Sunday, December 28, 2014

How To Make Difficult Conversations Easy: 7 Steps From A Clinical Psychologist

Quick notes:

  • Keep calm. Don’t turn it into Godzilla vs. Rodan. (Samurai secrets of staying calm are here.)
  • Treat’em like a child. You can’t talk them out of emotional outbursts and getting angry over it does nothing good.
  • Say “Please speak more slowly. I’d like to help.” Slow it down. Don’t come off like you’re fighting back.
  • Ask “What would you like me to do?” You gotta make’em start thinking in order turn off the rage machine.
  • Don’t make statements. Ask questions. Explaining is veiled dominance. Questions get them thinking.
  • Start sentences with “I’d like…” not “You are…” If you start with “I” it’s hard to be seen as attacking.
  • Let them have the last word. Don’t let your ego blow it at the last minute.

Read more in Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Friday, December 26, 2014

How Laziness Propagates Lies

My favorite excerpt:
Several years ago, I was talking with a friend who was thinking of going into the field of investment banking as an intern and then an analyst. His ultimate dream was to become a social entrepreneur bringing millions of people out of poverty, but his college career office, parents, and peer group were convincing him that a high-paying Wall Street job would give him the credibility, skills, capital, and network to change the world (I was skeptical). 
He then told me about a really successful and charismatic investment banker who had given a really convincing pitch for why my friend should become an investment banker. One day it clicked for me: “Of course this successful investment banker would make the case for why it’s smart to be an investment banker — he is projecting to validate and protect his ego! Why in the world would he tell someone not to become an investment banker? That would only make him second-guess his use of the last 15 years and face elements of his own self-deception.” 
There’s nothing wrong with being an investment banker—some people really enjoy it, and investment banks do valuable work for the economy—but in the case of this investment banker (who projected his experiences onto my friend without weighing any other options or asking my friend what his ultimate goals were), he was projecting. I later heard from another friend that this very investment banker turned out to be incredibly unhappy and couldn’t figure out why. His unhappiness only confirms that his projection indeed came from a place of self-deception…but even if he loved his life, an acknowledgement of difference in contexts would have made his case far more compelling and effective. In any case, my friend did not become an investment banker. If the investment bankers at least
Read +Ted Gonder's post in Medium.

Highlight Reels vs Behind the Scenes

Read +Ted Gonder's post in Medium.

Does pessimism soften the blow of bad news?

Yes, but it's not worth it. Read more in Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Happy Thoughts: Here are the things proven to make you happier

Read more in Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

Read more in Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Simon the cat refuses to dog

Dear Future Homejoy Engineer

Read the letter in Hacker News. Hope to be a leader like this some day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is Trauma Genetic? The Science of Suffering

Kids are inheriting their parents' trauma. Can science stop it? An excerpt:
In early papers Yehuda produced on Holocaust offspring, she discovered that the children of PTSD-stricken mothers were diagnosed with PTSD three times as often as members of control groups; children of fathers or mothers with PTSD suffered three to four times as much depression and anxiety, and engaged more in substance abuse. She would go on to discover that children of mothers of survivors had less cortisol than control subjects and that the same was true of infants whose mothers had been pregnant and near the Twin Towers on 9/11.
Read more in the New Republic.

Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava 

A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled

Instead of narrowing gender gaps, the technology industry created vast new ones for Stanford University’s pioneering class of 1994. Check out the New York Times interactive.

How Does A Homeless Man Spend $100?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work

Loved this post. An excerpt:
It doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life — whether you build a business or work a corporate job; have children or choose not to have children; travel the world or live in the same town all of your life; go to the gym 5 times a week or sit on the couch every night — whatever you do, someone will judge you for it.
Read more in James Clear.

Order your own DNA portrait

Check out more in DNA11. Thanks, +Cassandra Coravos 

Meshu helps you make beautiful mementos from the places that are important to you

Check out more in Meshu.

Thanks, +Cassie Coravos 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Baz Luhrmann - Wear Sunscreen (Mau Kilauea's Tropical Remix)

So good. Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

Why sleep is important and what happens when you don't get enough

An excerpt on amount of sleep needed:
In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can't perform at their peak unless they've slept ten hours. And, contrary to common myth, the need for sleep doesn't decline with age but the ability to sleep for six to eight hours at one time may be reduced.
Read more in the APA.

What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs

A longer piece, but a thoughtful reflection of what it takes to run a big tech company in Silicon Valley. Read more in the NYT.

Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

First Round 2014 Holiday Parody Video - All About Burn Rate

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Understanding “New Power”

A couple favorite quotes:

  • "Indeed, crowdfunding puts on steroids the human tendency to favor the immediate, visceral, and emotional rather than the strategic, impactful, or long-term."
  • "As new power models become integrated into the daily lives of people and the operating systems of communities and societies, a new set of values and beliefs is being forged. Power is not just flowing differently; people are feeling and thinking differently about it. A teenager with her own YouTube channel engages as a content creator rather than as a passive recipient of someone else’s ideas. A borrower on the peer-to-peer finance platform Lending Club can disintermediate that oldest of old power institutions, the bank. A Lyft user experiences consumption as a kind of sharing and subtly shifts his view of asset ownership. These feedback loops—or maybe we should call them “feed-in” loops, given that they’re based on participation—make visible the payoffs of peer-based collective action and endow people with a sense of power."

Read more in HBRThanks, +Elaine Choi 

Big Ideas in Social Change, 2014

Read more in the NYT.

Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava 

What You Learn in Your 40s

Favorite excerpt:
•There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
Read more in the NYT.

The Incredible Beards of Incredibeard

See all the pictures in TwistedSifter.

Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Senator John McCain Delivers Speech Condemning CIA Torture Report

"This is how a POW feels about torture. In a speech from the Senate floor, John McCain broke with his Republican colleagues to commend the Senate's CIA report, relying on his own experience in Vietnam."

Read more in the Atlantic. It's a short read, and worth it.

Stan Richards's Unique Management Style

An in-depth look at how one man built the nation's largest independent advertising agency on one principle: Creativity doesn't need a muse. It needs a drill sergeant.

Read more in Inc.

Finally! Ornaments for Your Beard

Read more in Mental Floss. Thanks, +Nat Lavin 

Thai life insurance commercials at it again

There will be tears. The one from earlier year was incredible, too.

Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

How to Change Your Name and Keep Your Professional Identity

The thesis that +Corinne Grzybowski and I wrote is back in the news!

Columbia MBA Students Made A Parody Of “All About That Bass”

“Getting called bitch means I’m doing something right.” Possibly NSFW.

Read more in Buzzfeed. Thanks, +Samantha Pearlman 

Cleveland Clinic's Empathy Series Continues -- Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable

Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finding your roots // Greek Heritage

Thanks, AP

Even Among Harvard Graduates, Women Fall Short of Their Work Expectations

Read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Corinne Grzybowski 

The Colbert Report - President Obama Delivers The Decree

President Barack Obama delivers a special edition of The Word, proving that he is perfectly capable of doing Stephen's job.

Laughed so hard.

For all of you who are worried about not making the "30 Under 30" list...

... there is still hope: 9 badass women who had not "made it" by 30.

Read more in DailyWorth.

The Problem With International Development—and a Plan to Fix It

Stop Trying to Save the World --big ideas are destroying international development.

Read more in the New Republic.  Thanks, Ted

When Talking About Bias Backfires

Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg on Discrimination at Work. Read more in the NYT.

This is the 1st in a four part series.

Blood, Simpler. One woman’s drive to upend medical testing.

"She no longer devotes time to novels or friends, doesn't date, doesn't own a television and hasn't taken a vacation in ten years. Her refrigerator is all but empty, as she eats most of her meals at the office," New Yorker's Ken Auletta writes in a profile about Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes is the founder of Theranos, a blood diagnostics firm that now is valued at more than $9 billion.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .