GRANTED: Finding joy and making conference panels less horrible
I’ve been thinking a lot about the mental health crisis in America. The suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are heartbreaking reminders of the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. We need to create a world where people are as comfortable seeking care for their minds as they are for their bodies.
As we strive to get there, here are the ideas I found most thought-provoking this month:
1. Where Joy Hides and How to Find It
People working in more colorful offices are more joyful and alert, friendlier, and more confident than those working in drab ones. Joy isn't a signal that you're not serious. It's a sign that you're curious and engaged.
2. The Myth of Learning Styles
One more time: your learning style is about how you like to learn, not how you learn best. Although you might enjoy listening, reading, or doing, there's no compelling evidence that you learn better that way—and sometimes we actually learn more when we’re out of our comfort zone. Plus, many tasks aren’t suited to every mode of learning: “You can’t visualize a perfect French accent.”
3. The Fragile Generation
To build resilience, we can stop shielding kids from ordinary setbacks and start giving them the freedom to play, explore, and resolve conflicts on their own. "Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child."
4. Do People Really Get Promoted to Their Level of Incompetence?
If the reward for individual performance is promotion to manager, you end up promoting people who aren't motivated or qualified to manage. Instead, create three promotion tracks: one for managers, one for individual contributors, and one combined, with similar pay and prestige.
From My Desk:
5. Why You Should Argue In Front of Your Kids
When parents model respectful conflict, kids become happier, more creative, and more helpful. Instead of avoiding arguments, they develop the will and skill to resolve them.
6. How to Run a Conference Panel That Isn’t Horrible
Whenever I go to a conference, the thing I dread most is panels. So I’ve tried to fix them. Here are my ten guidelines for choosing the cast, setting the stage, and preparing the script.
See you in two weeks with questions (and answers) from Wondering.