Tag: soft skills

East-West Differences in Seeing: Object or Substance?

An intriguing experiment may show cultural difference in how people see the world—either as discrete & differentiated objects or as interconnected substances. Told that a simple shape & material item (like a cork cone) was an imaginary name (dax), Americans & Japanese were asked to choose either same shape/different material or same material/different shape as

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East-West Differences in Time Perception

Most of us recognize that time is treated differently in different cultures. This usually comes up when someone from another culture is late for a meeting & makes a joke about being on “local” time. But there are deeper consequences of the truth that people experience time differently depending on their cultural background. Many Asian

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The East-West Divide in Thinking

Studies in western societies show people have an inflated view of self. Whether it’s drivers, students, or college professors, most rate their own abilities as higher than others, & westerners evaluate themselves as unique in ways they aren’t. This overconfidence bias, however, appears to weaken as it crosses the East-West divide.  An experiment may suggest

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Asian-Western Cognitive Differences

Have you ever been in a foreign country & discovered that people just don’t think like you do? Researcher Richard Nisbett has found specific differences in the way  Asians & Westerners see the world. In one experiment, Chinese & American eye movements were tracked as they viewed pictures with a central object against a complex

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Humble Leadership

Cosmic events are always good reminders of our humble place in the vastness of space.  In August 2017 a total eclipse swept over the United States, dubbed “The Great American Eclipse.” It’s an amazing coincidence of timing that the moon is the just the right size to produce this phenomenon—the moon’s body is the perfect

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Break Your Barriers!

Paradigms are the way we see the world–and we don’t see the world as it is, but as we are.  Through the centuries of human history, advances have been made by breaking paradigms to see things in a new way.  What things inside of us are holding us back from a new vision and positive

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Lessons from the 1st Platform Economy

For 100 years, Sears ran a platform economy via its Sears catalogue. People spread across vast remote regions could get information about goods & order them for delivery, greatly reducing transaction costs. Sears wasn’t selling stoves, cattle feed, or clothing so much as it was providing information & connecting people. It shut down its famous

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China’s Rise: Opportunity in Disruption

Disruptive innovation. Creative destruction. These are popular buzzwords that we might apply to a rapidly changing world economy. China’s relative & absolute rise in wealth has been astounding over the last 40 years. Their presence in the Asian & world market is certainly disruptive to the old order. This change is happening in the context

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Bad Boss Big Loss

My brother works at a small start-up manufacturing consumer dietary products, & recently told me a story with a good lesson. The boss has been very successful in growing this company, & knows his product & market very well. But product competency doesn’t equal leadership competency. In a recent meeting, in which this boss quizzes

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Making Judgment Calls

People see leaders who make sound judgment calls as heroes; those who show poor judgment–the marketplace rarely treats them well. But making calls can’t be avoided when you’re in charge. Sound judgment is a key leadership trait that can be developed with thought & practice. Business professors Tichy & Bennis found that leaders make important

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