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.
  • If you're not a subscriber yet, join Big Think Edge today. Take our 7-day free trial — test it out. You can cancel any time.


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

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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

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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

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This week's Big Think Edge Deep Dives

Saturday 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.


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