Flashcards in Smarter Better Faster Deck (81)
Envision multiple futures
and then force myself to figure out which ones are most likely—and why.”
By pushing yourself to imagine various possibilities—some of which might be contradictory—you’re better equipped to make wise choices.
We can hone our Bayesian instincts by
seeking out different experiences, perspectives, and other people’s ideas. By finding information and then letting ourselves sit with it, options become clearer.”
Manage the how, not the who of teams.
Psychological safety emerges when everyone feels like they can speak in roughly equal measure and when teammates show they are sensitive to how each other feel.
If you are leading a team, think about the message your choices reveal.
Are you encouraging equality in speaking, or rewarding the “loudest people? Are you showing you are listening by repeating what people say and replying to questions and thoughts? Are you demonstrating sensitivity by reacting when someone seems upset or flustered? Are you showcasing that sensitivity, so other people will follow your lead?”
Lean and agile management techniques tell us employees work smarter and better when
they believe they have more decisionmaking authority and when they believe their colleagues are committed to their success.
By pushing decision making to whoever is closest to a problem
managers take advantage of everyone’s expertise and unlock innovation.
A sense of control can fuel motivation, but for that drive to produce insights and solutions
people need to know their suggestions won’t be ignored and that their mistakes won’t be held against them.
Becoming an Innovation Broker
Be sensitive to your own experiences. Paying attention to how things make you think and feel is how we distinguish clichés from real insights. Study your own emotional reactions.
• Recognize that the stress that emerges amid the creative process isn’t a sign everything is falling apart. Rather, creative desperation is often critical: Anxiety can be what often pushes us to see old ideas in new ways.
• Finally, remember that the relief accompanying a creative breakthrough, while sweet, can also blind us to alternatives. By forcing ourselves to critique what we’ve already done, by making ourselves look at it from different perspectives, by giving new authority to someone who didn’t have it before, we retain clear eyes.”
When we encounter new information, we should force ourselves to do something with it.
te yourself a note explaining what you just learned, or figure out a small way to test an“idea, or graph a series of data points onto a piece of paper, or force yourself to explain an idea to a friend. Every choice we make in life is an experiment—the trick is getting ourselves to see the data embedded in those decisions, and then to use it somehow so we learn from it.”
Productivity is about recognizing choices that other people often overlook. It’s about making certain decisions in certain ways.
The way we choose to see our own lives; the stories we tell ourselves, and the goals we push ourselves to spell out in detail; the culture we establish among teammates; the ways we frame our choices and manage the information in our lives. Productive people and companies force themselves to make choices most other people are content to ignore. Productivity emerges when people push themselves to think differently.”
A lot of the people we think of as exceptionally creative are essentially intellectual middlemen,
They’ve learned how to transfer knowledge between different industries or groups. They’ve seen a lot of different people attack the same problems in different settings, and so they know which kinds of ideas are more likely to work.
Damage to the Striatum (caused by masturbation and porn)
The striatum serves as a kind of central dispatch for the brain, relaying commands from areas like the prefrontal cortex, where decisions are made, to an older part of our neurology, the basal ganglia, where movement and emotions emerge. Neurologists believe the striatum helps translate decisions into action and plays an important role in regulating our moods. ”
He has given up his hobbies and fails to make timely decisions in his work. He knows what actions are required in his business, yet he procrastinates and leaves details unattended. Depression is not present.”
The workers who have succeeded in this new economy are those who know how to decide for themselves how to spend their time and allocate their energy.
They understand how to set goals, prioritize tasks, and make choices about which projects to pursue. People who know how to self-motivate, according to studies, earn more money than their peers, report higher levels of happiness, and say they are more satisfied with their families, jobs, and lives.”
Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed.
Scientists have found that people can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings. To motivate ourselves, we must feel like we are in control.
“The need for control is a biological imperative,”
When people believe they are in control, they tend to work harder and push themselves more.
They are, on average, more confident and overcome setbacks faster. People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers.
Even if making a decision delivers no benefit, people still want the freedom to choose.
Animals and humans demonstrate a preference for choice over non-choice, even when that choice confers no additional reward,
a theory of motivation has emerged: The first step in creating drive is
giving people opportunities to make choices that provide them with a sense of autonomy and self-determination. In experiments, people are more motivated to complete difficult tasks when those chores are presented as decisions rather than commands.
To Trigger the Will to Act
Find a choice, almost any choice, that allows you to exert control. If you are struggling to answer a tedious stream of emails, decide to reply to one from the middle of your inbox. If you’re trying to start an assignment, write the conclusion first, or start by making the graphics, or do whatever’s most interesting to you.
The specific choice we make matters less than the assertion of control. It’s this feeling of self-determination that gets us going”
External Locus of Control
believing that your life is primarily influenced by events outside your control—“is correlated with“higher levels of stress, [often] because an individual perceives the situation as beyond his or her coping abilities,”
You’ll never get rewarded for doing what’s easy for you
If you’re an athlete, I’ll never compliment you on a good run. Only the small guy gets congratulated for running fast. Only the shy guy gets recognized for stepping into a leadership role. We praise people for doing things that are hard. That’s how they learn to believe they can do them.”
If you can link something hard to a choice you care about
it makes the task easier,
Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge.”
to teach ourselves to self-motivate more easily, we need to learn to see our choices not just as expressions of control
but also as affirmations of our values and goals. That’s the reason recruits ask each other “why”—because it shows them how to link small tasks to larger aspirations.”
An internal locus of control emerges when we develop a mental habit of
transforming chores into meaningful choices, when we“assert that we have authority over our lives.”
We should reward initiative,
And unless we practice self-determination and give ourselves emotional rewards for subversive assertiveness, our capacity for self-motivation can fade.”
When we start a new task, or confront an unpleasant chore,
we should take a moment to ask ourselves “why.” Why are we forcing ourselves to climb up this hill? Why are we pushing ourselves to walk away from the television? Why is it so important to return that email or deal with a coworker whose requests seem so unimportant?”
That’s when self-motivation flourishes
when we realize that replying to an email or helping a coworker, on its own, might be relatively unimportant. But it is part of a bigger project that we believe in, that we want to achieve, that we have chosen to do. Self-motivation, in other words, is a choice we make because it is part of something bigger and more emotionally rewarding than the immediate task that needs doing.”
Psychological safety is
a “shared belief, held by members of a team, that the group is a safe place for taking risks.” It is “a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up,”
Norms vs people
The right norms could raise the collective intelligence of mediocre thinkers. The wrong norms could hobble a group made up of people who, on their own, were all exceptionally bright.
Great Teams One: Conversational Equality
First, all the members of the good teams spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as “equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.” In some teams, for instance, everyone spoke during each task. In other groups, conversation ebbed from assignment to assignment—but by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount.