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When strong emotions override communications

Strong emotions can get in the way of constructive dialogue and communication. They can be triggered in either party in the dialogue. And they can spread – each…

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Constructive dream or escapist fantasy?

Are you sitting down? That dream job you have in your head may be an escapist fantasy. It may not be constructive. You may not be happier if…

Engaging the brain to help the heart

When we are caught up in our emotions, it can be very hard to interrupt that inner turmoil. That’s the problem with emotions – they can be so…

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Ambiguity can be a strength too

We hear a lot about the importance of precision in communications, especially in technical domains where ambiguity can lead to costly or deadly mistakes. But precision and ambiguity…

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Latte and context

In Australia, when we ask for a latte at a cafe, we always mean a caffe latte; and not a glass of milk. This is the context of…

Five steps to tyranny

This documentary explored why normal everyday people do horrible things or allow horrible things to happen; and consequently how tyranny arises out of ordinary societies. These lessons are…

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Making THEM change

I have sometimes joked that this is the ultimate change management tool. People I have said it to have generally found it funny. Because we recognise the underlying…

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Marketing masks mediocrity

Marketing can mask mediocrity. And indeed, a lot of marketing is being used to pass off mediocre products and services as more than they are. And in the…

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Society slow to respond to threats

These are three topical sustainability issues at the moment: Coffee pods Bottled (tap) water Plastic carrier bags There’s been frequent articles about how much indestructible waste the consumption…

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Millennials lack social skills

I have often heard this assertion. Always from an older person. And across cultural and professional strata. This easy dismissal may seem like an immediately obvious truism. This…

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Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism seems to be somewhat undervalued these days. And yet it is a powerful antidote to the plethora of fads and trends promising easy fixes and quick answers…

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Making money in software

Here are four broad approaches to make money in software development today. Let me know if you find them useful. 1. Create and maintain bespoke software for vertical…

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Ideals vs perfectionism

I have on a few occasions heard this said with derision and disdain: “Ideals (and values) just hold us back.” I think a lot of the time this…

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Watering sustainable behaviour change

Trying to change behaviour with brute force, punitive means is like watering a sandy hydrophobic garden bed with large buckets of water. On the face of it, the…

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Inclusiveness and mental dexterity

Practising inclusiveness keeps our brains flexible and supple; ready to meet new challenges more effectively and constructively. Inclusiveness requires that we maintain: A temporary suspension of immediate judgement…

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Indicating and (maybe) not turning

If you drive, you would be familiar with the practice of waiting for a driver indicating to change lanes or turn to actually execute the move. We wait…

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Apple Magic Mouse design fail

Image via iphonehacks.com Seriously Apple — where did you put the charging port for your “magic” mouse now? You do know this means the mouse cannot be used…

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It just works

On a whim I connected my Thinkpad USB Traveller keyboard to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 again recently. I haven’t done this since I bought the USB OTG…

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On-trend is myopic

Being on-trend may be cool and helps us to fit in. But it does limit our outlook. The nature of being trendy is to be exclusionary. Being on-trend…

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No one succeeds on their own

We (and the media) often celebrate a loud and charismatic leader as The One championing a movement. We forget the masses of behind-the-scenes individuals that enable this one…

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Optimal anxiety

I found this in one of my notebooks recently. Basically, a level of anxiety is needed for us to perform at our best. Hence “Optimal Anxiety.” Too much…

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Stop nagging already

Nagging has probably existed since humans developed speech. It is unpleasant and never productive. Being essentially a one-sided activity, it does nothing for relationship building. In some cases…

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How to become more innovative

You want to be a doctor? You go to medical school. You spend the specified amount of time and money. And you become a doctor. It is a…

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Happy holidays 2015