We Have Evolved to Use Anger to Win

Men have adapted to deliberately use anger to gain advantage and get what they want. 

The scene was straight out of Brad Gilbert's bestseller Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis.


During a brutal first-round match in 107 degree heat at the Australian Open, opponents Kei Nishikori and Marinko Matosevic each took prolonged bathroom breaks - but not at the same time. The key to winning ugly, as Gilbert would argue, is to make your opponent wait on the court in the heat. If your opponent does this to you, then you should take a break in retaliation and make them wait. While they seethe on the court, you come back fresh. You have then succeeded in annoying your opponent, and your unnerved opponent will start making mistakes. 

This is apparently a trick that men have adapted to use over time, as a new study demonstrates that men (only men were studied) deliberately anger each other to gain advantage and get what they want. 

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Uri Gneezy, a behavioral economist at the University of California, San Diego, anger can be used strategically to impair an opponent's performance. Of course, anger can also be used to the benefit of a rival. If we sense that, we tend to shy away from the strategy.

Gneezy's study obviously has implications for negotiation. The rational course of action, it appears, is not always the most effective course of action.

Read more here

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According to TwoFold CEO Alison McMahon, a leader who doesn't care (or can't pretend to care) about his or her employees isn't much of a leader at all.

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Why do people quit their jobs? Surely, there are a ton of factors: money, hours, location, lack of interest, etc. For Alison McMahon, an HR specialist and the CEO of TwoFold, the biggest reason employees jump ship is that they're tired of working for lousy bosses.

By and large, she says, people are willing to put up with certain negatives as long as they enjoy who they're working for. When that's just not the case, there's no reason to stick around:

Nine times out of ten, when an employee says they're leaving for more money, it's simply not true. It's just too uncomfortable to tell the truth.

Whether that's true is certainly debatable, though it's not a stretch to say that an inconsiderate and/or incompetent boss isn't much of a leader. If you run an organization or company, your values and actions need to guide and inspire your team. When you fail to do that, you set the table for poor productivity and turnover.

McMahon offers a few suggestions for those who want to hone their leadership abilities, though it seems that these things are more innate qualities than acquired skills. For example, actually caring about your workers or not depending wholly on HR thinking they can do your job for you.

It's the nature of promotions that, inevitably, a good employee without leadership skills will get thrust into a supervisory position. McMahon says this is a chronic problem that many organizations need to avoid, or at least make the time to properly evaluate and assist with the transition.

But since they often don't, they end up with uninspired workers. And uninspired workers who don't have a reason to stay won't stick around for long.

Read more at LinkedIn.

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