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.