How high-conflict personalities capture high office
BILL EDDY: High-Conflict Personalities or people with those, and I refer to them as HCPs, have four key characteristics that make some of them want to be political leaders. They love to blame other people. They're preoccupied with other people's behavior. There's a lot of all-or-nothing thinking. And for politicians, it's all-or-nothing solutions to problems. They have unmanaged emotions or intense emotions. And they actually shift everything to the emotional side, which helps give them power. But lastly, they have extreme behaviors, behaviors that 90% of people would never have, maybe even 99% of people, when they become high-conflict politicians.
Human beings like to be independent. They like to do things their own way. But when there's a crisis, they'll follow a leader. And so when a high-conflict personality wants to become a leader, first of all, they don't have good problem-solving skills. And they don't have good leadership skills. So what happens is, to become a leader, they have to create a crisis or just say something is a crisis-- say, there's an evil villain over there related to this-- or caused the crisis-- and I'm a hero. And if people identify them with the image of a strong man, an image of a hero, then they will follow that person. But wait a minute. There isn't really a crisis. And this person isn't really a hero. And there isn't really a villain.
In general, the world is much better off than it's ever been. There's less hunger. People live longer-- all of this. But the message that grabs our attention is crisis-- Fear, conflict, chaos. And so we're fed that, in many ways, because we want to be fed that. We're shifting from reading the news and talking about it in a matter-of-fact manner to high emotions. It's faces. It's voices. It grabs your attention. And it's like constant advertising. You don't even have to think. Your brain absorbs this information. So we see all these leaders around the world. The ones who are the most high-conflict personality are the ones who come forward in this face-and-voice news environment. And they grab your attention. They grab your brain. And they make up stories. It doesn't matter if they're true or false. It's the best stories. And the modern media-- inadvertently I think-- is Would have just stayed on the fringes, who everyone would have laughed at and said, you're just way out-of-line here.
High-conflict politicians always have a love-hate relationship with the media. And the reason for this is they love the attention. But they don't like or they hate the interpretation. And so they want to fight the interpretation. But that helps with the drama, because if they're in conflict-- if they say, well, your reporters can't attend my event, only these reporters can, that's more conflict. That's more chaos-- more crisis, more fear. And people are afraid-- uh-oh-- if I step on this person's toes, we won't get to have our reporter there. So it just adds to the drama. But the key thing that happens is the media repeats the emotional messages of the high-conflict politician. And that just sails on through. And that's what gets into our brain, without even thinking, like advertising.
Emotional repetition is the key to how high-conflict politicians communicate with and excite everybody. They excite their followers. But they also make their opponents angry and ineffective, as they get emotionally hooked and fight with each other. The parts of our brain that are paying attention the most to human emotions are the relationship parts of our brain. And so they can form a relationship with people by doing this at an emotional level, without really thinking. And in many ways, it's a seduction process, just like a con man would seduce a woman that they want their credit card or they want to marry them and then spend their money on the next person. They say all these emotional things. You're wonderful. You're beautiful. You're the best thing that ever happened to me. And high-conflict politicians say, you're wonderful. We agree with each other. We're the best thing for each other. When in fact, it's all calculated.
- High-conflict personalities possesses 4 qualities that may encourage them to become politicians.
- Overly emotional communication suits high-conflict personalities and drives the media to cover them.
- As with any conman, relationships with high-conflict personalities are calculated and transactional.
Should other nations start requiring schools to teach climate science, too?
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- Starting September 2020, public schools in Italy will have to incorporate 33 hours of climate-related lessons into their annual curriculum.
- Italy's education minister said it's part of an effort to place "the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school."
- In the U.S., not all states have implemented teaching standards that call for lessons on climate science, but about 80 percent of parents said they support such standards.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
This is how companies can better align with the values they claim to uphold.
- Defining corporate values is increasingly important to organizations and society—which is why consulting firms are making millions of dollars helping organizations define their values. What we're seeing consistently, says social innovator Aaron Hurst, is this is not working.
- You can print values on posters and talk about them at conferences, but these values often fail to become part of the fabric of the organization. They remain upper-management-speak.
- You could start to fix that problem in one hour, says Hurst. Try his recommended exercise: Connect your employees in pairs and ask them to talk about how a given value has shown up in their career, what does it mean to them? Values are only legitimate if everyone in your company can tell genuine stories about how those values have shown up in their daily jobs.