All posts tagged: skills

Book Cover of The Dark Side of Empathy by Fritz Breithaupt

Book Review: The Dark Sides of Empathy by Fritz Breithaupt

This book, for sure challenges a lot of common assumptions around Empathy and what pushes some of Human Behaviors. First thing first, this book is not against Empathy. The title is probably a bit “sensationalist” and written to drive curiosity. The author is clear from the introduction of the book that he wants to ensure that we understand why people also do “negative” things because of Empathy. Thus simply disconnecting the concept of Empathy linked to moral standards. Empathy makes us human and it would be naive to imagine we should just get rid of empathy, even if we could. Fritz Breithaupt, The Dark Sides of Empathy. A big part of the book is focused on some questions linked to the darkest sides of human history, where the author interrogates himself how it was possible that millions of people did not “empathize” with the victims of the Holocaust (just as an example). “Empathy is a riddle,” Breithaupt says. While it can enrich our lives, Breithaupt says our ability to identify with others’ feelings can also …

Build your Skills: Decision-Making

In my organisational experience, I noticed that one of the most complex skills to master is Decision-Making. This even though anecdotal evidence tells that each of us takes many decisions every day.  Many decisions might be easy to take. What to eat for lunch, where to go over the weekend, which blog to read next… At work, however, things often look different. For sure, an impact can be due to some issues in the operational governance model of your organisation. Unclear rules, not formalised delegation, blurry roles definitions, unset escalation routes, all these aspects may hinder or stall your decision-making process.  In many cases, organisational absences are an alibi. Many managers tend to avoid or delay decision making also in areas entirely within their scope of work. Why?  There can be multiple reasons. However, from my experience, many people have not been taught how to make decisions.  Very often, we identify Decision Making as a Process. If you look at it this way, there are multiple places where decisions can be stuck. There are many alternative models here, but the one …

Build your Skills: Learning Agility

The concept of Learning Agility dates back to 1970, when American author Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock, investigated the move from the traditional industrial age to a new age dominated by Information. He crafted a new definition of what literacy meant, anticipating by a decade the more complete definitions of Learning Agility: The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, 1970 The switch from a concept of Literacy based on the simple accumulation of “stocks” of information, changes into a fluid model where the learning and unlearning have the same relevance. It’s this dynamic element that is the innovative portion of this skill’s definition. Today this skill is in high demand, and has been strongly associated with Leadership. Put simply, “it’s the ability to be in a novel situation, not know what to do, and then figure it out anyway. Individuals who learn the ‘right’ lessons from past experiences are high in learning agility, …

Build your skills: Curiosity

When I’m asked what’s the most important skill I look for during a recruiting process, I don’t hesitate to say curiosity. Some consider this an innate side of our character, some an attribute of personality, some a skill that can be even taught. Whatever that is, I believe this to be one of the key elements that can make or break our success at work. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein Psychologists have compiled a large body of research on the benefits of curiosity. It links with intelligence, with motivation, with engagement and performance, with more meaningful goals, as well as with overall success. In 2017 the George Mason University developed a model to understand curiosity based on 5 dimension: Deprivation Sensitivity: I have a gap in knowledge that I need to fill in, Joyous Exploration: I’m consumed with wonder about the fascinating world. Social Curiosity: I like to talk and observe people, to understand what they’re thinking. Stress Tolerance: I accept and exploit the anxiety to experiment new …