Grit: The Science Behind the Buzz

For the past decade, Angela Duckworth has championed “Grit” (defined as passionate persistence) as a critical driver of cross-domain success, including in the workplace. When researchers started to dig into what made “grit” so powerful, though, they found that it is basically just a rebrand of an already well-known product – conscientiousness. Why is conscientiousness so great? Conscientiousness is a […]

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The Collateral Damage of a Competitive Workplace

One of the very first Social Psychology studies, conducted over a hundred years ago, pitted children against each another in a contest, and found they outperformed their own solo efforts. Why? It’s in our brain chemistry. Competition causes a stress response that activates energizing hormones (such as adrenalin). Success brings the activation of our brain’s reward system: feel-good hormones (such […]

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Insincerity: What is it Good For?

The customer is always right. Greet every customer with a smile. Always greet your employees enthusiastically. Always go to the office holiday party. The American work experience is riddled with these tiny moments of insincerity that are often scripted or actively encouraged by employers. But is exhibiting insincerity with customers or co-workers helping or hurting an employee’s chances of success […]

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Fighting Off Toxic Workplace Culture

The signs are all there: Lack of positive reinforcement. Bad blood with managers. A general cloud of unhappiness descends over the workplace… The diagnosis? Toxic workplace culture. How do workplaces end up here? There are many factors that can create a toxic culture in the workplace, including: Lack of clear expectations and incentives No sense of community Demands that exceed […]

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The Hidden Danger of Hiring the Confident Charmer

Confident. Resilient. Charming. For many hiring managers, these words evoke an image of the perfect employee — a true “go-getter” — self-assured in a crisis, but also likable. They favor people who exhibit these qualities in interviews and are more likely to promote them. Unfortunately, these qualities may come with a hidden price. Confidence, resilience, and charm are also key […]

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