GRANTED: A list of things you’ll never do and the loneliness of creative work
This month, learn how to give better feedback, think like a scientist, and minimize the misery of creative work:
1. Keep a List of Unethical Things You'll Never Do
You have a to-do list, but do you have a not-to-do list? Often, we’re led down slippery slopes by small, seemingly innocuous choices. Mark Chussil suggests a thoughtful solution: commit in advance to a “to-don’t” list.
2. Who Are You, Really? The Puzzle of Personality
Brian Little inspired me to become a professor. He taught the best class I've ever taken— and his newly released TED talk will give you a taste of why. Wisdom is dropped and hilarity ensues.
3. Too Small to Fail
Far too many children face an uphill battle right from the start of their lives. "If we want to get more kids in universities,” Nick Kristof writes, “we should invest in preschools."
4. The Unbearable Loneliness of Creative Work
Before we put creativity on a pedestal, Ruth Graham covers evidence on some of the unseen costs: burnout, frustration, and less time with spouses, to name a few.
5. The Secrets of Great Teamwork
Today's teams are diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic. Martine Haas and Mark Mortensen encourage us to schedule “structured unstructured time”—blocking windows to discuss things that aren’t task-related.
6. It's a Boy Thing
Americans search “Is my son gifted?” more than twice as much as “Is my daughter gifted?” even though girls are more likely to be in gifted programs. Just one of several data-driven—and deeply distressing—points from Emily Bobrow. This needs to change.
7. The Mistrust of Science
"Science is not a major or a career. It is a commitment to a systematic way of thinking." Atul Gawande’s commencement speech is powerful and timely.
From My Desk:
8. The Myth of the Catty Woman
The biggest enemy of women, we’re warned, is a powerful woman. But statistically, that isn't true. Sheryl Sandberg and I explore evidence that women can disagree—even compete—and still have one another’s backs.
9. Stop Serving the Feedback Sandwich
We all know the recipe: slip one bit of criticism between two slices of praise. Giving a compliment sandwich might make the giver feel good, but it doesn’t help the receiver. Here's why, and what I recommend instead.
Come November, I'm hoping to see more of this 8th-grader. His impressions of presidential candidates are uncanny—don’t miss his Bernie Sanders at the end.
Thanks for reading; I hope you found something interesting here. (If not, please deliver your feedback sans sandwich.) See you in August.