Posts in category: Human Nature

Constructive dream or escapist fantasy?

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 you achieve it. And it may be getting in the way of you discovering your real dream. This can be a really confronting and hard...
Engaging the brain to help the heart

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 amorphous and sticky. They get into everything. Gum up the workings of our brains. Just letting the feelings flow on...
Ambiguity can be a strength too

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 are two sides of the same coin. In the right context they can be equally powerful and...
Five steps to tyranny

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 relevant to organisations too. It takes five steps to create tyranny in a given...
Making THEM change

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 truth about change – no one likes to be made to change from the outside! Can you remember a time...
Society slow to respond to threats

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 of these items generate. Gosh even celebrities are getting...
Millennials lack social skills

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 may however, be judgement from a position of ignorance; with a dash of change anxiety. We...
Ideals vs perfectionism

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 is because they have confused Ideals with Perfectionism. Ideals give us a grand vision to strive towards. There is no illusion...
Inclusiveness and mental dexterity

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 and categorisation. We give ourselves the permission...
Indicating and (maybe) not turning

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 because sometimes, an indicating driver doesn’t make the move in spite of the indicator. People don’t always do what...
On-trend is myopic

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 means we are into the stuff that is popular right now, and not be into everything else. If we are not careful (ie not...
No one succeeds on their own

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 leader’s success. We as a society have an unhealthy obsession with the idea of The One. We...
Optimal anxiety

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 comfort will keep us stuck. Too much anxiety — ie abject terror — will trigger our fight or flight...
Stop nagging already

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 it can be actively counter-productive. SO why is Microsoft doing it?...
Leadership fishtanks

Leadership fishtanks

A poor leader is like this fishtank design. It is all about surface showy bits designed to draw attention to the tank itself, detracting from the content within. A good leader is like this design. Strong, simple, and unadorned. The focus is on the content of the tank,...
Social media is not advertising

Social media is not advertising

Buying/selling/using social media engagement is not the same as buying/selling/using advertising. Here are seven ways the two are different: Social media takes a longer period of time to attract interest and attention. People have to encounter a social media campaign...

Empathy in customer service

Expressing genuine concern and empathy for the customer’s predicament helps. It does not take much to say “That sounds really unpleasant. I’m sorry you had to experience that.” When we express empathy, most people’s gut reaction (at least...
Get Sh*t Done!

Get Sh*t Done!

Read Niall Harbison’s Get Sh*t Done!: From Spare Room to Boardroom in 1,000 Days Bought it late one night, fell asleep reading it. Highly readable. Full of wisdom and insights from real hands-on experience. One key takeaway: We are crippled by the fear of...
Let them win

Let them win

Some people just need to win. They are defensive, touchy, fearful, controlling. They need to justify everything in their favour; to make everyone else wrong. And to make sure that everyone knows they are right. You know what? Most of the time, it is ok to just let...
If we were our own client

If we were our own client

Do you treat others better than you treat yourself? Do you forgive others more easily, even as you demand more from yourself? Do you put off doing something that needed doing because you didn’t feel like it?But if your clients were to request the same thing...
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