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Communication

89 SAVED IDEAS

Laughter As A Scary Sound

Laughter, a positive, contagious and heartwarming expression can be scary sometimes. This phenomenon is due to our fears, which stem from a misalignment in what we see and what our expectations were.

If laughter sounds sinister, out of context or out of tune with what is happening (like a person laughing while seeing people dying in an accident) it sends a red flag to the mind, signalling that something is not right or that the person is not to be trusted.

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Communication

Both laughter and fear are states of high arousal, common during intense emotions. A scream and a laugh are closely related and use the same emotional energy.

If a laughing person isn’t supposed to be laughing, or if the laugh is coming from a non-person, like a robot or a doll, there is a creepiness to it. Example: Alexa, the home virtual assistant from Amazon, started laughing out of the blue in many homes, terrifying families.

A study done by researchers from Carnegie Mellong University found that videoconferencing hampers group collaboration, problem solving, and it can also reduce collective intelligence.

Moreorver, videoconferincing leads to a higher inequality when it comes to contributing to the conversation due to the disruption in vocal synchrony.

Audio cues are pivotal to task success because we are able to listen fully to one's intonation, rhythm, tone, and many more speech cues that get us talking.

Videoconferencing reduces audio cue synchronicity which actually impairs the group's ability to take turns when speaking. Thus proving that audio calls are better if you want people to talk and be cooperative during your sessions or meetings.

The SEE-I method for explaining ideas

We often find that we understand a topic but can't explain it to anyone. A simple method you could use to better understand and clearly communicate a concept is called SEE-I.

  • State it: Clearly state the idea in a single sentence or two.
  • Elaborate: Explain it further in your own words, using phrases like "in other words".
  • Exemplify: Give concrete examples and counter examples of the concept.
  • Illustrate: Provide a picture, diagram, metaphor or analogy of the idea.

How to use the SEE-I method to explain, for example, what learning is.

  • State it: "Learning is the gaining of knowledge, understanding, or ability."
  • Elaborate: "In other words, learning is the process where a person gains specific knowledge, then internalises that knowledge by using it."
  • Exemplify: "For example, a child learns to ride a bike by being guided, practising, and falling before they master it."
  • Illustrate: "Learning is like a sponge absorbing water, yet it does not get saturated."
The importance of giving feedback

Giving feedback to your employees is good for a number of reasons:

  • It allows people to hone their work in a quick and efficient manner;
  • It opens up the opportunity for them to learn from a more experienced worker;
  • It motivates them to go to work and finish tasks.

However, invigorating a healthy culture of providing feedback is a task in itself. It can feel intimidating and a lot like criticism but if done correctly, it allows a comfortable environment that is open for discussion.

DO:

  • Schedule the meetings early, midway, and at the end of every project to provide in-depth feedback.
  • Don't be shy to bring in experts from other teams.
  • Set an official facilitator and set ground rules for the conversation.

DON'T:

  • Don't overcrowd the meeting. Less than seven is advised.
  • Don't set up a meeting for a finished project, unless there are revisions needed to be done.
  • Don't let the conversation get flooded by too many ideas, only list down those that are important.

DO:

  • Establish a set schedule for everyone in the team to participate for quick updates and feedback.
  • Ask the important questions like: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Is anything in your way?

DON'T:

  • Don't prolong the check ins. It isn't the time to discuss what would be discussed for a meeting.
  • Don't keep seated. Stand up, get on your feet and keep your body moving to get energy flowing.

DO:

  • Include everyone who participated in the project.
  • Try to consider using a survey to get everyone's perspective.
  • Use this as an opportunity to have everyone integrate what they have learned from the project.

DON'T:

  • Forget to reflect on the humps that happened during the project and discuss what could've been done better.

Here is how to give feedback to poorly-made projects:
DO:

  • Have a moderator that is impartial for the discussion that can set ground rules for a better flowing conversation.
  • Focus on the timeline of events and facts.

DON'T:

  • Finger point. Instead, send an e-mail containing the summary of the postmortem in a professional manner.
  • Finish the session without clarifying lessons learned and next step actions.
Win Debates Without Being Unfriendly

Normally, any debate has the potential to turn into an ugly match, due to the fact that both the sides are trying to win. The problem is that one person will win the debate, and two people are trying for the coveted title of ‘winner’.

The trick is to change the premise that one plays on, forgetting that you have to win, but focussing on a different goal, rather than the sole aim of proving that the other person is wrong and you are right.

Logic is not the best strategy for winning a debate. Any logic has plenty of counter logic waiting to pounce on it.

A simple NO can wash over:

  1. Any overwhelming facts and proof explaining why one is right.
  2. Any valid counterpoints to the other person’s arguments.

We falsely assume that our explanation is bulletproof, and forget that the other person has a choice to not agree with us. We could say the sun exists, and the earth is round, but the other person can simply say ‘No’.

Instead of trying to persuade someone that they are wrong, try to create a different premise. You can debate to learn something, or to see the other person’s viewpoint, understanding why they disagree. You can also politely put on the table what you think about the topic, not waiting for them to change their mind.

The fun part is when you are not trying to win an argument, you usually do.

Certain topics are bound to start heated debates. It is usually the case with politics and religion.

Empathy and a general politeness even if the other person is saying something absurd and obviously wrong (The Earth is flat and dare you say otherwise) represent the way to go.

  1. Agree with them: Find the common point where you can agree with the other person.
  2. Help them with their argument: They will be surprised if they see you taking their side and proving yourself wrong. This is a disarming tactic that shows you are not dogmatic and are not trying to win at any cost.
  3. Accept that your point of view isn’t perfect: We all are biased towards our own point of view is the right one and think that we are not biased about it, which by itself is a blindspot.

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