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APRIL 2016

APRIL 2016

Study: Mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brain

Our brains are unique, with varying differences in nerve fibre bundles, white-matter tracts, volume, cortical thickness and blood flow. Researchers identified the fronto-parietal network as critical to intelligence, which means that individual differences in that brain network can explain differences in cognitive abilities.


April Fool! The Purpose of Pranks

Read on to find out more 


Spiders look bigger if you're afraid of them, study finds

Are you very afraid of spiders, or do you know anyone suffering from arachnophobia? Chances are, people with spider-phobia tend to view spiders as being much larger than they actually are (i.e. size disturbance), yet this overestimation does not occur for other unpleasant insects like wasps. Now the interesting question is: does size disturbance cause fear, or is it that fear causes size disturbance?


What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Project Aristotle is Google’s research initiative to understand what makes a team productive and effective. This is what Google learned: There is no ideal profile for team effectiveness, e.g. both a highly sociable team and a more reserved team can be equally effective. So what makes the difference? The answer lies in “psychological safety”. This means that members of effective teams are likely to share a belief that they are collaborating in a safe environment, where they are able to speak up without fear of negative consequences. 


To Listen, Or To Criticize?

When should we listen and when should we criticise? And when conflict is inevitable, how can we refrain from passive aggression in the form of silent treatment, and to engage in a more assertive manner of communication? Here are some tips and strategies from a professor who lectures on conflict resolution.


Lessons from military strategist Sun Tzu that will help you win at life

How can we use Sun Tzu’s teachings for our personal self-development? Read on to find out how his military strategies can be adapted to help us build new habits and get rid of bad ones.


The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders Around the World

A recent research surveyed 195 leaders on the leadership competencies they felt to be most important. The top 10 competencies can be grouped into 5 themes, namely: 1) strong ethics and safety, 2) self-organising, 3) efficient learning, 4) nurtures growth, and 5) connection and belonging. Yet, when viewed from a neuroscientific perspective, it is often difficult for us to fully demonstrate these competencies as they may not be our natural tendencies. Why is this so and how then can we overcome it?


Charles Schwab’s CEO takes job candidates to breakfast and asks the restaurant to mess up their order — here’s why

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Charles Schwab’s CEO, Walt Bettinger, described his unconventional approach to interviewing a potential hire. He will take candidates to breakfast, but will pre-inform the restaurant to serve the wrong breakfast order, and then observe how candidates respond to the mistake. In Bettinger’s own words: “We’re all going to make mistakes. The question is how are we going to recover when we make them, and are we going to be respectful to others when they make them?”


One Wall Street bank is trying out a new way to court junior bankers

To attract and engage Millenials, many Wall Street banks have introduced schemes aimed at providing young bankers with opportunities to do rewarding work with an impact. For example, Goldman Sachs recently implemented an initiative to fast-track its junior bankers, while Deutsche Bank has a new program that allows analysts and associates to handle client accounts and deals, with vice presidents acting as their ‘resource managers’. With an increasing number of Millenials being put into key positions of responsibility so quickly, the risk that comes with such promotions cannot be ignored.


The Mindset That Leads People to Be Dangerously Overconfident

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Here’s what a Facebook world will look like in 2026

If this is materialised, how much do you want Facebook to control your life and how much do you want Facebook to intrude and share?


13 things mentally strong people don’t do

Mental strength often requires controlling our thoughts, behaviours and emotions. What are the 13 things that mentally strong people do not do?


What's Your Real Motive for Being Altruistic?

The reasons behind altruism has always been hotly debated. Many psychologists believe that altruism has many forms, but how do we distinguish them? A recent brain study by the University of Zurich may shed some light. While it was reported that the same brain areas were activated during acts of altruism, the neural communication among those areas differed. This allowed researchers to differentiate between the motives behind altruism, i.e. whether the altruistic act was driven by empathy or reciprocity.


CEO Talk: Robert Hogan, Hogan Assessment

Dr. ROBERT HOGAN, Founder of Hogan Assessments. 
"I grew up poor. I was selling magazines when I was 5 years old, and I had my first job when I was 13. Between the ages of 28 and 60, I had two or three different jobs, I worked really hard. That’s what you do when you want to be successful. There is no substitute for working hard. You can plan all you want, but if you want to be successful, you have to be ready to work all the time."