What makes for effective and resilient teams is something that interests many leaders and organisations. I have spoken about some of these aspects in other articles, particularly on team composition. But some new research gives some insights into the leaders themselves and how they influence effectiveness and resilience in the face of unexpected situations. Something that is of particular interest with the pandemic which has raised the importance of resilience.

So what behaviours created more effective and resilient teams?

Research into 48 teams from 5 Canadian startups by Brykman and King showed that those leaders who encouraged on-the-job-learning, and of note, also enabled and encouraged employees to speak up…

Credit: unknown (let me know if you know it)

Old logic sees punishment as motivation. Good ‘ole school systems used this: strict rules and give anyone who diverges of the righteous path a good beating. That will see them right. I grew up in Britain which still had the cane (a thin stick) as a punishment in schools — it was finally abolished when I was 14, but not before my brother and been given a good whipping at school. …

Are the Brains of Conspiracy Theorists Wired Differently — or is it Just Exaggerated Natural Mechanisms at Work

Before the pandemic conspiracy theories, particularly in the USA were running at a high, or seemingly at least. These have increased, with the pandemic fuelling many conspiracy theories, many directly related to the pandemic. Some of these are bizarre to the extreme but even reasonable people seem to be falling for many of these theories.

So just was is happening in the brains of these people and how can we explain this increase in conspiracies?

At the time of writing, in March…

Photo 162559344 © Nd3000 | Dreamstime.com

We all probably agree that kids should play — even so a lot of research points to the fact that kids should be playing more. And we may like to have some fun at the office and at school and college but some stuff requires being serious and focused. Or does it?

Well, this is what Lisa Forbes at the University of Colorado asked. She observed students aged between 23 and 43 in three of her courses over one semester while using playful pedagogy. …

Photo 119910588 © Ammentorp | Dreamstime.com

I’m a bit of an owl — generally preferring to go to bed later and get up a bit later. I’ve trained myself over the years to be a bit more larkish, with some reasonable success, but left to my own devices I find my sleep pattern creeping ever later.

These sleep patterns, known as chronotypes, have been well researched and seem to be genetically driven. Some of us are simply larkish, early to bed and early to rise, and some of us are just owlish, late to bed and late to rise. …

Photo 129622558 © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

Well, this may seem a bit pre-determined, and not resonate well with many of you but that is the conclusion Eric Wice and Julia Saltz, bioscientists at Rice University, have recently come up with.

Admittedly, this is research into the popularity of fruit flies with their fellow fruit flies! But before you dismiss this, it is intriguing nonetheless.

In fact, many of us know people who are just really nice people and people who are just jerks. And interestingly they can’t really seem to do anything about it — sure if they make an effort, they can become less jerk-like…

Photo 73858709 © Kantver | Dreamstime.com

So who doesn’t want to have creative ideas in their business.

The problem is getting employees to be creative while doing their day job as well. We also know that just asking or demanding creativity can diminish creativity and innovation!

A simple approach many businesses take is to financially reward creative ideas given to the organisation — seems like a good idea to our capital driven leaders but recent research shows why this is not the best way to reward creativity!

In fact changing rewards increases the number and quality of creative suggestions.

What is the best way to reward…

In the world of communication training we constantly talk about emotions — portraying them and speaking to them. We know that the brain is controlled by emotions and if you get the emotions, you get everything else. So this recent piece of research out of Washington State University caught my eye.

They analysed almost 500 videos on Kickstarter, the online funding platform, and found that entrepreneurs who expressed a wider range of emotions reached their funding goals more often, raised more money, and had more contributors.

You will notice that I said a wider range of emotions. So this wasn’t…

One of the clear downsides of the pandemic (amongst many) has been an increase in loneliness for some people. Loneliness, we know, has particularly negative impacts on mental health. I have also written on other research that has explored the polarising concepts of wisdom and loneliness (and brain structures involved): wise people tend to be less lonely irrespective of personal contact (and this also appears to have a relationship to the gut microbiome).

So, I was interested to read this recent piece of research that showed a link between a sense of purpose with loneliness, and interestingly, also health behaviours…

Doomscrolling is a term used to describe scrolling through negative news, particularly on social media. Suggesting a bizarre attraction to the negative — often in a depressed mood at that. Some people seem to find it compelling even though they know it won’t do them any good.

So what is happening in the brain, or rather, what is it that leads some people to seek out future negative information over which they have no control? This is the question a group of researchers asked at Washington University School of Medicine.

For example, if you could do a DNA test to…

Andy Hab

The brain and human behaviour, in business, society, learning, and health.

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