August 2016

This month, learn how to listen like a trampoline, tell a transfixing tale, and interview like George Costanza—and don't miss the feedback survey at the end:

1. Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and in Love
Once upon a time, Elizabeth Bernstein wrote about the impact that storytelling can have on our health, satisfaction, and even how attractive other people find us. I’ve found that working on storytelling skills has improved my teaching and writing—and this article gives some terrific tips for honing yours.

2. Stop Making Gratitude All About You
Experiencing thank-you-note writer's block? Heidi Grant Halvorson can help: the best way to express gratitude is to emphasize what others have given, not what you've received.

3. What Great Listeners Actually Do
I used to think good listening was about smiling and nodding silently while someone spoke, soaking up their every word like a sponge. But Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman show there’s much more to it. For starters, "good listeners are like trampolines. They are someone you can bounce ideas off of."

4. Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists
Across industries, I've noticed that most organizations favor confident leaders who make rapid decisions. Yet Mark Chussil shares evidence that the best strategic decision-makers are often slow and unsure. The tortoise beats the hare again.

5. Why Kids Can Learn More From Tales of Fantasy Than Realism
In Originals, I proposed that we could stimulate creativity by encouraging children to read more science fiction. New research from Deena Skolnick Weisberg takes that further, revealing that kids actually learn more from fantasy than reality. Thinking about the impossible seems to encourage deeper processing.

6. How Historical Migration Patterns Shape Emotional Expression
Why are some countries more emotionally expressive than others? Adrienne Wood's data point to an interesting clue: historical migration patterns. Without a common language, people in diverse regions had a greater need for nonverbal cues to understand each other.

7. The Science of Selfishness
Many people assume that to be generous, we need to override our selfish instincts. Erin Coulehan describes a growing body of research suggesting the opposite: giving is spontaneous. It’s often when we stop to think and calculate that we become greedy.

From My Desk:

8. Interviewing to Hire Trailblazers, Nonconformists, and Originals
Hoping to bring more original thinkers into your workplace? Here's how to spot them: start by asking applicants how they would improve your interview process or change your culture.

9. In a Job Interview, This Is How to Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
When you're the one interviewing for a job, how do you answer the question of what your weaknesses are? My case for why we should all be more like George Costanza: interviewers are 30% more interested in hiring someone who honestly admits a fault.

10. Announcing My Next Book
Sheryl Sandberg and I are writing Option B, a book on resilience. It will focus on how we can face the adversity in our lives, find meaning, and bounce back stronger.

Take a Quick Survey:

You don't have to wait until November to let your voice be heard. Take the three-question GRANTED Feedback Survey and help shape the future of this newsletter. I’ll appreciate any feedback that you give and your ideas will live happily ever after.
Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Wharton professor and author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE
Copyright © 2016 The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, All rights reserved.

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