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  • drdianehamilton 8:09 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , NACACS, , ,   

    Understanding Personality Improves Communication and Productivity 

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    In my recent NACACS presentation, I received a lot of questions about the differences in personalities in the workplace. Some of the participants had gone through Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, or some other type of assessment. However, many of them had not had any training regarding personality preferences. There are a variety of personality assessments that can help people learn how to get along at work. Therefore, it may be challenging to determine which assessment to use. I believe that there are some important things to learn from many of these tools. Toni Rothpletz and I wrote It’s Not You It’s Your Personality to summarize the important aspects of each of the major personality assessments and help employees thrive at work.

    Many guests on my Take the Lead Radio Show are experts in different aspects of helping employers improve communication. That is really what these assessments are meant to improve. We need to communicate more effectively; we can do that through improved understanding of each other’s preferences. Whether it is the introvert learning how to get a word in edgewise with an extravert, or a dominant personality learning to listen better, it is all about communicating effectively. In the 1970s, two separate research teams came up with what we now call The Big Five Factors of Personality, based on research that came out in the early 1930s. Societies have endeavored to determine the best ways to communicate. It is a challenge that will continue because there are so many unique personality traits.

    What may help is to develop empathy, which is a big component of emotional intelligence. I studied the importance of empathy on interpersonal relationships as part of my doctoral dissertation. Empathy, mood self-regulation, self-presentation, along with practical intelligence was a big factor related to work success. Employees who demonstrate empathy understand other’s feelings when making decisions that might impact them. Companies that focus on developing these important skills can have more productive and engaged employees. It behooves employers to proactively encourage effective communication, due to the $550 billion a year productivity loss due to unhappy employees. They can begin by helping employees understand personality preferences. People are more accepting of personalities that are different from their own if they understand why people display certain behaviors. Once they understand different personality traits, they can develop empathy and other key emotional intelligence traits to help them be more successful, cooperative, and productive workers.

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  • drdianehamilton 5:49 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conflict, , , , , ,   

    Managing Millennials Requires Understanding Their Values 

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    Millennials are one of the most misunderstood generations, which has led to frustration in the workplace.  With so many generations working together, it is not unusual that there would be some conflict. The biggest issues have revolved around the clash between Boomers and Millennials.  With varying views on political and leadership issues, as well as differences in the frequency at which they embrace technology, conflict management has become a top concern for many leaders.  Part of learning to manage this unique generation includes understanding and embracing their values.

    The Forbes Mentor Week presentation, “The Future of the Workplace” focused on what will happen when Boomers finally retire, and Millennials take the wheel.  This presentation addressed some myths and facts about Millennials.  In addition to the information provided there, here are a few more Millennials statistics that may be surprising:

    • Millennials are now the largest living generation
    • Millennials make up more than 25% of the U.S. workforce
    • Nearly half of business to business researchers are Millennials
    • Millennials are among the strongest advocates of business
    • Millennials’ top issue that concerns them in business is education (including skills and training)
    • Millennials’ loyalty to employers remains low with many anticipating leaving jobs within 2-5 years
    • Although they embrace technology, 40% believe it poses a threat to their employment

    Millennials want to experience engagement at work.  For this group, engagement requires that they have a sense of belonging.  To meet this need, leaders must clearly share their vision, to obtain their cooperation.  Millennials must feel valued; therefore, it is critical that leaders show them respect and reward them for their efforts.  In research by Zemke, Rains, and Filipczak, the authors found that Millennials had nine more frequent requests. These included:

    • Help us learn
    • Believe in us
    • Tune on to our technology
    • Connect us
    • Let us make it our own
    • Tell us how we’re doing
    • Be approachable
    • Plug into our parents
    • Be someone we can believe in

    Part of being successfully in meeting their requests is to provide timely and detailed feedback.  Millennials like to receive feedback more frequently than past generations.  They like to meet privately and learn about their performance immediately after, with concrete observations.  They do not mind hearing they need to improve, but they will want to have specifics on how to accomplish that.  To ensure proper training occurs, managers should vary the way in which they present information. Millennials are avid learners and like to get their information through technology.  Allowing for workplace flexibility may be critical to Millennials staying with their employer.  Flexible working conditions are linked to improved productivity and engagement in this group.  By offering flexibility, employers have found that it has encouraged their sense of accountability.   By demonstrating to Millennials that leaders appreciate their values, they will have a better opportunity to lead this group in a way that meets their unique needs, leading to improved engagement and productivity.

    Please click on the following link to take a Generational Engagement Survey.

    About the Author:

    Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com.  She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia.  Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict.  If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.

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  • drdianehamilton 10:40 am on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It 

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    Many people misunderstand the meaning of engagement. It is important to note that engagement does not mean satisfaction. Engagement refers to an emotional commitment to an organization and its goals.  Engagement, generational conflict, emotional intelligence, and other communication issues are some of the most requested speech topics by organizations. This is not surprising because 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from relationship-based issues.  Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between engagement and performance.  Leaders with high levels of engagement also were more transformational, had higher levels of interpersonal skills, and had a better sense of well-being.

    It behooves companies to improve engagement for a multitude of reasons, including retention issues.  Gallup found that the cost of disengagement was estimated at $550 billion annually in the U.S. With all the chatter about how often employees, especially Millennials, job-hop, it is important to consider why.  Studies indicate multiple reasons.  Talent Solutions found that 42% of job switchers stated they might have remained with their companies had they had better opportunities, benefits, recognition, and rewards.

    To appreciate the importance of engagement, leaders must consider who lacks engagement and why.  Organizations may be able to not only improve turnover with improved engagement, but they may also be more profitable.  Organizations have shown a 6% higher net profit margin if their companies have high levels of engagement.  It can be helpful to look at some startling statistics provided by SHRM, Gallup, and other top researchers.

    • 87% of employees are not engaged at work
    • Engaged companies have a 6% higher net profit margin
    • Managers spend up to 40% of their day dealing with conflict
    • Women are 35% engaged; men are 29% Engaged
    • 29% of Millennials are engaged at Work
    • Millennials change jobs more than three times that of non-Millennials
    • Engaged Millennials are 64% less likely to switch jobs
    • 59% of Millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of Baby Boomers say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a Job

    To create improved engagement, employers should focus on communication, growth, development, recognition appreciation, trust, and confidence. Since engagement is an emotion-based issue, it could be critical to create a baseline measurement of employees’ emotional intelligence.  Emotional-based assessments like the EQ-i may be useful.  Leaders must share the results with their employees to develop action plans to improve any personal issues employees may have.  Once personal emotional issues have been addressed, leaders should recognize their responsibilities to improve. Leaders need to get into the rhythm of communicating, showing concern for employee growth, recognizing achievements, and instilling trust by doing what they promise.  By improving emotional-based issues like engagement, managers can use that 40% of their day with productive issues rather than dealing with conflict.

    Please click on this link: to take a Generational Engagement Survey.

    About the Author:

    Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality, and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com.  She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia.  Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict.  If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.

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  • drdianehamilton 7:57 am on February 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Interpersonal Skills, Listening, Negotiation, , Problem-solving, ,   

    Soft Skills: Critical to Employee Success 

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    Attend any leadership conference, and someone likely will bring up startling statistics regarding how employees and leaders lack something they refer to as soft skills. This term is used to describe many qualities that include interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and other personality-based issues. The problem that many organizations have experienced is that people are hired for their hard skills, or in other words, for what they know (knowledge). Then later, are often fired for their lack of soft skills, or what they do (behaviors). If employers recognize the importance of soft skills, they can avoid costly hiring and training mistakes, improve turnover, and boost productivity.

    Most leaders do not think graduates have the soft skills that businesses require for success, and 75% of newly hired executives have difficulty with these core competencies. Soft skills are critical for interpersonal relationships and communication. One important reason to develop these skills is that most employees do not quit because of companies; they quit because of leaders. Stress from working with leaders who have poor soft skills costs American companies $360 billion a year.

    Some of the most problematic areas for employees and leaders include difficulty with listening, communication, team-building, listening, negotiating, problem-solving, decision-making, time management, motivation, and emotional intelligence, which includes interpersonal skills. The Millennial generation often gets bad press for having less-than-stellar soft skills including lack of patience. The use of too much technology may cause a breakdown in interpersonal relationships. Instead of interacting before meetings, many individuals embrace their cell phones. This lack of interaction has led to issues with listening and poor two-way communication.

    The good news is that individuals can improve their soft skills. Authors like Daniel Goleman have found that emotional intelligence, which includes things like interpersonal skills and empathy, can be developed. Having a baseline measurement of emotional intelligence levels may be an important part of monitoring improvements. Seeking a mentor may be helpful as well; it is important that employees and leaders are open to feedback. It is important for individuals to consider ways to overcome their personal weaknesses and threats. Identifying the problem is only the beginning; having a plan to improve with measurable goals may be critical.

    Employers face a financial burden if employees do not have proper soft-skill development. With the increase on reliance on technology, some basic interpersonal relationship skills may not have developed well. Employers can help employees and leaders develop these important skills through training programs and education. The first step is to realize there is a problem; only then can individuals set measurable goals to improve.

    To receive updates regarding interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, engagement, and tips for working on generational conflict, please feel free to sign up for: Updates

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  • drdianehamilton 4:10 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    NCU Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton 

    NCU Interviews Dr. Diane Hamilton

    For more see the full article at Northcentral University Higher Degrees Fall 2013

     
  • drdianehamilton 10:14 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Extraversion-Introversion, , , , , Tom Rath,   

    Researchers Debate Importance of Introverts Acting like Extroverts 

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    Several courses I teach include discussion regarding the importance of understanding personality preferences.  Students often take personality tests to determine their “type”.  Part of their type includes whether they are introverts or extraverts (Myers Briggs spells extravert with an “a” instead of an “o”).  In my training to become a qualified Myers Briggs MBTI trainer, I learned that people have preferences for how they like to receive and process information.  We were told it was similar to how people prefer to write with their right or left hand.  That is why I found the recent Wall Street Journal article titled How an Introvert Can Be Happier:  Act Like an Extrovert to be so interesting.  The title contradicts some of what I learned in my training.

    Some interesting highlights from this article include:

    • Introverts who are more withdrawn in nature, will feel a greater sense of happiness if they act extroverted (according to research from 2012 in the Journal of Personality).
    • Extraverts are more motivated than introverts due to a greater sensitivity to dopamine that drives rewards.
    • Genetics plays a large role in whether people are introverts or extroverts.
    • Introverts misjudge the amount of anxiety and embarrassment they feel when they must act like extroverts.
    • It was tiring for introverts to act like extroverts than for extroverts to act like introverts.

    If Myers Briggs information teaches us that people have certain preferences and feel more comfortable with those preferences, this research contradicts that.  However, not all researchers agree with these results.  Some of the researchers in this article believed that trying to act against type would deplete glucose resources due to the concentration involved.  If genetics truly plays a role in whether someone is introverted or extroverted, then people may find it difficult to constantly fight their natural tendencies.

    Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, argued that the people should draw on their strengths rather than try to be something they are not.  This is not unlike the position Tom Rath, author of Strengths Finder 2.0 takes in his book that embraces working on strengths rather than weaknesses.  In the book, It’s Not Your It’s Your Personality, several of the top personality theories and assessments are addressed including Myers Briggs and Strengths Finders, DISC, and Emotional Intelligence.

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  • drdianehamilton 12:56 pm on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Entitlement, , , , , ,   

    Millennial Student Entitlement Issues 

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    The word Millennials is used to describe adults born between the years of 1980 and 2000.  They are also known as Generation Y.  Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me explained Millennials tend to be more self-focused and may expect to receive a lot of recognition. Sixty Minutes aired an interesting story titled The Millennials are Coming.  In this show, they explained how this younger generation expects good things and expects them with little effort. I have noticed that this sense of entitlement has carried into the online classroom setting.

    Most of my students are very respectful. They follow directions.  They ask questions with the proper tone.  However, there are a few that are more demanding.  Although I have not formally studied the age group of the students who demonstrate issues with entitlement, I have noticed that my older Baby Boomer students seem to demonstrate more respect.

    Some students become frustrated with expectations as they enter higher level programs.  Some of my students have managed to get through their undergraduate program with poor writing skills.  If I make comments about things that they need to work on for future assignments, some of them become upset or angry.  It is as if they expect to receive an A with very little effort.  They may make comments that express their indignation that I would even suggest that they might write “a lot” as two words, or indent a paragraph per APA guidelines.  I might even receive a note from them about how other professors did not mark down for certain things.

    I do not take that many points off for writing or APA-related issues. I teach business-related courses and should not have to make grammar or structure my main focus.  What is interesting to me is that their anger does not seem to be about the score received as much as the fact that I have pointed out something they have done incorrectly.

    Many students tell me that professors do not insert comments on their assignments. Perhaps that is why some of them react the way they do.  However, it seems to me that a graduate-level student should write at a graduate level.

    Based on the reaction I get from the younger students, I often wonder if some professors “let things go” in order to keep the peace.  I have spoken to other professors who perform peer-reviews and deal with conflict resolution.  They have told me that students will complain about many little things.  If students complain, professors must respond, and then that creates more of a hassle for them.

    The squeaky wheel may get the grease. If professors do not want to tell students the truth, for fear of reprimand, they may just let things slide.  My concern is that younger students’ entitlement issues have made them complain too easily and kept them from developing important skills.

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    • Rex 11:08 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      As a student in your BA500 Management course, I found your instructions insightful and helpful.
      With that said, I am a non-millennial.
      Thanks!

  • drdianehamilton 5:45 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Hiring Graduates Based on Personality Skills 

    shutterstock_36446959HR professionals within organizations have given personality assessments to potential employees for many years. I was asked to take a personality assessment for a pharmaceutical sales job in 1987.  The changes I have noticed since that time include the type and frequency of personality tests given.  What also may be trending is the fact that leaders of schools have become more interested in personality assessments. In the Wall Street Journal article Business Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel, author Melissa Korn explained, “Prospective MBA students need to shine by showing emotional traits like empathy, motivation, resilience, and dozens of others.”  Schools may be interested in these traits because organizations value these traits.  Korn also explained, “Measuring EQ-or emotional intelligence quotient-is the latest attempt by business schools to identify future stars.”

    I find this trend to be particularly interesting because I teach business, I am a qualified Myers Briggs instructor, a certified EQ-i instructor, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between emotional intelligence and sales performance.  I have also witnessed that online schools have placed more importance on personality assessments. Many of my first-year students must take a Jung-like personality test.  Many of my undergraduate and graduate business students have to assess their EQ.

    I think it is important for these personality preference and emotional intelligence issues to be addressed in online courses.  Some of the things that may hurt a graduate’s chance of obtaining is job include having poor self-assessment skills, poor interpersonal skills, and a lack of concern for how they are perceived by others.

    When I was in pharmaceutical sales, they rated us each year on our concern for impact.  It was such an important part of what they believed made us successful in the field, that there were consequences to poor judgment and rude behavior.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, there is a chapter regarding concern for impact, as well as one for Myers Briggs MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, DISC, and many other personality assessments that may help young adults in the workplace. One of the universities for which I teach requires students to read this book in a foresight course.

    It is important for online students to learn about these assessments because employers use them.  Some personality traits stay with us throughout our lives.  The MBTI is an example of an assessment that determines preferences that may not change.  This assessment may be helpful to students who are not sure about career paths.  Other assessments like the EQ-i determine emotional intelligence levels.  The good news about emotional intelligence is that it may be improved. Marcia Hughes has written several books about how to improve EQ in the workplace.  The savvy online students will work on developing their EQ and understanding personality preferences before they graduate.  By being proactive, students may have a better chance of being successful in a career that matches their personality preferences.

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  • drdianehamilton 7:34 am on February 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Genetics Impact on Intelligence 

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    Was Einstein a genius because he inherited good genes?  That is just one of the questions some new research may be able to determine.  According to the article A Genetic Code for Genius in the Wall Street Journal, “In China, a research project aims to find the roots of intelligence in our DNA.”

    There is no denying that emotional intelligence has become a buzz word in HR.  Employees’ emotional quotient or EQ may sometimes be more important than their IQ.  However, the roots of many personality and intelligence issues like IQ still remain a mystery.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Studies show that at less half of the variation of intelligence quotient, or IQ, is inherited. Truly important genetics that affect normal IQ variation have yet to be pinned down.”

    The average person has an IQ of 100 and Nobel laureates have an average IQ of 145. In a study of intelligence in China, the researchers are looking at individuals who have an IQ of over 160.  To date, studies have not been large enough to give very useful information about IQ and genetics.  This latest study “will compare the genomes of 2,200 high-IQ individuals with the genomes of several thousand people drawn randomly from the general population.”  The problem is finding the people with such an extremely high IQ.  The researchers likened it to finding a bunch of people over 6-foot-9 inches tall.

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    • darinlhammond 7:49 am on February 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Hamilton,

      An interesting article on what we do not know about knowledge and intelligence. It’s fascinating to consider the nature of our own IQ along with those of geniuses. I believe they will eventually understand this much better and they are heading in the right direction, but they are still along way off.

      I was thinking as I read that we don’t really understand the neurological make-up of genius at this point, and perhaps we are jumping the gun in looking at genetic factors of genius, when we don’t understand genius itself. In other words, we have Einstein’s brain and yet have very little idea what makes it unique. We don’t understand what is different about the brain of genius. How, then, can we determine if that which we do not understand is transmitted genetically? It seems we need to understand the neurology better before we can really figure out inheritance.

      On a side note, the study in China is interesting, but you always have to question the motives of the researchers in a communist dictatorship. Why do they want to know if genius is genetically transmitted? What do they hope to do with the knowledge? For example, Hitler was interested in the very same issue, and what was his motivation for the research? Genetic breeding programs to design the ideal human. I would not put it past China to attempt the same kind of engineering of a smarter race. What do you think?

      I would really like to know your thoughts on these questions if you have time because I read you consistently and value your insights. A great article here.

      Darin

      p.s. I just saw your link above to Einstein’s brain and am going to check that out now 🙂

      • drdianehamilton 4:27 pm on February 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Darin,

        Thanks for your input. I think that there is still so much to learn about the brain and its capabilities. I look forward to the results of this study.

  • drdianehamilton 9:12 am on November 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Albert Einstein's brain, Dean Falk, , , Florida State University, , National Museum of Health and Medicine,   

    Einstein’s Brain Reveals New Clues to Intelligence 

    In an attempt to understand intelligence, researchers have once again focused their attention on Albert Einstein’s brain.  A study published in a recent issue in the Journal Brain disclosed some new insight as to what made Einstein so intelligent.  In the Red Orbit article Photos of Einstein’s Brain Reveal Areas That May Have Made Him A Genius, Anthropologist Dean Falk from the Florida State University explained, “The overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein’s brain were normal. [But] the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary. These may have provided the neurological underpinnings for some of his visuospatial and mathematical abilities, for instance.”

    There have been 14 new photos found of Einstein’s brain that have been evaluated.  The USA Today article Einstein’s Brain: It Was Better Than Yours, explained, “After the photos were taken, the brain itself was cut into 240 separate blocks for analysis, most of which remain at the University Medical Center in Princeton, N.J., where Einstein’s brain was taken after he died.”

    In 2009, Odyssey reported that the reason for Einstein’s intelligence may be due to an increase in glia cells.  “Glia help neurons by giving them nutrients and by cleaning up after the mess neurons make when they do their work. Neurons can make electrical signals because they are tiny batteries. Just as in a flashlight battery, the voltage in a neuron is generated by a special salt solution. When a neuron fires an electric pulse, sodium, which is the positively charged partner of the salt known as sodium chloride, flows into the neuron.”

    Einstein died from a ruptured aneurism in 1955. He was 76.  An autopsy was performed in Princeton Hospital. According to the Einstein Quarterly article A Brief History of Einstein’s Brain, “Einstein’s brain weighed 1230 grams, well within the range of 1200-1600 grams that is normal for a human male.” Einstein never gave approval to study his brain. Permission came from his family once they were made aware that his brain had been removed and preserved.

    The brain is often described in sections, referred to as Brodmann’s areas.  Einstein’s Brodmann area 39 (part of the parietal lobe) showed a statistically significant difference from the average brain.  The parietal lobe may be an important indicator of  intelligence. The latest research has discovered some differences in Einstein’s frontal lobe as well. To find out more about the importance of this lobe, check out the Nova video at the end of this article.

    Some interesting things about Einstein include:  He had dyslexia as a child; he figured out the theory of relativity in his 20s, he played the violin, and  Einstein had an IQ of 160.

    To find out what happened to Einstein’s brain, check out Nova’s video:  How Smart Can We Get

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    • @Karen_Fu 12:56 am on March 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t help it but I think despite Einstein’s brilliance, he couldn’t stop people from using his brains after his death. I think it’s cruel on the genius. I like his ideas on governance, education and humanity as a whole. But I certainly don’t like the idea of people disrespecting a great man’s wishes.

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