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Have You Got The X Factor? 

Convention on expertise tells us that practice makes perfect. While musical experience certainly predicts musical ability, it is not the sole factor. Researchers from Cambridge and Goldsmiths universities in the UK found that personality, specifically higher Openness to Experience, plays a significant role in determining one's musicality as well, even if the person does not play any musical instruments


Hogan Assessments and Sirota Partner to Launch Engaging Leader Report

Hogan Assessments in partnership with SIROTA launches The Engaging Leader and Team Effectiveness Report.
Contact us for further discussions. OPTIMAL is licensed partner of Hogan Assessment Systems. 


Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges

A decline in resilience among university students is a trend increasingly reported by American colleges, affecting not only the students' academic progress, but also their emotional and personal development. While university counsellors ponder over ways to address this issue, questions are also raised about how overprotective / 'helicopter' parenting may have affected their children's ability to build resilience.


This Is How Your Brain Judges Others' Personalities

Our brains have evolved to gather information about the people around us all the time. Which means that in the realm of human interaction, there's no second chance for a good first impression.


6 Mental Habits That Will Wear You Down

While the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) is typically applied to measure the derailing risks of our personality in the workplace, it can also provide us with a glimpse into the negative mental habits that we hold. From being overly concerned about failures and/or details (high Cautious and Diligent) to being too people-pleasing (high Dutiful), read on to find out how our mental habits can hinder our life happiness and success.


The Secret Ingredient That Makes Some Team Better Than Others

Why are some eclectic combinations of people able to form high-performing teams? The answer may lie in social capital - the sense of interconnectedness that builds trust and resilience within the team. High degrees of social capital allows each member to readily disagree with and build on their members' ideas. Consequently, hard problems can be addressed and creativity can flourish.


Be Generous: It's a Simple Way to Stay Healthier

The concept of "the joy of giving" is not new to us, but the positive impact of generosity may be more far-reaching than previously believed. From reduced cardiovascular risk to less anxiety, there are many physiological and psychological benefits for both young and old. However, there are certain caveats: the act of giving must be altruistic and not self-oriented, and it must be done deliberately and thoughtfully.


Memory Loss: 7 Tips to Improve Your Memory

Find yourself forgetting important things to do / details more often than not? From sleeping well to eating healthily, what some tips to counter memory loss?


Hail the Humble CEO

Is CEO humility key to employee engagement? A recent study investigating CEOs of small-to-medium-sized firms reveals that humble CEOs tend to look beyond self-interests when leading teams, which can translate to greater employee empowerment, reduced pay disparity and mutual trust. In turn, employees are more engaged when their basic needs of achievement, camaraderie and equity are satisfied


Test : What is Your Stress Type?

Take this test to find out how you react to stress, and what you can do to reduce stress.


Good News About Worrying

Imagine you are currently waiting for an outcome that could potentially change your life (e.g. results of a job application or biopsy) and you are powerless to affect the outcome – will you be worrying? We may think that worrying under such circumstances is pointless and even detrimental to our well-being, but studies indicate otherwise. In fact, when compared to non-worriers, worriers are found to experience more elation when they receive a good outcome, and are better prepared for bad outcomes. 


3 Real Reasons Why We Procrastinate 

Is procrastination really that undesirable, as we often believe it to be? Or is it only a problem, because we think of it as one? Instead of treating procrastination as a problem we need to get rid of, perhaps we need to consider the real reasons behind procrastination, and why procrastination can actually help us to get work done ultimately.


What Reading Does To Your Brain Is Truly Fascinating 

How does reading affect our brains? From increased white matter (i.e. the part of our brains critical for brain communication) to increased levels of empathy, it seems unequivocal that reading is beneficial to us in many ways. Read on to find out more…


Practicing Gratitude Seriously Rewires Your Brain for the Better

Blessed Thanksgiving 


Can You Get Smarter?

Cognitive decline is an inevitable fact of life, with the brain region critical to memory (hippocampus) shrinking 1 to 2 percent every year from age 55. Fortunately, various research have documented ways to maintain one’s cognitive ability. For those age 60 and above, brain training (e.g. attention tests, math puzzles, etc.) may delay the effects of aging on the brain. The rate of cognitive decline can also be reduced with high levels of social activity and integration. More intriguingly, physical exercise can also help to slow down brain shrinkage, due to the increased levels of a protein that promotes growth of new neurons.


Making Leaders More Engaging

How engaging are you as a leader? How engaged is your team? How effective is your team?


Why Ditching Appraisals is a Stupid Idea

Performance reviews / appraisals / management system whatever it has been called range from simplicity to complexity that can take up a third of management time.
Ditching is a bad idea. Continuing is equally bad especially the complex and time consuming system. So?
I am sure some clever consultant will contact you with a new idea soon!


Can Scientists Agree on a Definition of Curiosity?

All of us probably have an idea of what “curiosity” is. Yet, do you know that from a scientific perspective, there is currently no agreed upon definition for curiosity? Scientists have studied the concept of curiosity since the 19th century, but many questions are still up for debate. Is curiosity intrinsically motivated, and does it always carry benefits? Is curiosity linked to attentional disorders like ADHD? With no existing definite answers to these questions, can scientists ever reach a consensus on what curiosity exactly is?