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 →

Communication Practices of Great Teams

At the Human Dynamics Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers pinned electronic badges on 2,500 team members from diverse industries. These badges collected a wide range of team-relevant data such as tone of voice, length of talking episodes, who was addressed, body language, standing versus sitting, and so forth. Lab director Alex “Sandy” Pentland... Continue Reading →

Taking Care of the Goose

This morning my nephew, Bob McGahey, emailed to alert me of two blogposts he thought I’d take an interest in. They concerned the role of religion and the state of the planet. Bob is a devout Quaker and an eco-educator. In responding to his posts, I found my topic for this week’s blog of my... Continue Reading →

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