look forward to the month October because of the frivolity of Halloween. Costumes, candy, scarecrows, black cats, ghosts, ghouls, jack o ’lanterns, and trick or treating offer children a scary evening of amusement. It was a scary, scary night, but it was not Halloween.

The power was off and a fire erupted racing down the hill to a neighborhood fast asleep. Firefighters were swift and efficient evacuating the community and containing the inferno. Police officers assisted in maintaining peace and safety. Fortunately, all structures were saved and no injuries were incurred, thanks to the professional first responders. Gardens and landscapes survived the blaze with only a few fences being torched. 

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What homeowners need to know to be more fire-safe:

The area where I live in Northern California is rural, wooded, with minimal escape routes. Many of the plants and trees growing throughout our area are highly flammable including pines, cypress, cedar, fir, bamboo, acacia, juniper, Pampas grass, rosemary, ivy, arborvitae, miscanthus, and eucalyptus. Coyote brush, although moderately fire-resistant when it is young and green, is highly combustible as it grows. It depends on fires to regenerate and grows everywhere in our hills.  All of these plants need to be removed or carefully supervised. Since heat moves up, fire speed and severity is stronger on slopes where vegetation management is crucial.

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Autumn is a prime time to prepare your landscaping for the next season and create a defensible space around your property. A defensible space is an area around a structure that has been cleared of ignitable debris and botanicals that may cause a public safety hazard. No plant is fireproof. Under the right conditions, every plant will burn, especially those that are drought-stressed or not maintained.  A “fire-safe” plant means that it tends not to be a significant fuel source in itself with a chemical composition that resists heat and combustion. It is critical to keep plants around our homes well tended and pruned as a fire protection tool. The closer plants are to the house, the more care is needed. Every homeowner is responsible for managing their vegetation to meet Fire District requirements. 

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Neighborhoods are encouraged to form a committee to receive advice from local fire professionals on how to be Fire Wise. Being Fire Wise is dependent on the diligence of everyone in a neighborhood to keep property fire safe. Fires do not honor property lines. All properties become indefensible when one neighbor has overgrown bushes, brush, or low hanging trees.

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What makes flora highly flammable?

  • ϖ Dry and dead leaves, twigs, branches
  • ϖ Abundant, dense foliage
  • ϖ Needles
  • ϖ Low moisture foliage
  • ϖ Peeling, loose bark
  • ϖ Gummy sap
  • ϖ Leathery or aromatic leaves
  • ϖ Content of terpene, oils, or resin
  • ϖ Dry uncut grasses

What makes flora reasonably fire-resistant?

  • ϖ Hardy, slow-growing plants that don’t produce litter or thatch.
  • ϖ Drought tolerant natives with internal high water content. Generally, but not always, California natives are more tolerant of fire and deer.
  • ϖ Trees with thick bark that restrict the growth of invasive shrub species and hardwood trees such as walnut, cherry, maple, and poplar are less flammable. Deciduous trees and shrubs are more fire resistant because they have higher moisture content when in leaf, lower fuel volume when dormant, and usually do not contain flammable oils.
  • ϖ Supple, moist leaves with little to no sap or resin residue.
  • ϖ Low growing ground covers.
  • ϖ Bulbs with dried leaves cut to the ground.

What can you do now to create a more fire-resistant landscape?

  • ϖ Include pavers, bricks, pavement, gravel, rocks, dry creek beds, fountains, ponds, pools, and lawns. 
  • ϖ Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground with a low sap and resin content
  • ϖ Plant the right plant in the correct location. Leave space between plants.
  • ϖ Minimize the inclusion of evergreen trees within thirty feet of structures. Clear the understory. Keep trees twenty feet away from chimneys. 
  • ϖ Remove invasive species or swaths of flammable plants including ivy, rosemary, broom, coyote brush, chamise, and juniper.
  • ϖ Keep mulch moist. Create zones of rock, brick, or gravel. Bark and leaves are not mulches recommended near structures.
  • ϖ Prune trees 6-10 feet above the ground to hinder fire laddering.
  • ϖ Keep appropriate clearance to reduce the threat of burning embers from decorative features such as gazebos, fences, sheds, porches, and junk areas.  
  • ϖ Irrigate and maintain all flora, lawns, and hillsides. Clover, groundcovers, and grasses that are kept low and green are excellent alternatives. 
  • ϖ Due to soil erosion, bare ground is not recommended.
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Having had warning of the looming PGE blackout, I had deeply irrigated my entire garden and hillside. An alert from EBMUD instructed that in a power outage, water must be used judiciously, so as a pre-emptive measure, I watered my landscape thoroughly, soaking the grass, shrubs, mulch, trees, and fences. Throughout the summer, thrice, I had weed-whacked the tall grass surrounding my property and that of neighbors, pruned low hanging tree branches, and a week before the fire I had, thankfully, cut the dry perennials to the ground. These are steps I encourage all homeowners to undertake. Maintaining our landscaping is a never-ending task mandatory for both our pleasure and protection. 

Let’s participate in keeping the fire-breathing dragon away! Enjoy a safe and scary evening of Trick or Treating under the starry skies!

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Halloween!

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. 

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Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

 

cyntha brian with books.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

A Time and a Season

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Empowerment
A Time and a Season

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 “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

With the power disruptions and fire fears of October in our rearview mirrors, we welcome November with open arms and grateful hearts. It won’t be long before the rains arrive. Driving or walking throughout the region, we witness a marvelous display of fall foliage as leaves on many deciduous trees turn from green to saffron to tangerine to crimson before dropping to the ground. 

Time to fertilize heavily. In autumn, plants quit sending minerals and water to leaves and blooms. The nutrients are instead directed to increase the roots while storing food for the winter months.  We witness the foliage color change to our great delight .

When you fertilize at this time of year, you’ll be feeding your trees, shrubs, plants, and lawns. This dormant feeding is crucial for the success of your garden for the following seasons.  The roots are busy storing nourishment even though the above-ground growth has halted. It’s best to do this heavy feeding after the first rain to assist the fertilizer to go deeper into the ground. The soil is still warm and will soak up the fertilizer. 

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Time to feed lawns. Lawns especially need fertilizing now. The blade growth has slowed, a signal that roots are digging deeper. Gradually start mowing your lawn shorter and fertilize heavily to prepare the grass for the long cold months ahead. There is still time to aerate if your clay soil is compacted. After the first rain is a good time to re-seed grass or install new sod. Make a personal batch of grass patch by mixing a bag of potting soil in a wheelbarrow with enough lawn seed until you see 20 or more seeds per handful. Scratch or till any bare patches, scatter the seed over the fresh soil, rake lightly, water, and wait for the seedlings to sprout. Keep the area damp until grass is established. Do not let it dry out.

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Time to prune dead branches and rake leaves. No plant or tree is fireproof. 

Dead branches, dry leaves, and grasses are highly flammable. Reduce fuel laddering by pruning trees 6-10 feet from the ground and several feet from roofs. A person should be able to walk under a tree without being hit by a branch. Clean out your gutters, eaves, porches, and decks. 

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Time to watch for rodents and skunks. It’s mating season for rodents and skunks. The recent fires have impacted wildlife movement allowing animals to migrate closer to residential development, including a plethora of rats. Vector Control Inspector, Joe Cleope, alerted me about the new procedures and protocols instigated in the district. Many people don’t know that Vector Control is a free service. If you have a question or concern, please visit the website for assistance. https://www.contracostamosquito.com.

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Time to plant garlic. Vampires may not like garlic, but foodies do! Planting just a dozen cloves will yield you a harvest of more than 120 cloves. A bulb has several cloves to break apart before planting in a sunny location in rich, well-drained soil. Put the pointy side up and the flat side down, cover the cloves with a layer of mulch, and they will multiply forming a new bulb. Harvesting will be late summer when the tops have yellowed. You can then tie or braid the stalks or cut the leaves above the bulb. Always save a large bulb for the next year of planting.

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Time to harvest and eat pineapple guavas. Called feijoa, the fruit is self-harvesting. It falls from the tree when ripe, however, you can also pick the fruit. When cut, a fully ripened feijoa will have clear-colored jellied sections. If not ripe, put in a brown paper bag for a few days with an apple. Scoop out the sweet/tart jelly and eat raw or make jams, sauces, glazes, or add to salads. The perfume from the fruit is as delicious as the fruit!

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Time to cut hydrangea blossoms. If you enjoy drying the flowers of hydrangeas, November is a perfect month to do so. If not, once the flowers fade, cut back the stems to encourage new growth.

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Time to plant succulents. Succulents are drought and fire-resistant. Many boast beautiful flowers, unique shapes, and striped striations. Planting a selection in one designated area presents a bigger impact of form, texture, and color.

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Time for final grape harvesting. The crops of grapes have come to season’s end.  If you still have bunches hanging on the vine, take the opportunity to cut them to refrigerate or dehydrate. Use the red-hued leaves in your autumn decorations and place settings.

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Time to give thanks. We all have so much for which to be grateful. As Thanksgiving nears, take time to express your appreciation for the blessings and gifts you have received. Remember the people in your life that have been there for you on all occasions…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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To everything there is a season and now is the time to turn, turn, turn. 

Happy gardening. Happy growing. 

Photos and More: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1319/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-November-A-time-to-plant-a-time-to-reap.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.StarStyleStore.net

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

leaves in pansies.jpg

 

 

People, People Everywhere And Not A Person To Hire… Part 2

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Business
People, People Everywhere And Not A Person To Hire… Part 2

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This is the second of a two-part blog is provided by Dave DuBose and Will O’Brien from True North Growth Partners, as a companion to their interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview Lasting Solutions for Distribution Center Labor Shortages aired on 9/10/19.

For manufacturing and warehouse operators the shortage of workers, particularly during peak periods, is a major struggle. In the first blog of this two-part series we discussed the historically low unemployment and the pressure this creates as the demand for DC labor continues to escalate. Ecommerce further amplifies this dynamic as this channel requires 4X the labor compared to retail and wholesale fulfillment.

Three strategies underpin a winning playbook to deal with labor shortages:

  1. Reduce the Work Content
  2. Be a “Sticky Employer” – Barriers to Employee Turnover
  3. Get the Most Out of Your Workforce

Previously we addressed how to reduce the work content of a facility. In this blog we reveal what it means to be a “sticky employer” and how to get the most out of your workforce.

STRATEGY 2: BE A “STICKY EMPLOYER” – BARRIERS TO EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

How would you design an experience for your workforce that would make it insane for them to leave you? Offer retention bonuses? These have their place but are easily overcome by a healthy sign-on bonus. Offer benefits like healthcare, 401K, training and tuition reimbursement? A menu of these types of benefits can address some of the things that are important to your workforce. They are necessary but not sufficient in this battle for labor.

A more compelling way to be a Sticky Employer is to provide amenities that are highly valued AND not easily replicated. Under Armour, consistent with its brand and mission, provides state-of-the-art gyms in its facilities, including aerobic equipment, weight rooms and basketball courts. Other retailers, like Ascena Retail Group, whose brands include Justice, Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, provides a very high-quality foodservice program. Patagonia makes childcare available to its workers. Those who use the childcare have a 25% lower turnover rate than workers who do not. Employers that offer a safe and convenient place to care for your children and some of the best meals (which may be subsidized) that you eat each week make it a difficult choice to leave for an additional 25 cents/hour. These are expensive benefits; they require commitment and physical space, but that is why they are difficult to overcome.

STRATEGY 3: GET THE MOST OUT OF THE WORKFORCE

Flexible Workforce: Innovative partners like Upshift enable operators to access a high-quality, flexible labor pool. This allows employers to meet flex labor needs without resorting to temp agencies or Craigslist postings which tend to yield inconsistent labor quality. Upshift connects workers and employers through a simple app. The commitment can be as short as just one shift or much longer. Like Uber, Upshift taps into a new labor pool which includes small business owners, students, homemakers and fully employed workers who simply want to earn extra money during their available time. The schedules of this cohort make it challenging to maintain a conventional part-time job, so working one shift at a time is good for them.

High-performance standards and prescreening ensure high-quality workers. The employer establishes a pay rate that attracts “Upshifters” and it can vary the pay rate at any time. The balancing of supply and demand is fully at play for both parties on this platform. When a worker does not fit the employer’s performance expectations, he or she can be screened out of future work opportunities.

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Labor Standards: Labor Management Systems (LMS) and engineered labor standards have proven to be very effective – potentially reducing labor by roughly 10%. With an LMS, the specific drive distances and equipment that is used can be factored into the standard and the worker’s performance. Setting labor standards and implementing LMS systems can be costly and take several weeks. Pay-for-Performance involves providing workers with incentives for greater productivity. The benefits are shared between the employer and the worker, creating a win-win situation.

Cloud technology and innovation in labor analytics have driven advancements in this field. EasyMetrics’ labor analytics solution drives benefits in a fraction of the time that it takes to create a full set of labor standards. It uses big data technology to analyze information from several systems (WMS, time clocks, RF scanners, etc.) to provide insights on the performance of people, processes, equipment, etc., identifying the best opportunities to leverage with the workforce. Its use of a cloud platform eliminates the installation and support of yet another application. Benefits are captured within 2 weeks, providing a very fast ROI. Labor management systems, in general, provide one of the highest investment returns of any warehouse software.

Be a great place to work: Providing strong leadership and maintaining high expectations will always make the difference between great organizations and all the rest. It is important to show your workers that you value them and offer them opportunities for growth. In doing so, it is important to understand that the general manager of the facility is not the most important leader- far from it. The most important leader in this organization is the front-line supervisor who spends every day with his/her people. The care that these critical leaders demonstrate to each worker and their families is very powerful. The front-line leader is far better able to deliver key messages and consequences and is the most effective in driving daily performance and creating high levels of employee engagement. Engagement is driven by how each employee views his/her direct supervisor, his/her fellow workers and the actual work that he/she does. Great places to work bake these things into their culture, actions and decisions. High employee engagement delivers high productivity, improved customer service, low employee turnover and increased profitability.

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Conclusion: We will always have labor availability challenges. Operators have options in these labor strategies and the best operators will consider each one carefully and execute intentionally and appropriately. For some, capital will limit their use of automation and robotics. For others, culture will dictate the viability of options. The key is to work from a portfolio of options that will create long-term stability and success.

If available labor is a challenge in your facility and you are tired of just throwing money at the problem, then we are glad to offer you a free consultation. The first step is to contact Will O’Brien or Dave DuBose. We can be reached at www.truenorthgrowthpartners.com.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Authors

Dave DuBose is a senior supply chain professional with strong cross-industry experience including retail, consumer products, resources and high-tech in the North American and global theaters. Dave has held executive positions in logistics and supply chain in industry as well as consulting and has more than 30 years of professional experience. DuBose delivers innovative results and can translate business strategy into operating strategy and tactics. He has deep expertise in end-to-end business operations and in deploying business solutions from strategy through implementation. Dave is currently serving as the Columbus Roundtable board president the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He is active in speaking and writing about contemporary supply chain issues.

Will O’Brien is a partner at True North Growth Partners where he works with organizations on the supply chain and operations sides of their business. He helps his clients overcome the things that hold back their growth and profitability. He has over 30 years of experience in supply chain and operations. He has held executive positions in both industry and consulting. As an executive at Lowe’s Home Improvement he helped to lead the development of the supply chain for that big box retailer during a period of rapid growth, from $35 billion to $50 billion in revenue. He also helped pioneer Lowe’s omni-channel fulfillment when its online sales were growing significantly. He successfully grew a mid-sized family owned supply chain consulting firm by over 50%, expanded its markets, improved its pricing, reengineered its sales and business development organization and created career paths and professional growth for its associates.

Photo by ELEVATE.

Kristen Harper will be giving a speech at Arizona State University on November 26, 2019 from 7:00pm-8:30pm

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Health & Wellness
Kristen Harper will be giving a speech at Arizona State University on November 26, 2019 from 7:00pm-8:30pm

Kristen Harper, a Health and Wellness Speaker, as well as radio show host on VoiceAmerica.com will be giving a speech at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona for students on November 26, 2019 from 7:00pm-8:30pm.  This event will be hosted by the A S U ‘ s P H I H Q C L U B.  Kristen will be speaking on nutrition, which she will emphasize the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet.  Kristen Harper’s radio show is “Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy, and Motivated.”

Kristen Harper’s radio show page: https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2687/tips-to-keep-you-healthy-happy-and-motivated

Kristen’s compnay website: https://perfecthealthconsultingservices.com/

Kristen’s speaking website: https://kristenharperspeaks.com/

Kristen Harper will be interviewed on the Beautiful You and New Mind Creator Podcasts November 2nd and 8th

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Health & Wellness
Kristen Harper will be interviewed on the Beautiful You and New Mind Creator Podcasts November 2nd and 8th
Kristen Harper, radio show host on VoiceAmerica.com and Health and Wellness Speaker will be involved with interviews, as well as giving a speech for the month of November 2019.  Kristen’s radio show is “Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy, and Motivated.  
 
1) She will be interviewed on the Beautiful You Podcast November 2nd at 5pm Pacific Time by Miriam Stout who is located in Australia about my health and wellness background, as well as the challenges I have been through.
 
2) Kristen will also be interviewed on the New Mind Creator Podcast on November 8th at 2pm EST about the unconscious mind, which is her favorite topic.
 
3) Finally, Kristen Harper will be giving a speech to Arizona State University students on November 26th from 7:00-8:30pm on nutrition, emphasizing the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Kristen’s speaking website: https://kristenharperspeaks.com/
Kristen’s company website:  https://perfecthealthconsultingservices.com/tips to keep you healthy happy and motivated.pngtips to keep you healthy happy and motivated.png

How to Evaluate and Overcome Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace

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Business
How to Evaluate and Overcome Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is provided by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, an author of several well-known books, including Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters, as a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview How Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disaster aired on 11/5/19. Photo by succo.

  • What percentage of projects in your workplace miss the deadline or go over budget?
  • How often do you see hiring decisions and employee assessments influenced by factors not relevant to job competency?
  • How frequently are your team’s members overconfident about their decisions?

If you didn’t answer “rare to none” for any of these, you got a problem. In fact, these questions get at only 3 out of over a 100 dangerous judgment errors that scholars in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience call cognitive biases.

Do you regularly – over 10% of the time – see projects in your workplace go past deadline or over budget? It’s a sign that the cognitive bias known as the planning fallacy is undercutting performance. The planning fallacy refers to our intuitive belief that everything will go according to plan, resulting in us failing to plan for the many potential problems that cause projects to go over budget or past deadline. Cost overruns and delays result in serious damage to the bottom lines of our businesses.

How about assessments for hiring, performance, and promotion impacted by non-relevant factors? Well, two dangerous judgment errors play a major role in causing such problematic evaluations, the halo effect and the horns effect. The halo effect refers to the fact that if we feel a significant positive emotion toward one characteristic of someone, then we will have an overly positive evaluation of that person as a whole. That’s why taller men get promoted at higher rates into positions of authority, and both men and women perceived as physically attractive are more likely to be hired. The horns effect is the opposite: if we don’t like a characteristic that is significant to us, we will tend to have a worse evaluation of that person as a whole. For instance, overweight people are less likely to be hired.

Finally, excessive confidence in making decisions – and other work areas – is a symptom of the mental blindspot known as the overconfidence effect. Overconfidence has been associated with many problems in the workplace. For example, overconfidence leads people into financial shenanigans, such as overstating earnings. Overconfident leaders tend to resist constructive criticism and dismiss wise advice, letting their intuition drive their decision-making as opposed to making thoughtful plans.

These mental blindspots don’t only cause problems in the workplace; they harm us in other life areas as well. For instance, a survey by Top10 showed that most consumers tend to go with their gut in making shopping decisions. Such gut-based decision making results in many problematic purchases that people later regret.

So now that you know about the dangers of cognitive biases, and specifically the planning fallacy, the halo and horns effects, and the overconfidence effect, you’re safe from at least these 4 cognitive biases, right? Unfortunately, just learning about these mental blindspots will not work to assess where they occur in your workplace or to defeat them, as research shows. In fact, some techniques that would seem intuitively to help address unconscious bias caused by cognitive biases make them worse.

Fortunately, recent research shows how you can use pragmatic strategies to assess and address these dangerous judgment errors to avoid unconscious bias and make the best decisions. The first step to solving cognitive biases does involve learning about them. However, simply having knowledge doesn’t help. For instance, students who learned about mental blindspots showed the same vulnerability to these errors as students who didn’t.

What is much more helpful is making sure that people are strongly emotionally motivated to address cognitive biases. Our emotions determine 80-90 percent of our decisions, thoughts, and behaviors, and tapping our feelings is clearly effective in helping notice and address dangerous judgment errors. On a related note, it really helps for people to feel that the effort to address mental blindspots is important to them, getting them truly involved and bought into the outcome of debiasing cognitive biases.

To do so, you need to evaluate thoroughly the impact of each cognitive bias on your own professional activities, as well as more broadly in your team and organization. Then, you have to make and implement a plan to address the problems caused by such unconscious bias, again, not only for yourself but also for your team and your business.

Fortunately, you don’t have to address all the cognitive biases. Just going through the 30 most dangerous judgment errors in the workplace will get you the large majority of the benefit from such an analysis to help you avoid unconscious bias. All of these mental blindspots, along with clear next steps on what to do after the evaluation, can be found in the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace. It’s available for sale in print or digital form and you can get the digital version for free when you register for the Wise Decision Maker Course.

Assessment on Cognitive Biases in the Workplace to Address Unconscious Bias

The assessment starts with an evaluation of how frequently each of the 30 cognitive biases occurred in your workplace in the last year in the form of percentages. Don’t feel obliged to be absolutely precise, approximate numbers are fine.

If you don’t remember something occurring, give it a low percentage score, including 0 if you think it doesn’t occur. For instance, if all of your projects came under budget and within the deadline, then planning fallacy is not a problem for you.

Each of the 30 questions should take 10-15 seconds. Just put down the first number that seems to make the most sense for you. You can go back later and tweak it if needed. However, for the first run-through, do it fast. Remember, if you tend to be an optimistic person in general, temper your optimism and give a somewhat higher percentage than you intuitively feel is appropriate. Same goes for pessimism: give a lower percentage if you tend to be pessimistic.

Following this evaluation, you will score the assessment to see the current state of dangerous judgment errors in your workplace. Next, you’ll evaluate the impact of these problems on the bottom line of your personal work, your organizational unit, or the company as a whole, to the extent that you can estimate this question. After all, knowing the bottom line impact will enable you to decide how much to invest into addressing the problem. You’ll then evaluate the performance of your workplace on the four broad competencies of addressing cognitive biases: how the people in your organization do on evaluating themselves, evaluating others, strategic evaluations of risks and rewards, and tactical evaluations in project implementation.

Finally, you’ll get to the next steps. There, each dangerous judgment error is explained, focusing on its business impact. You’ll also get to decide which of the mental blindspots you’ll focus on addressing in the short term future.

The assessment will prove invaluable as you take the next steps to solve the problems you identified. You should have yourself and others in your organization do the assessment after you introduce the concept of cognitive biases but before you launch any interventions. Then, you can use your assessment results as a baseline to assess the impact of any interventions.

To develop your interventions, see the book that’s based around this assessment and provides both techniques and business case studies for how to address cognitive biases: Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters. You can also learn and use research-based strategies to make the best decisions and to avoid failure when implementing your decisions, which automatically address the large majority of dangerous judgment errors we tend to make.

While enacting the interventions, have yourself and the others in your workplace take the assessment regularly – once a week if the intervention is intense, once a month if it’s less intense – to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Revise the intervention as needed to account for your results.

After the intervention is complete and you are satisfied, keep taking the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace every quarter. Doing so will help keep up vigilance and ensure that you keep protecting yourself from the disastrous consequences of falling into dangerous judgment errors.

Key Takeaway

To address unconscious bias caused by cognitive biases in your workplace, you need to evaluate their impact on your own professional activities and on your team and organization. Then, make and implement a plan to address these biases.

Questions to Consider

  • Which of the following biases most negatively impacts your workplace: the planning fallacy, the halo and horns effects, or the overconfidence effect? What does that negative impact look like?
  • What would be the benefit to you, your team, and your organization of addressing the 30 most dangerous judgment errors in the workplace?
  • How did you score on dangerous judgment errors in your workplace when you took the assessment? How do you feel about your score?
  • What next steps can you take to bring the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace to your team and organization?

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview to this blog and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the ILI LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky empowers you to avoid business disasters as CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts. He is a best-selling author of several well-known books, including Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters and The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles and 350 interviews in Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Inc. Magazine, and elsewhere. His expertise stems from his background of over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. It also comes from his strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University, with dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters by getting a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace when you register for his Wise Decision Maker Course.

 

Why Mental Health Awareness is Important for Leadership –

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To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is provided by Marie Miguel of BetterHelp.com as a companion to the Jon Wortmann interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview How Does the Brain Impact Leadership Resilience? aired on 9/11/18.  Photo by MasimbaTinasheMadondo

Years ago, when preparing for an education in business leadership it was basically all based around things like hiring, firing, and how to make more money to name a few. Nowadays, any kind of business management education you get it will include some forms of psychology courses. Because when you are a leader, you have to deal with people. Your job is not to run the business, it is to lead the employees and that means taking care of your employees so they can be motivated to be productive and efficient. Therefore, it is important to keep your employees happy and working in a pleasant working environment.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your own emotions and recognize and respond to any kind of emotional distress in others. By understanding your own emotions, you are much more able to deal with other people’s emotional issues and when you are in leadership, you have to be able to deal with your employee’s emotional issues. Some of the best leaders are those who have been trained in several types of psychology courses and know how to recognize subtle changes in their employees that could be very important. Some of the skills you need include:

  • Understanding emotional triggers
  • Only give negative feedback in a positive way
  • Have excellent listening skills
  • Know how to ask questions that will help you recognize others’ strengths
  • Do not make automatic assumptions about employees’ behavior
  • Communicate without judgement
  • Encourage employees by boasting about their skills and achievements
  • Make time to connect with your employees
  • Appreciate your employees and make sure they know you appreciate them

Learning to Recognize Emotional Issues

As a leader you must be prepared to handle conflict and it is best for you to notice the subtle hints that something may be happening under the surface. Your employees are human and they have bad days of course, but if someone is acting different for more than a few days, have been avoiding others, isolating themselves, or just do not seem like themselves, you need to acknowledge that behavior and ask them what is going on and if you can help. A lot of times it can be handled by just communicating with the person. Maybe they have trouble at home, or they are anxious about money troubles or something else like that. Or it could be an issue at work where they are not getting along with someone. Whatever the reason, it is essential that you let them know that you care and that you will help if you can.

Communication is Key

Regardless of what the issue may be, when an employee has a mental or emotional problem, you need to talk to them and see what you can do to help them with whatever it is that is going on. There are programs through many businesses specifically to help your employees with mental health care and if you have one at your company, now is the time to suggest it. If you do not have a program at your work, tell your employee about other psychological services that can help them. For example, with online therapy from betterhelp.com, they can talk to a licensed professional online without needing an appointment. In fact, they do not even have to leave their house. Just make sure your employees know that they can come to you if needed and that it will not affect their job in any way.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

About the Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 * So Many Things To Learn – Walking On Clouds, Staying Balanced, Being Creative…

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The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 * So Many Things To Learn – Walking On Clouds, Staying Balanced, Being Creative…

Enjoy the second volume of the third season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The award-winning television show follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they’re whisked off on amazing voyages of scientific discovery with The Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this volume set, kids will learn about their five senses, what it’s like to walk on clouds, why keeping it simple is sometimes the best solution, how to make things more aerodynamic, and much more! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “There are so many things to learn in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2, like walking on clouds, staying balanced, being creative and more! All of the made-up words are so imaginative, like thingamajiger, jigamawhizzer, pedalmadoodle and dipsey-doodler. Martin Short has the perfect voice to play The Cat. My favorite episode is Enough is Enough because it shows how to be a helpful friend.” Selene W. adds, “I love The Cat in the Hat, because he always makes me laugh with his weird made-up jokes and words.  He also tries to fix things, but always ends up ruining things and creating more problems.” Beatrice N. wraps it up with, “The theme song is fun and catchy and tells about all the adventures they will have! The Cat in The Hat is voiced by the hilarious comedic actor Martin Short. The Cat in the Hat is always up for an adventure and can’t stop himself from making silly jokes.” See their full reviews below.

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The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/UztDdHHi0q4

The Cat in The Hat sure does know a lot about that.  I absolutely love The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2. It has such cute and adorable characters and really vibrant animation.

 

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 is about two best friends named Sally and Nick going on exciting adventures with the Cat in The Hat, Fish and, of course, Thing 1 and Thing 2.  There are 20 episodes covering nearly four hours and include Curious Minds, Bubble Trouble, Batteries Not Included and Cause and Effect.

 

There are so many things to learn in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2, like walking on clouds, staying balanced, being creative and more! All of the made-up words are so imaginative, like thingamajiger, jigamawhizzer, pedalmadoodle and dipsey-doodler. Martin Short has the perfect voice to play The Cat. My favorite episode is Enough is Enough because it shows how to be a helpful friend.

 

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to be curious, the value of friendship, and that learning is fun. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 has no bad language and treats everyone appropriately.

 

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars.  I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. This DVD is currently available so look for it.

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The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3 Volume 2

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

https://youtu.be/ve7hUee8uo0

Let’s go, go, go on an adventure with The Cat in the Hat  and friends!  Season 3, Volume 2 DVD which includes 20 episodes and almost 4 hours of learning and entertainment.  I love The Cat in the Hat, because he always makes me laugh with his weird made-up jokes and words.  He also tries to fix things, but always ends up ruining things and creating more problems.

 

This series focuses on scientific discovery and kids have so much fun watching the shows that they forget they are really learning a great deal about the world around us.  Stories include:  Snow Difference, Bubble Trouble, Good Vibrations and Curious Minds, which reflect the messages of the series.  My favorite episode is All Sorts of Things, which teaches that there are different ways to sort and categorize the things that belong to Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

 

The Cat in the Hat Season 3, Volume 2 has many great actors and stars the one and only Martin Short who plays the role of the Cat, Alexa Torrington who voices Sally and Jacob Ewaniuk who plays the role of Nick. The animation, as always, are wacky and colorful under the guidance of Art Director Kay Pluto and I especially enjoyed the scenes in Bubble Trouble.  The original theme song by David Schweitzer is catchy and memorable.  You may watch this in both English and Spanish.

 

The message of this DVD is about problem solving in different ways and it promotes creativity and curious minds. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 4 to 10. It is available now, so look for it.

 

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2

By Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

https://youtu.be/1hURZumQPyA

It’s the Cat in the Hat! All of your favorite adventures start like that! Dr. Seuss’ most loveable Cat is back with his two friends, Sally and Nick. These two friends are only six years old, so of course they have many questions that only the Cat can answer by taking them to his imaginative worlds. And that’s just what he does in this new DVD, which has 20 exciting episodes, The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2.

 

At the beginning of each episode Sally and Nick are playing with their friend Fish when they run into a problem. Whenever things look their bleakest the Cat pops up and tells them about a place they can visit that will help them solve their problem. You’re probably thinking the Cat can’t possibly help these two kids out of these tricky situations all on his own. You’re absolutely correct. In fact, he has two helpers: Thing One and Thing Two. Thing One and Thing Two are twin brothers and, even though they are silly and crazy, they are always a big help to the Cat. The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About That is an educational show that teaches you something, while the Cat is trying to help Sally and Nick solve their problem, in each new episode.

 

The episodes always begin in Sally and Nick’s backyard, but once the Cat shows up in his plane, The Thingamajigger, who knows the places they will go! The theme song is fun and catchy and tells about all the adventures they will have! The Cat in The Hat is voiced by the hilarious comedic actor Martin Short. Sally is played by Alexa Torrington. Nick is played by Jacob Ewaniuk. The Fish is played by Rob Tinkler. The Cat in the Hat is always up for an adventure and can’t stop himself from making silly jokes. Fish is way too smart and sassy for his own good, and Sally is a little girl who is always ready to go as long as she has her BFF Nick, a fun-loving and witty boy, along for the ride.

 

The message of this show is to always use your imagination and it will get you out of any tricky situation. Be a child while you still can, always have fun and be ready for any adventure!

 

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 2 to 9 years old. It is available on DVD now.

 

Challenging Times Can Build Leadership Skills

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Business

This blog is provided by Aleksandra Scepanovic, Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group, as a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. This interview Difficult Times Can Build Leadership Skills aired on 10/22/19.

Prior to getting my start in real estate, I began my career as a reporter, editor and media analyst in my home country of (then-)Yugoslavia, reporting on the front lines of the Bosnian War. At the time, I never would have predicted that I would end up co-founding a real estate firm in New York City, but each step along my journey has been equally important in leading me to where I am today.

In the early 2000’s, while still working in Bosnia, I was longing for a change in the post-war theater around me and I ultimately decided to move to New York. I arrived with a need to recharge and start afresh. Years of witnessing turmoil on the front lines was draining, and being in a new environment provided me with the inspiration to channel my life-long fascination with design. I enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Interior Design program. It was a revitalizing change, and the first step into my new journey.

My first few years in New York were exciting, and allowed me to fall in love with the city and its architectural beauty, and from there I began my career in the highly stimulating world of real estate. At the time, I was working at a boutique brokerage firm in Manhattan with my partner, Erik Serras. We found ourselves spending more time in our home borough of Brooklyn, a borough which we felt was widely and undeservedly so underserved by the city’s real estate brokerages. We recognized the potential, and decided to branch out on our own to form Ideal Properties Group.

Just a short time later, the U.S. economy began to take a turn. We had just began an exciting adventure as new business owners, and we knew we were not going to let anything stand in our way. As a leader, above all, it is important to stay optimistic. In my case, it helps that I actually am an irreparable optimist, and this certainly helped see us through this time.

We stuck to our intuitions, and followed our instincts to guide and form our best decisions, because now not only were our jobs on the line – we had a growing staff whose livelihood depended on us. In times of crisis, it is important to strive to not only individually as a leader but collectively, with your team, re-assess your objectives and your priorities, and determine a plan of action to get back on track.

Before we began this journey, I wish I truly knew how difficult it would be to be my own boss. I admit to being a strong-willed individual, but before starting my own business, I did not have the experience I have now when it comes to analyzing or critiquing my own ideas. I did not know how hard it would be to try to question your own thoughts, and to be willing to go back to the drawing board if something were to not go right. Over the years, there have been many times where we have gone back to the drawing board. This in and of itself is the nature of being a business owner and being a leader. Learning to adapt, and understanding that not every idea is going to be a homerun right away is an incredible and empowering realization, one I wish I had known in the beginning of this journey, but also one that – in retrospect I realize – comes with time.

One of the most immediate lessons was how many hats you’d need to quickly learn how to wear. As an entrepreneur, you learn to find comfort zones amid minefields, in the spots where you previously perhaps only had doubts. When starting our business, we were confident in our ability to navigate the ever-changing New York City real estate market, but there were plenty of course-corrections that we needed to chart along the way to sustain our business model. Prior to starting Ideal Properties Group, I wish I knew how large and positive a role failure would play in the building and the growth of my business.

Learning to delegate and trust others with parts of the business that you are not necessarily expert in – was another important step we needed to take as leaders. We take pride in our hiring process, and know that we associate our brand with the most passionate and empathetic candidates, and we find it imperative as a small business to effectively onboard our team members and immerse them in continual training. Trusting our associates to carry the flag of the brand by performing their jobs well and with the best interest of the company at heart… has allowed us to look at things from a bird’s eye view – and make adjustments as needed. Letting go of your ego and empowering your associates to help make the business thrive are essential in ensuring long-term success.

Although there is no secret formula to running a successful business, for us, each failure and setback has become a valuable lesson that helped us navigate a variety of business trends and market landscapes. As a leader, there will never be a time when you feel that you have it all figured out – and if there is, perhaps that is a sign that change is needed. Continuing to make, and then learn from your mistakes is easier said than done, but both are essential truths that – once recognized and adopted – set leaders apart from the pack.

 

To receive the weekly blogs, use this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview to this blog and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the ILI LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Aleksandra is Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group, one of the largest privately-owned, independent real estate firms specializing in premier Brooklyn and Manhattan neighborhoods. Ideal offers pre-development marketing and branding as well as residential, commercial, office and retail services. With offices located in Chelsea, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope and Williamsburg, and a staff of over 250 real estate brokers and salespeople, Ideal is continuing its rapid expansion across NYC. The firm was founded in 2007 by Aleksandra and her partner Erik Serras, who identified a need to build a technologically-innovative infrastructure for sales and rentals in key Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Yo-Kai Watch, Season 1, Volume 2 * The Invisible Spirit-Like Entities, Yo-Kai Are At It Again

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Kids
Yo-Kai Watch, Season 1, Volume 2 * The Invisible Spirit-Like Entities, Yo-Kai Are At It Again

Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There’s just one problem… they’re everywhere and they love to cause mischief! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon.  This show is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kai.” Elizabeth T. adds, “. The show offers examples of kindness and consideration of others, particularly when dealing with clashing personalities, and there are legitimate examples of love shown, particularly for those closest to young people such as their parents, siblings, and friends.” See their full reviews below.

 

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

https://youtu.be/O0fxIs3gg1c

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I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon.  This show is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kai.

 

The Yo-kai Watch DVD includes two disks of Season 1, Volume 2, episodes.  Each disk is approximately 145 minutes long, for a total of 290 minutes.  That’s a lot of cartoons!  Each disk has a variety of different episodes, that are not necessarily in order. For example, disk 1 has episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3 and 4, which was a little confusing to me.

 

The storyline on this DVD is about a kid named Nate, who is an average boy that struggles to be popular at school.  His parents are somewhat fun, but to him they are also rather weird.  He has a special watch with different Yo-Kai’s, which are invisible spirit-like entities responsible for annoying situations that make Nate’s life to not be the same.  One particular Yo-kai is his best friend. His name is Whisper and he teaches Nate about all the different types of Yo-kai  and what they are capable of doing.

 

The theme song is catchy and appropriate for this show.  The animation is very neat; the colors are bright and the background is colorful and well drawn.  The episodes are kind of confusing because they don’t follow a sequence.  It’s a mix of different situations. There are also two other story lines. One is about the great (Dog) escape, the other is about two Yo-Kai brothers in the city trying to learn how to live in the city.

 

My favorite episode of all is Spring Break Present. This episode is about a package that Whispers gives Nate as a Spring Break present.  Inside the package is a card for Nate to use as a Yo-Kai repellent, so he can take a break from all the trouble that these spirits are causing him. The whole episode is really funny; that’s why it’s my favorite.

 

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15.  The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now.  If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it!

 

Yo-Kai Watch, Season 1, volume 2

By Jennifer V, KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

https://youtu.be/z_P2Uwfyppo

 

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The Yo-kai are invisible spirit-like entities that take many forms and are liable for your daily troubles. Nathan Adams (Nate), is a normal boy who one day receives the Yo-kai watch and is able to see the Yo-kai. These mischievous entities show up unexpectedly and you never know what is going to happen. This series has good production quality and the story lines flow well. It captures the audience’s attention with catchy music, bright colors and true-to-life adventure mixed with imaginative themes. The series highlights the ability to problem-solve as Nate and his Yo-kai have to discover a way out of silly and chaotic situations. Some of the jokes are more grown up and the story lines are more suited for more mature kids. For example, the Yo-kai talk about being hot, as in attractive. An older child would enjoy this series due to its catchy theme songs and familiar story lines. The story-lines flow well, are easy to follow and draw you in. When Nate is overcome by handsomeness, his classmates respond as normal teenagers would and tell him that he is creeping them out. The material is accurate and is suitable for its target audience. The series uses vocabulary that is more suitable for teens with words such as narcissist and sketchy. It’s visually appealing with lots of bright colors, the music is catchy. The DVD cover design is appealing, showcasing the main characters and listing several of the episodes. The series is high in entertainment value and does invite the viewer to question, probe and problem-solve. For example, in The Legend of Dandoodle, Nate is overcome by handsomeness and his Yo-kai must find a way to help.

 

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Although the Yo-kai Watch allows you to see the Yo-kai, once they are in your life, things can be chaotic.

 

Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, volume 2 is a highly entertaining DVD series, totaling 290 minutes of fantastical adventure. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 20-22 minutes of non-stop action. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available now, so check it out.

 

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