Managing Micromanagers

“Get off my back—I can’t fly when you are weighing me down!” Such is the lament of the underling suffering from micromanagement—the uninvited incursion by a manager into the how to’s and wherefores of a subordinate’s day. Just last week a client asked me, “How do I get her off my back? I’ve about had... Continue Reading →

Leaders Can Be Made, If Not Born

One can be born to be a 7-foot NBA center, but one cannot be made into one. Or? Look at the Dutch, who have an unusually tall population and who also are known for their unusually heavy consumption of calcium (milk, cheese, and their kin). Clearly most human behavior has a largely genetic component, but... Continue Reading →

Appearances Can Be Deceiving (4. Bravery)

Think twice—what you see may not be what you think. In three previous posts, we explored situations in which a single behavior might have multiple meanings and interpretations. First, we considered how fidgeting is not always impatience. Then, how solitude is not necessarily loneliness. Last week, how smiling is not always liking. I call these... Continue Reading →

When You’re Not You

“You just don’t seem your same self!” someone remarked with friendly concern. “What’s going on?” What does it mean to be oneself? And, what does it mean not to be oneself? One’s self is who we are in our shoes-off state—being able to take our shoes off is (usually) evidence that we are experiencing minimal... Continue Reading →

People as Particles

I often enjoy comparing small scale elements of nature to their large scale counterparts—the melting of an ice cube to the melting of a glacier, an ant colony to a major metropolis, a piano score to a symphonic score. Studying similar natural phenomena at different levels leads to new insights. Such is the case with... Continue Reading →

Perform, or Else!

That is intended to sound like a threat! I have just finished reading an important book by Santa Monica psychologist Hendrie Weisinger and performance expert J. P. Pawliw-Fry titled Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most (Crown Business, 2015). Critical to understanding their work is distinguishing between stress and... Continue Reading →

A Pet Peeve

No, perhaps more than a pet peeve, which I just saw defined as a “minor irritant.” It is really a major irritant. To wit: Researchers report results without regard to individual differences. Put simply: Too many researchers ask a simple question, such as “How satisfied are you with the direction your life is taking?” Then... Continue Reading →

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