On Music During Work

One input at a time, please! Our mind doesn’t do simultaneity. In his 1974 autobiographical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert Pirsig tells of his father-son bike ride from Minnesota to Northern California. In one stop along the (high)way, they enter a garage for repairs. The mechanic’s radio … Continue reading On Music During Work

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Politics is a Team Sport

All politicians have weaknesses, but having a strong team compensates for them. German-born political scientist Hans Morgenthau (1904-1980), advisor to U. S. presidents and professor at the University of Chicago and City University of New York, is known for his theory of political realism. Something he wrote back in the 1970s offers insight into the … Continue reading Politics is a Team Sport

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 Communication Practices of Great Teams

Summertime—and Time for a Relationship Checkup

“Ever since happiness found your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” --Hafiz of Persia Whether at a beach, mountain, or lake, a vacation stroll with your significant other is a fine time to check the health of your relationships. Memorize these three precepts and use them as an aid … Continue reading Summertime—and Time for a Relationship Checkup

Establishing Rapport—When in Rome…

Robert Frost said it best—“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,/That wants it down.” Walls keep cows in pastures and people in their comfort zones. In similar, wry New England style, Lake “Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg” is loosely translated from the Nipmuc (an Algonquian language) as “You fish on your side; I fish on my side; nobody … Continue reading Establishing Rapport—When in Rome…

E pluribus unum—Mysticism or Magic?

As a child I always had a warm, fuzzy feeling when I saw “E pluribus unum”—on coins, dollar bills, or elsewhere. It was another of those bromides from growing up—“Love one another,” “Do unto others as….” They were like road signs for living—somewhere in between a command and a nudge. With E pluribus unum, I … Continue reading E pluribus unum—Mysticism or Magic?