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Must Reads-Perception & Psychology

These Are The 4 Emotional-Intelligence Job Skills You’ll Need In The Future

Lydia Dishman, Fast Company, August 30, 2017

All the data suggesting that coding is rapidly becoming an essential skill for any job–not just one in tech–only tells one side of the story. The other side indicates that soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, attention to detail, and writing proficiency top the list of what hiring managers find missing from job seekers' personal tool kits. But according to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report, one of the job skills that will make a candidate competitive in the job market of the future is emotional intelligence. [...read more]

High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It

Laura Delizonna, Harvard Business Review, August 24, 2017

"There's no team without trust," says Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google. He knows the results of the tech giant's massive two-year study on team performance, which revealed that the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety, the belief that you won't be punished when you make a mistake. [...read more]

The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership

Jeffrey Schwartz, Josie Thomson, and Art Kleiner, Strategy+Business, Summer 2017

Neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to learn what happens at moments of choice inside the human mind and the brain. If you understand these dynamics and how they affect you and those around you, you can set a course toward more effective patterns of thinking and action. You can replicate those beneficial patterns, at a larger scale, in your organization. Over time, this practice can help you take on a quality of strategic leadership: inspiring others, helping organizations transcend their limits, and navigating enterprises toward lofty, beneficial goals. [...read more]

Forgot Where You Parked? Good

Ulrich Boser, The New York Times, June 30, 2017

Forgetting is supposed to be the antithesis of learning, and whether we're a kid or an adult, most of us are plainly embarrassed if we can't recall a name or fact. But it turns out that forgetting can help us gain expertise, and when we relearn something we couldn't recall, we often develop a richer form of understanding. [...read more]

The Behavioral Economics of Why Executives Underinvest in Cybersecurity

Alex Blau, Harvard Business Review, June 7, 2017

Determining the ROI for any cybersecurity investment, from staff training to AI-enabled authentication managers, can best be described as an enigma shrouded in mystery. The digital threat landscape changes constantly, and it's very difficult to know the probability of any given attack succeeding — or how big the potential losses might be. Even the known costs, such as penalties for data breaches in highly regulated industries like health care, are a small piece of the ROI calculation. In the absence of good data, decision makers must use something less than perfect to weigh the options: their judgment. But insights from behavioral economics and psychology show that human judgment is often biased in predictably problematic ways. In the case of cybersecurity, some decision makers use the wrong mental models to help them determine how much investment is necessary and where to invest. [...read more]

We Studied Brands Around The World. What Consumers Want Isn’t What You Think

Brian Millar, Fast Company, May 31, 2017

Traditional advertising went after "share of mind"– the idea was to get you to associate a brand with a single idea, a single emotion. Volvo: safety. Jaguar: speed. Coke: happiness. The Economist: success. Bang, bang, bang, went the ads, hammering the same idea into your mind every time you saw one. Advertising briefs evolved to focus the creatives on a single USP and a single message. Tell them we're the Ultimate Driving Machine. Tell them in a thrilling way. It worked when you saw ads infrequently on television, in a Sunday magazine, or on a billboard on your morning commute. It hasn't worked online. Audiences have stopped engaging with advertising. Yet there are many brands online that people don't want to block. Popular brands had multifaceted personalities. They could make you laugh, or cheer, or lean forward and take notes. They'd stopped hammering away at a share of mind, and were expanding to achieve a share of emotion. [...read more]

How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons

Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, April 2, 2017

The secretive ride-hailing giant Uber rarely discusses internal matters in public. But in March, facing crises on multiple fronts, top officials convened a call for reporters to insist that Uber was changing its culture and would no longer tolerate "brilliant jerks." Notably, the company also announced that it would fix its troubled relationship with drivers, who have complained for years about falling pay and arbitrary treatment. And yet even as Uber talks up its determination to treat drivers more humanely, it is engaged in an extraordinary behind-the-scenes experiment in behavioral science to manipulate them in the service of its corporate growth. [...read more]

What a Real Apology Requires

Joseph Grenny, Harvard Business Review, October 21, 2016

Most of what has been written about apologies is fundamentally manipulative, because the focus is on technique — on applying psychology to extract forgiveness from others, as in: "What do I need to say in order to get my boss/child/neighbor to trust me again?" This view of apologies is one of today's most pernicious assaults on trust. In this article, the author shares his thoughts on what a real apology requires. [...read more]

How to Be More Assertive, According to Research

Eric Barker, Time, September 20, 2016

"Assertiveness is about controlling your behavior, not someone else's"

Research shows being assertive is that perfect Goldilocks balance of "just right." It helps you get the things you need while preserving relationships over the long term. But there's one problem... Nobody ever tells you what the hell "assertive" really means. How do you do it? How do you get what you need without being a jerk or a manipulator? Don't worry. Research has answers. [...read more]

Developing Employees’ Strengths Boosts Sales, Profit, and Engagement

Brandon Rigoni, Ph.D. and Jim Asplund, Harvard Business Review, September 1, 2016

Should companies primarily focus on playing to the strengths of their employees or help them improve on their weaknesses? This question is particularly important today, given low workplace engagement and higher expectations from workers about what a great job entails.

Gallup has studied thousands of work teams and millions of leaders, managers, and employees for more than five decades. We've found that there's significant potential in developing what is innately right with people versus trying to fix what's wrong with them. [...read more]

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