GRANTED: Giving up on perfect grades and speaking truth to power
Interviewer: where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Me: taking your job and asking better interview questions.
To wrap up 2018, here are some highlights on work and psychology from the past month:
1. Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?
After reading about science, students remembered 81% of it. Those who listened to the same material only remembered 59%. Audio has many upsides, but when it comes to understanding difficult concepts, there’s no substitute for reading.
2. The Right Way to Speak Truth to Power
It takes courage to speak up, but it takes goodwill to get heard. Before you go out on a limb, it helps to establish that (1) you excel at your job, (2) you're not selfish, and (3) you're invested in the organization.
3. Drawing Something Has a “Massive” Benefit for Memory
If you want to remember something, don't just write it down. Draw a picture of it. Even if you struggle to create a stick figure, drawing elaborates meaning and translates it to a new form.
4. The Dark Side of Charisma
Charismatic leaders can leave us so awestruck that we become dumbstruck—and fail to critically evaluate their visions. When assessing leaders, focus less on their ability to inspire and more on the values and ideas they champion.
From My Desk:
5. What Straight-A Students Get Wrong
I wrote this New York Times op-ed to make a point that I’ve seen too many students miss: instead of pursuing perfection, they should be pursuing excellence. After all, career success is rarely about finding the right solution to problems. It’s about finding the right problems to solve.
6. Professor Speaks Out About What Straight-A Students Are Missing
To be clear, the last thing I want to do is devalue hard work. I just want students to direct their hard work toward worthy goals. Striving for flawless results encourages tunnel vision and discourages us from taking on new challenges. Students—and parents, admissions officers, and employers—take note: a 3.8 GPA might actually be better than a 4.0.
For years, I’ve found that people are surprisingly generous when we make it surprisingly easy to ask and give. Recently, I joined my colleagues Wayne and Cheryl Baker to create a platform called Givitas that makes it easy to seek and share knowledge, connections, and resources. As a small gift to you, we've set up a free Givitas community just for GRANTED subscribers. To join this community and bring the ideas in Give and Take to life, click here: givitas.com/granted
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you in the new year.