Category: Soft Power Skills

Using Priming & Timing to Persuade

One early morning, I watched local fishermen tending their nets as the tide slowly retreated, following the setting moon. Fishermen understand the importance of timing. They take in many factors of nature to decide when to cast their nets.  In persuading & influencing, we benefit from learning the right timing too. In Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way

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A 2018 Reading Review

It’s that time of year for thoughtful reflection & self-assessment. I often wish I were a faster reader…I started 2018 with a longer & different list of books to read, but time & circumstances took me to unexpected paths. Overall, though, it’s been a fruitful year of discovering: • fascinating views of cultural differences in

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Overconfidence: The Downfall of Decision-Making

Overconfidence sets us up for a long fall if we’re not realistic about our limitations. We all have cognitive biases that contribute to being overconfident, but these can be overcome with 6 practical methods to make more successful decisions.

Let People Surprise You with Their Ingenuity

  Upon entering the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs every June, basic cadets, called “doolies,” are given a small pocketbook of knowledge with quotes to memorize and repeat under stress. The quotes deal with self-discipline, airmanship, and especially leadership. Patton’s quote has been particularly influential in my life, and remains applicable for leaders

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Is That Your Final Answer? Controlling Emotion at the Moment of Decision

“Is that your final answer?” That famous phrase heard worldwide in different languages on the wildly popular game show “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” meant that the time had come to make a final decision. Viewers sweated and felt the knotted stomach of emotional tension in the contestant. In my previous articles on decision-making,

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Mother’s Day Special: What Has Your Mom Taught You About Leadership?

Special days for appreciating and thanking mothers are celebrated around the world at different times in different cultures. In the United States, Mother’s Day is officially recognized on the 2nd Sunday of May. In honor of that tradition, here are some thoughts on what my mom taught me about leadership. Let’s start a conversation…Please share

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Lead From Behind

To be a leader you don’t need to be the star of the show. Leadership doesn’t mean shining in front of everyone’s eyes. It’s about fulfilling your role, leading your team in support of something bigger than you.

Seeing Red: 7 Ways to Overcome Your Confirmation Bias

Imagine driving down the highway, and suddenly a red flash cuts you off and zooms recklessly ahead, quickly disappearing in the distance. You think to yourself, “What a jerk! Thinks he doesn’t have to obey rules…he’s going to kill somebody! It figures he’s in a red Porsche…” And from that point you draw a conclusion

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3 Observations About Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Engine Failure Incident

On 18 April 2018, Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was passing 32,500 feet altitude, bound for Dallas from New York. Passengers heard and felt a large explosion, a sudden depressurization, and rapid turn and descent. A passenger was sucked half-way out of a blown-out window, severely injured from explosion shrapnel. In the chaos, the aircrew managed

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When Setting Goals Becomes TOXIC

When I was in the US Air Force, I witnessed several examples of the downside of goal-setting. The structure of promotion often rewarded holding certain positions over the actual performance in the position. One example particularly sticks in my mind of a “fast burner,” or someone on the fast promotion track, who was shifted over

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