In our classrooms, we urge our students to express a range of opinions, to disagree, to become critical thinkers. Online is a different matter. On their Facebook and Instagram feeds, they are learning to conform and be uniformly agreeable, because opinion and difference can come with a high price.
Positive emotions, like being happy, can help with particular kinds of thinking and particular kinds of work. But negative emotions can help us in the workplace to be more effective thinkers. To mandate that we should just be positive at work takes away from the idea that emotions have evolved to help us adapt.
The concept of a “born leader” seems so fanciful and clichéd that it belongs on the cover of a bad business book, or in a quote from a glib cable news commentator. But first-born children are 30 percent more likely to be CEOs or politicians, according to a new paper by several economists.
Harvard Business Review argues that a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email.
The Economist‘s review of Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach’s The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone illuminates an important principle: People often have strong opinions about issues they understand little about. And on social media, surrounded by like-minded friends and followers, opinions are reinforced and become more extreme. It is hard to reason with someone under the illusion that their beliefs are thought through, and simply presenting facts is unlikely to change beliefs when those beliefs are rooted in the values and groupthink of a community.
Not leadership material? Good, says The New York Times. The world needs followers.