Google launches Slides Q&A to help presenters connect with their audiences

Slides Q_A - Audience Google is launching Slides Q&A today, a new feature for Slides, its PowerPoint competitor. With Slides Q&A, presenters can get questions and general feedback from their audience — and audience members can vote for their favorite questions. Slides Q&A is rolling out globally today. Presenters who want to use it will see a button in the Slides presenter view to kick off a… Read More

Facebook just changed its Android app in a huge way

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In early April, Facebook announced a very significant change to its mobile apps: A Facebook Live tab was to take center place in the app, pushing the Messenger button aside. The tab would offer a dedicated place for users to find live videos — but even though a month has passed since the initial announcement, very few people have seen the feature in the flesh. 

Until now, that is. My Facebook app on Android just received the update, and after playing with it for half an hour, I can tell you that this will significantly change the way we use Facebook. 

More about Facebook Live Button, Facebook Live Tab, App, Android, and Facebook Live

Concerns raised over broad scope of DeepMind-NHS health data-sharing deal

DeepMind Technologies Concerns have been raised about the scope of a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned DeepMind and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) after it was revealed the agreement covers access to all patient data from the three London hospitals involved, rather than a more targeted subset of data relating to the specific medical condition the healthcare app in question (Streams) is… Read More

10 Inspiring TED Talks That’ll Boost Your Self-Confidence

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Some days, you just feel ... blah.

It happens to all of us. It can be short-term, like when we're exhausted or bored, or we're embarking on a new project but have no idea where to start. Other times, it's a little more long-term, like when we feel like we're tapped out of good ideas, or stuck in our careers.

Where should you go from there?

In times like these, we all have our own coping mechanisms. But if what you need is some words of wisdom and a little motivation, check out the 10 TED talks below. We've curated some of the best TED talks for when you're feeling down and out, stuck, unmotivated, or generally in need of a confidence boost. Check 'em out, and bookmark them for when you need a little encouragement. They could be just what you needed.

10 Inspiring TED Talks That'll Boost Your Self-Confidence

1) "Success, Failure, & the Drive to Keep Creating" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Length: 7 min. 14 sec.

Before she authored the book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert was an "unpublished young diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And even after she published the book and it became a huge success, she found herself identifying strongly with her former self -- and feeling the urge to quit the fame game and move to the country to raise corgis.

In this TED talk, Gilbert reflects on the strange and unlikely psychological connection between how we experience great failure and how we experience great success. She then offers simple (though hard) advice for making sure your creativity survives its own success.

2) "The Power of Believing You Can Improve" by Carol Dweck

Length: 10 min. 20 sec.

Carol Dweck starts her talk off with a short but powerful story about a high school in Chicago where students didn't receive failing grades. Instead, they received the grade "Not Yet." The grade implies that not passing the course doesn't mean you're going nowhere, but rather you're on a learning curve.

Dweck uses this story to frame the rest of her TED talk, where she talks about her research on "growth mindset" -- the idea that we can actually grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. She talks about two different ways to approach a problem that's just a little too hard for you to solve: Are you not smart enough to solve it ... or have you just not solved it yet?

3) "How to Live Passionately -- No Matter Your Age" by Isabel Allende

Length: 8 min. 16 sec.

I'm a long-time fan of Isabel Allende, author of (among other wonderful books) The House of Spirits. She's 71 years old, but says she's still 17. Hey, why let society decide when you're old?

In her TED talk, she talks about how we all experience age differently. She talks about her fears as she gets older, and shares how she plans to keep living passionately. Through aging, she says she's gained freedom -- mainly, the freedom from having to prove things to people anymore.

"My body may be falling apart, but my brain is not, yet," she says. "I love my brain. I feel lighter. I don't carry grudges, ambition, vanity, none of the deadly sins that are not even worth the trouble. It's great to let go. And I should have started sooner. "

4) "How to Build Your Creative Confidence" by David Kelley

Length: 11 min. 29 sec.

When have you, or others in your life, opted out of being creative? Many organizations divided people into categories: Either you're a "creative," or you're not. But designer and educator David Kelley suggests that creativity is not limited to a chosen few.

In this TED talk, Kelley tells really interesting, touching stories from his legendary design career and his own life, and offers ways to build the confidence to create. He believes that when people gain this confidence, they start working on the things that are really important in their lives -- and come up with more interesting ideas.

5) "The Day I Stood Up Alone" by Boniface Mwangi

Length: 7 min. 20 sec.

(Warning: NSFW. There are graphic images in this video.)

Boniface Mwangi is a photographer whose job was to document the horrific violence in his home country of Kenya -- and watched as his government kept it silent. Finally, he made a plan to protest against the corruption: During a large public meeting where the Kenyan president was speaking, he and a few friends would stand up and heckle the president to get his attention.

But his friends never showed. "I was scared, but I knew very well that that particular day, I had to make a decision. Was I able to live as a coward, like everyone else, or was I going to make a stand?"

He says what he decided to do in that moment showed him who he truly was. As he says, "There are two most powerful days in your life. The day you are born, and the day you discover why."

6) "How I Beat Stage Fright" by Joe Kowan

Length: 8 min. 3 sec.

Humans are fearful for a reason. It served us well as a species for thousands of years so we wouldn't be killed off by predators. But, as Joe Kowan explains, it's a little less wonderful when that same, visceral, body-hijacking sense of fear kicks in in front of 20 folk-music fans at an open mic night.

Kowan used to just write songs, but at some point, that wasn't enough anymore. He had all these stories and ideas he wanted to share with people, but his stage fright was keeping him from doing it. The week of his 30th birthday, he decided to put that fear behind him, a process he describes in this talk.

7) "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are" by Amy Cuddy

Length: 20 min. 55 sec.

Body language can have profound effects on how others see us. We make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language, and those judgments can predict really meaningful life outcomes -- like whom we hire or promote, whom we ask out on a date, and so on. But, even more importantly, body language can affect how we see ourselves.

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy's research on body language proves that we can actually change other people's perceptions of us (and even our own body chemistry) simply by changing body positions. In this TED talk, Cuddy specifically talks about how "power posing" -- i.e., standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisone levels in the brain. If we do it for even two minutes at a time, it can have profound positive impacts on how we feel and whether we succeed.

8) "The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life" by Jane McGonigal

Length: 19 min. 23 sec.

Now here's a wild story: Two years prior to giving this TED talk, game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion and became bedridden and suicidal. Suicidal ideation is common following traumatic brain injuries, and hers became so bad that she began to fear for her life. At one point -- and she says she'll never forget this moment -- she said to herself, "I'm either going to kill myself, or I'm going to turn this into a game."

That was her ticket to getting better: turning it into a game. She dove into scientific research and created the healing game she called SuperBetter. In this moving talk, she explains how a game like hers can help boost resilience. (And she promises watching the talk will add 7 1/2 minutes to your life.)

9) "Where Does Creativity Hide?" by Amy Tan

Length: 22 min. 42 sec.

Where does creativity come from? Are some people born with it? Is creativity a function of some other neurological quirk, like psychosis or depression? Are some people equipped with certain skills that enable creativity, like artistic ability? Or is creativity developed mostly through experience?

You may know Amy Tan as the author of The Joy Luck Club, or one of her other well known books. In this TED talk, she dives into her own creative process and stories of her life that could lend a clue to where it comes from. She reminds us that, in our moments of doubt, even if there is an answer, there is uncertainty in everything -- and that's a good thing. In fact, that space where the uncertainty is can be the birthplace of creativity: She finds that by filling those holes with her own imagining, she can find particles of truth and discover new possibilities she'd never considered before.

10) "The Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get" by Susan Colantuono

Length: 13 min. 57 sec.

Some people, Susan Colantuono included, believe that leadership manifests at every level of management. There's a tremendous number of awesome leaders in middle management, and many of them are women. But for Colantuono, this raises the question: Why are there so many women stuck in the middle -- even when they're doing everything right at work and taking all the right advice?

In this TED talk, Colantuono shares a simple and surprising piece of advice. The talk's aimed primarily at women, but there are universal takeaways in here for men, too, as well as for new graduates and mid-career workers.

Which TED talks would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments.

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The New Manager’s Guide to Effective Leadership

New_Managers_Guide.jpgCongratulations! You’ve recently been promoted to a new position as a manager.

You now have a team, perhaps the opportunity to hire, and the chance to guide and grow your new direct reports. Are you ready for this?

You may be feeling excited, afraid, nervous, or empowered. You may also be experiencing the very common imposture syndrome: the fear of getting caught as a “fraud” due to not being competent or fully prepared to deserve your new position. But here you are, and the best thing you can do is to lean in to this experience as an opportunity for your own development. 

To start, here are a few recommendations that I learned from my mentors when I began as a new manager. From finding your leadership style to learning how to navigate a working relationship, these tips are meant to help you get off on the right foot. 

(Not sure if management is right for you? Register now for HubSpot’s new career growth assessment and we'll notify you when it's ready.)

Find Your Leadership Style

One of the biggest challenges when going from individual contributor to people manager is having to change the way you value your own impact. Every day prior to this promotion you were evaluated on the impact you personally had on the business. From here on out, you’re evaluated on the impact driven by your collective team.

This comes with some good news and some “bad” news:

  • The good news - You and your team combined can most likely have a larger impact on the business than you previously were able to alone.
  • The “bad” news - The impact your team has is not entirely in your direct control -- it’s in the control of the individual team members and their efforts. Your new role is to inspire, guide, coach, and most importantly, lead.

To help yourself enter this mindset, you have the opportunity to define how you will be as a leader. What your personal style will be? To start, visualize what your interactions with your teammates will be like, how you’ll carry yourself, and how you’ll communicate. For example, you can ask yourself:

  • What will you, the new manager, want to look like to your team?
  • What kind of manager style do you naturally have or want?
  • What attributes have you seen your previous managers demonstrate, and which will you try to emulate?

By answering these questions for yourself, you’ll be able to develop your leadership persona or the best portrait of yourself as a leader. Write it down, reread it from time to time, and do your best to encompass this new state.

Get to Know Your New Team

The next step is to decide how you’ll work with each of your employees, and I believe the best relationships are driven by clarity and curiosity. Let’s first dig into the latter.

If you’ve inherited a team you used to work with laterally, or were promoted within your current team, you most likely already know your new direct reports pretty well. However, do you know them enough? What don’t you know? What else can you learn? 

I suggest one of the first things you do is to have a second interview with each of your direct reports. Grab coffee, go for a walk, and use that time to really get to know that person. If it helps, here are a few things you can ask:

  • What do they like about their job today? What don’t they like?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • What other work experience do they have?
  • What are some of their goals, personal and professional?
  • Have they ever had a manager they really disliked, and if so why? What happened?

The best favor you can do for yourself now, and onward, is to never assume anything about another person. Instead ask. For example, imagine you were giving an employee a brand new project. Perhaps your instinct is to walk them through how to do it step-by-step. Why wouldn't you? You've never given her this type of project before.

But how do you know if that’s really the amount of support they need? Before deciding how you can best help, ask them if they’ve done something like this before and gauge their true comfort level. That way you’ll know to be hands-on or hands-off with your direction.

Set Up Your Working Relationship

Now let’s talk about clarity. Think back to a prior boss that never seemed happy with your work. Why do you think that was? Perhaps it’s because you never really knew what she was looking for, or you didn’t have a full understanding of her expectations. (Or worse, maybe she hadn’t decided what her expectations of you actually were.)

One of the best things you can do as a new manager is set context and goals as clearly as possible. And that might begin with taking the time to make a bunch of decisions on your own first. For example:

  • How will you know when your employee is successful?
  • How will you communicate what that success looks like to him/her so you’re on the same page?
  • What expectations will you set in regards to your style and how you can work together best?
  • How will you use one-on-one time?
  • How will you explain your expectation for one-on-one meetings so you’re on the same page?

Communicating your expectations clearly will remove ambiguity and set up your employee for success.

Create More Leaders

Most likely when you get promoted, you’ll need to figure out how to move all the work you used to do off your plate. And you may do that by delegating those projects to your new team. That’s great! The question is if you can do this in a way that supports you and them.

Delegating projects is a great opportunity to help someone grow into your old shoes. See if you can help someone reach the role you were previously in. If you do, it will free up your time to make higher-level decisions and support the team as a whole. It also means the person receiving the project can stretch and learn work they may not have done before.

Sounds like a win-win? It absolutely can be, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. In order to solve for a person’s long-term growth, you need to delegate a project in a way that helps him become a decision maker versus a task do-er.

How do you know which is happening? It depends on the way you teach. Are you helping someone memorize a series of actions (most likely to execute a project in the same way you used to do it), or are you taking the time to explain your judgment around the project? The latter requires you to share context for why you take different actions this way.

Note: There’s nothing wrong with teaching someone how to do something step-by-step. Just make sure you’re explaining your decision-making behind it, so a teammate walks away with the same judgment you have. That very judgment hopefully can be applied to similar projects. Now they’re a decision maker. 

Plan for the Long Term 

Being a new manager is hard -- and that’s to be expected. The best thing you can do for yourself is communicate clearly and frequently, make yourself open to feedback from your team and your boss, and use your resources.

Perhaps you can get a group of other new managers together and grab lunch. It's great to talk with folks who are in a similar scenario to reflect on your experiences -- if only to know you're not alone.

You can also look into trainings in your area. Would your boss support you going to a one-day training here and there? 

You could also suggest setting up skip-level reviews, meaning your direct reports meet with your boss every so often to share their feedback on you. This can be extremely helpful. Perhaps there's a small thing you could change or improve that would make all the difference. Wouldn't you like to know that? 

Most importantly -- and my favorite -- find a mentor. It could be someone inside or outside of your company, as long as it's someone you really trust. Nothing beats one-to-one guidance. 

Remember: Being a good manager doesn’t require knowing all the answers. Stay open minded and confident in yourself. You’ll be great.

What tips do you have for new managers? Share them below.

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Facebook continues Southeast Asia march with new Malaysia office

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Just two weeks from its Philippines office opening, Facebook has launched another office in Malaysia.

Facebook's Asia-Pacific vice president, Dan Neary, announced the opening Wednesday.

He said the company counts 18 million Malaysians as active users, which makes up 81% of the country's Internet base.

Facebook said 94% of its 12 million daily users access the social network via mobile phones.

Malaysians are also a social bunch. They have 60% more friends than the global average number on Facebook, and as a country are ranked 10th in the world for having the most friends. Read more...

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How to Tackle Your Most Ambitious Goals: A 5-Step Process From NBA Legend Bill Walton

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For many, goal-setting can feel like a daunting process.

You want to be sure that whatever you're working towards is measurable, impactful, and challenging enough to keep you on your toes. Trouble is, the planning process is only half the battle. 

When it actually comes time to achieve said goal, it's easy for things to fall apart. Think back to those New Year's resolutions you set. Does the phrase grossly overestimated come to mind?

NBA legend Bill Walton, knows the intricacies of both setting and achieving goals all too well. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he was coached by one of the best coaches in history -- John Wooden -- who was committed to helping him succeed both on and off the court. 

On this week’s episode of The Growth Show, we sat down with Walton to learn more about how Wooden's influence helped him devise a process for successfully tackling even his most ambitious goals.

How to Hit Your Ambitious Goals: A 5-Step Process

While there are plenty of strategies out there for setting goals, the process of actually hitting those goals can seem like a much more ambiguous path. How do we solidify the path to then hit our goals?

“Ask somebody who is on their way back," suggests Walton.

Walton is on his way back, so we asked him on your behalf. Let's take a look at his process below. 

Step 1: Define Your Goal

What's the key to getting started? “Have a dream,” Walton told us. 

When you have a dream in mind, it becomes much easier to define a measurable goal -- or set of goals -- to get you there. Once you have a defined goal, you can use it to determine where to devote your focus and what to prioritize. 

Need help defining your goal? This free goal-setting template should make it a bit easier. 

Step 2: Get a Mentor

The next step? “Choose a teacher, a leader, or a coach," suggests Walton. 

Even the most successful leaders have had mentors along the way. And the words of the ideal mentor will resonate years beyond their physical presence. In fact, if they've done their due diligence, you should walk away from the relationship with a toolbox full of lessons to carry with you. 

The hard part? Finding the right person. When searching for a trusted advisor, you want to look for someone who has achieved something that you can learn from. While it's possible that this person might be a peer, mentors tend to be senior to their mentees. 

If you're having trouble determining what to look for in a mentor, check out this post on mentorship tips from my colleague Lindsay. 

Step 3: Assemble or Join a Team

Ready to tackle the third step? Walton says you need to, “Join a team and immerse yourself in [that] positive culture.”

Creating a team gives you the advantage of approaching your goal with a diverse perspective. For example, I played on a collegiate hockey team and one of our biggest strengths was knowing how to leverage our unique skills to perform as a strong, cohesive unit.

This type of approach allows everyone to bring something different to the table while encouraging each individual to expand their perspective. Besides the individual growth value, you will be able to hit your goal faster.

Need advice on putting together a team? Here’s a free kit to help you build your inbound team.

Step 4: Sharpen Your Foundation

By now, you're on the right track. To keep moving forward, Walton suggests that you, “Develop the individual foundation -- assuming and understanding that the strength of the team is the strength of the individual."

In other words, now that you have reinforcement to help you accomplish your goal, you need to leverage it. But this doesn't mean that you should delegate every task on your own plate. In fact, you'll benefit from keeping busy yourself: According to Yerkes Dodson Law, increased mental arousal can help you improve your performance.

Instead, lean on your teammates to help you sharpen your breadth of skills. Try to soak up bits of knowledge from each of their areas of expertise to help you devise a well-rounded plan for accomplishing your goal.

Step 5: Be Prepared to Sacrifice and Self-Discipline

Walton's final tip? “Have the willingness to sacrifice and discipline.”

This one may fall under the category of easier said than done. It can be difficult to get yourself in the zone -- especially if it’s 3 p.m. on a Friday -- but this is where you can save yourself some serious time. The better you are at finding your “flow,” the easier it will be to enter that space when you need it most.

The other half of this is being comfortable saying “no.” No to leaving work early, no to taking on that extra project, and no to staying up late to watch Netflix. Trust me, learning how and when to say "no" will save you a ton of time and energy. 

The lesson? Define not only your goal, but also the path to achieve said goal. And as you build out that path, don't hesitate to look for opportunities to pick up support from mentors or teammates -- it'll make all the difference. 

Want more advice on how to hit your goals? Check out the rest of our conversation with Walton on The Growth Show on iTunes.

(P.S. Don't hesitate to leave a review! We are always looking to hear from listeners.)

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WhatsApp is back online in Brazil after 24-hour ban

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Facebook's WhatsApp is back online in Brazil after the service was temporarily banned Monday, following a judge's ruling. 

Service was restored Tuesday afternoon after another judge in an appeals court reversed the ban, The Wall Street Journal reported. WhatsApp was offline for about 24 hours.

WhatsApp is extremely popular in the country and has more than 100 million users in Brazil, according to Facebook.

Monday's ruling, which resulted in the app's brief ban, stemmed from a court case that demanded WhatsApp turn over user data the company says it doesn't have. WhatsApp recently rolled out support for end-to-end encryption on all its apps and has repeatedly said it can't access chat logs or other personal information.  Read more...

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Well, it’s practical: Google’s next self-driving car is a Fiat Chrysler minivan

pacifica There’s a lot to like about Google’s own self-driving cars, but if you’ve got kids, you’d need a fleet just to get them to the soccer game and back. That, presumably, is why the Google initiative’s first direct collaboration with an automaker will automate a nice, roomy new Pacifica minivan. Read More

A 10-year-old hacked Instagram so Facebook gave him $10,000

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Before he even reached the age requirement to make a Facebook account, a 10-year-old found a major flaw in Instagram, earning him a cool $10,000 from Facebook. 

Jani (his parents withheld his last name, figured out a way to get into Instagram's servers and delete text posted by Instagram users, Finnish news site Iltalehti reported.

Jani was rewarded $10,000 by Facebook as part of its bug bounty program, which offers cash rewards to people who find bugs and flaws in Facebook's digital infrastructure. That includes the Facebook-owned Instagram. Read more...

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