The Power of EmpathyWednesday, August 27, 2014

We all react to the moods and behaviours of others, but we are all more empathic that we realise. Most people think that empathy is something we actively choose to engage in, such as during a deep and meaningful conversation or when we are moved by another person's story. In fact, fascinating studies show that our brains empathise even when we are passively observing others.  

We all react to the moods and behaviours of others, but we are all more empathic that we realise. Most people think that empathy is something we actively choose to engage in, such as during a deep and meaningful conversation or when we are moved by another person's story. In fact, fascinating st ..
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An interesting study was published in 2010 in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science. It suggested that our personalities are set by the time we are in Year One, which is the age of six. The study interviewed people across four decades and found strong correlations between their behaviour at six and their behaviour in middle age. They looked at things like verbal fluency, adaptability, impulsivity and the tendency to self-minimize. "We remain recognizably the same person," study author Christopher Nave said. "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts."

Different Personalities in the Playground 

An interesting study was published in 2010 in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science. It suggested that our personalities are set by the time we are in Year One, which is the age of six. The study interviewed people across four decades and found strong correlations between t ..
[ ...read more... ]

It is estimated that people from Generation Y onwards (anyone born after 1980) will have at least 10 job changes throughout their career. That means shapeshifting will become a vital skill in the 21st century.  

It is estimated that people from Generation Y onwards (anyone born after 1980) will have at least 10 job changes throughout their career. That means shapeshifting will become a vital skill in the 21st century. Shapeshifting is the ability to transform into another form or being. We need to  ..
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I used to be a criminal lawyer at the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

I used to be a criminal lawyer at the Director of Public Prosecutions. In many ways this was a fascinating job, and in many ways this was a traumatic job. I eventually left the job to do pursue academic research. But in my time there, I was struck by the fact that everyday there are ordi ..
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Emotional Intelligence TrainingWednesday, March 12, 2014

Think of any organisation you are involved in: your workplace, school, university, hospital, or community group. There are always two aspects to the organisation:  

Think of any organisation you are involved in: your workplace, school, university, hospital, or community group. There are always two aspects to the organisation: 1. There’s the day-to-day operations (what you do there and what happens each day), and 2. How it feels to be there.  ..
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The Group MindWednesday, February 26, 2014

Hysterical fans descend into violence at the end of a football match. Screaming girls start crying as they watch a boy band take the stage. Entire populations turn on a particular race of people after a terrorist attack. Companies turn a blind eye to the infighting in their teams until someone quits or the brand begins to suffer. 

We see the power of the group mind all around us. It is the collective personality that results when any number of individuals comes together for a common purpose. Many people think of the group as the sum of its parts. However, the group actually forms a collective mind as a new and separate entity that transcends its members. For example, Australia as an entity is more than and separate from the sum total of Australians. It has symbols, representations, laws, cultural practices and a landscape that gives it an identity above its inhabitants. Similarly, companies, schools, hospitals and organisations are more than and separate from the sum total of their employees, students, members and customers. A family is more than and separate from the sum total of its members. A relationship is more than and separate from the sum total of its two partners. 

Why is this important? It is important because if we treat the group as an entity that is separate from its members, then we realize that we need to care for that ‘group self.’ We need to recognise and nurture the relationship, the family, the organization, the nation and the global community. At present, most groups consist of self-interested members who act for their own purposes and forget the needs of the group. In this scenario, the group is neglected and suffers. We experience this neglect in practical ways like disloyalty, lack of cohesion, lack of communication, lack of vision, and conflict.

So how do we care for the group? 

When we are part of a group, we need to consciously surrender our wants and needs to harmonize with the group’s wants and needs. We need to see the robustness and vitality of the group as being paramount. This is often difficult to do, especially when we have been conditioned in a self-serving society based on individualism and freedom of choice. 

But if we are not willing to make this sacrifice, it should also make us question our commitments- we should only commit to groups that we feel aligned with, and that we are willing to be a whole and authentic part of. When making all decisions, we must firstly ask: how will this affect the relationship, the family unit, the company, the organization, the brand, the nation, or the earth? When employing people, ask: is this person aligned with the group vision? Keeping the group mind at the forefront of each individual’s mind will keep each individual happy, because they will feel clearer on their own purpose within the collective. They will feel a sense of belonging. They will be more likely to show loyalty to the collective, and feel more enthusiastic about their endeavours. 

There are many positive aspects to a society based on individualism and freedom, but there are also positive aspects to shifting our focus on collectivism and cohesion. We need to be an inspired society integrating all of these different ideals.  

Hysterical fans descend into violence at the end of a football match. Screaming girls start crying as they watch a boy band take the stage. Entire populations turn on a particular race of people after a terrorist attack. Companies turn a blind eye to the infighting in their teams until someone q ..
[ ...read more... ]

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