6 lessons to supercharge your communication and collaboration skills
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- Big Think Edge videos this week focus on optimizing your effectiveness with other individuals, one-on-one and in a group setting.
- Three complementary Deep Dives offer more insights to help you get along with others, and to help them feel empowered interacting with you.
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At Big Think Edge this week, Reza Aslan explains the frustrating fact that facts don't change people's minds. Luckily, he also reveals what you can do about it. Shane Snow explains how to unlock the hidden genius of collaboration in diverse teams, and Charles Duhigg presents emotionally intelligent methods for fully empowering team members.
Constructing powerful arguments: Wield your data in an emotional way, with Reza Aslan
Facts alone don't change people's minds, says religious scholar and author Reza Aslan. We respond more readily to emotion. It's the reason that your most persuasive facts may be of frustratingly little use in winning an argument. Your opponent isn't fact-averse—you're just not connecting. Azlan explains how to wrap your facts in emotion if you want to change someone's point of view.
"PEOPLE ARE MUCH MORE IMPACTED BY EMOTION THAN THEY ARE BY DATA."
— REZA ASLAN
Available September 23 in Boost Your Analytical Intelligence
Harness your team's mental toolkit, with Shane Snow
It turns out, says Shane Snow, two heads aren't actually better than one. Groups are slower than individuals, and only as smart as their smartest member. Still, collaboration is often essential for large, difficult tasks. So if it's not speed or sheer brainpower that teams deliver, what's the point? Snow explains that collaborations develop a unique capacity for devising outstanding solutions when they utilize the diversity of members' individual perspectives and skills.
Available September 25 in Become a Better Leader
The science of productivity: Create psychological safety, with Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better, recalls how the millions of dollars Google spent analyzing the precise makeup of their most successful teams wound up revealing another, more important factor than their composition: Creating a safe emotional space in which each team member—not just the star performers—can do their best work. Duhigg lays out how to build the requisite social sensitivity into a team's norms, and offers a compelling example of what can happen when it's done right.
"PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY IS THE SINGLE GREATEST DETERMINANT IN WHETHER A TEAM COMES TOGETHER OR WHETHER IT FALLS APART."
— CHARLES DUHIGG
Available September 26 in Become a Better Leader
This week's Big Think Edge Deep DivesSaturday Night Live
In this week's Big Think Edge Deep Dives, we explore group dynamics. We talk about how great decision-making requires the ability to first to sort out the facts, what to do to break creative logjams in groups that lack a diversity of perspectives, and take a look at how producer Lorne Micheals' emotional intelligence has been the behind-the-scenes secret to Saturday Night Live's success.
The electric car manufacturer says updates to its battery design and manufacturing process will help lower production costs.
- The high cost of batteries is the main reason why electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered cars.
- At the company's 'Battery Day' event on Tuesday, Tesla announced a new battery design that will give its cars more power and a longer range.
- The success of Tesla's plan depends on its ability to scale up production.
Screenshot of Tesla's 'Battery Day' presentation
Tesla<p>It's unclear when Tesla will stop using cobalt, or when it will stop sourcing its batteries from Panasonic. But the company claims that its new battery design and manufacturing changes will allow the company to cut the cost per kilowatt-hour in half. If Tesla can successfully scale up production, the company could hit its goal of $100 per kilowatt-hour sooner than expected.</p><p>Hitting that mark could usher in the electric-car revolution, considering $100 per kilowatt-hour is <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/How-Soon-Can-Tesla-Get-Battery-Cell-Cost-Below-100-per-Kilowatt-Hour" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">generally regarded as the threshold</a> the industry needs to reach in order to make electric vehicles cost competitive with gas-powered cars. </p><p>A $25,000 electric car would also be Tesla's cheapest offering by far. The company had previously promised a $35,000 car, but only offered one at that price for a limited time. Tesla's website says its Model 3, its cheaper car, starts at about <a href="https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/article/22027923/tesla-declines-as-model-3-price-cut-renews-demand-concerns" target="_blank">$39,000.</a></p>
Photo of Tesla's new battery design
Tesla<p>To be sure, Musk is known for promising big on his projects, but not always following through on the promised timetable. But despite having an "insanely hard" 2020, as Musk said, Tesla's had a good past couple years.<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"In 2019, we had 50% growth," Musk said at the event. "And I think we'll do really pretty well in 2020, probably somewhere between 30 to 40 percent growth, despite a lot of very difficult circumstances."</p>
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.
Well preserved coffins hint towards more discoveries in a famed necropolis.
- Archeologists in Egypt have discovered more than two dozen sarcophagi in the last month.
- Experts predict more discoveries in the coming weeks.
- Their discovery is another credit to Saqqara, the necropolis of the old capital of Memphis.
More mummies than in a horror movie.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMTA4OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjQ3Nzc5OX0.Vf-N6VDF0tVTarGsPg46iPDARKKIqYqd32b7Zltvxn0/img.jpg?width=980" id="4aad6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="91e3416d707d54f5a71e560ed928ece2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Facebook<p>The first 13 of them were found stacked on top of each other in a shaft 11 meters <a href="https://www.facebook.com/moantiquities/posts/3378381348874158" target="_blank">deep</a>. All of the sarcophagi were completely sealed and apparently hadn't been tampered with since there were buried. In some cases, the paint on the wooden coffins is still visible, giving them a vibrant appearance. </p><p> Shortly after that find, the ministry of antiquities announced the discovery of 14 more mummies at the same site in another, similar <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/sealed-sarcophagi-ancient-egypt-discovery-saqqara-2020-9" target="_blank">shaft</a>. Similarly to the previous find, these coffins were remarkably well preserved and featured painted hieroglyphics. <strong></strong></p> The finds were also detailed in a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/moantiquities/posts/3418995644812728" target="_blank">Facebook post</a> by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. At the moment, we don't know who these mummies were, what kind of lives they lived, or what items they decided to take to their graves. This information is expected to turn up soon. More details on the mummies are expected next <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearth-27-coffins-egypts-145238537.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">month</a><p>.</p>
What kind of a place has two dozen mummies just lying around?<p>The remains were found at the Saqqara Plateau, known to have housed the necropolis of the city of Memphis during that era of Egyptian history. It is well known for its <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Djoser" target="_blank">Step Pyramid of Djoser</a>, perhaps the earliest example of cut stone construction at such a scale in human history. Located a mere 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the better known Great Pyramid at Gaza, Saqqara has been a site of significant archeological interest for more than a century.</p><p>The earliest burials there date back to the first dynasty, some 5000 years ago. The site remained in use as a burial ground and religious center to the rise of Islam in the 7<sup>th</sup> century C.E. It's six thousand years of service has given it a unique collection of monuments, pyramids, and tombs for high ranking officials and pharaohs alongside galleries for the mummies of pets, statues of Greek philosophers and poets, and the remains of monasteries. </p><p>Of course, while the mummies of Pharaohs, and the massive wealth they were buried with, capture public interest, mummification was not just for royalty. Many tombs are filled with the remains of <a href="https://newsela.com/read/middle-class-mummies-egypt" target="_blank">middle-class Egyptians</a>, rather than those of royalty, and feature simpler variations of the elite's burial practices.</p><p>The Ministry of Antiquities expects more sarcophagi to be found at the site and has already announced further <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/egypt-discovers-14-more-ancient-unopened-sarcophagi" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">excavations</a>. </p>
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