Want Healthy Personal and Professional Relationships? It's All About Praise.
Understanding the importance of praise in our personal and professional lives means overcoming a blind spot in human psychology that is many tens of thousands of years in the making.
Understanding the importance of praise in our personal and professional lives means overcoming a blind spot in human psychology that is many tens of thousands of years in the making. Numerous studies have found that across a wide range of topics, humans are more attracted to negativity than positivity: we tend to describe people's negative attributes before their positive ones; our dreams tend to be more violent than pleasant; we recall traumatic childhood moments more easily than the felicitous ones.
The list goes on, and for good reason, too. Focussing our thoughts on harmful things--think rattle snakes and spoiled food--helped our ancestors survive a nature yet untamed by modern conveniences. But our proclivity for bad feeling is harming our personal and professional relationships. In 1992, for example, psychologist John Gottman found that divorce rates could accurately be predicted based on how frequently couples praised each other. In the office, we tend to put more energy toward avoiding a bad reputation rather than cultivate a positive one.
In his Big Think interview, organizational psychologist George Kohlrieser argues that the fundamental task of leadership is to change mindsets. The best way to do this, he argues, is creating lasting human bonds:
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Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
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