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Human

The role that charm plays

The role that charm plays

It’s not explicitly written on  job postings or candidate profiles but it’s the first thing that sells. Charm is an emotional sleight-of-hand. Unfortunately, the role that charm plays can sometimes replace even sincerity, passion, and  a genuinely promising prospect.

Rough on the edges

There are many extremely talented and deeply cerebral individuals for whom the social conventions don’t come naturally. What comes naturally to them is what they do well. They find solace in the state of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1998) but are uncaught-up in things unrelated to their passion. What kind of work would be possible if sincerity and empathy were enough to make up for the rough edges? If it wasn’t just about charm, I imagine better  results in the short-term and long-term because then there is both talent and heart in it.

About culture fit

Over the years, I’ve observed that shared values between the company and an individual are good indicators of culture-fit. This applies to professional and personal company. Common values, drivers, and goals overcomes differences in race, age, gender, professions, and socio-economic status. It even trumps skills-fit and experience, in my opinion. The reason is that skills and experience are learnable and attainable overtime but values don’t just change.

The reason why

Of course, charm has a place and will always have a place. Diplomacy and politeness are always desirable. Presentable looks don’t hurt either. But I reckon, if we step back, we will find that there are other things we wouldn’t want to trade for the X factor. Traits like sincerity, humility, and loyalty. Values like grit and growth. And things like meaning, purpose, and impact. They matter more than charm, don’t they?

Lest we forget.

References

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1998) Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life.

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Human

Learning fast and slow

Learning fast and slow

Fast learning is exhilarating and gets rapid results while slow learning is a profound and  rewarding experience with compounding benefits.

The author of the book A Mind for Numbers described slow learning as a profound experience. The fast learner is the hotshot on the race track with a Formula-1 machine blazing ’round and ’round, getting all the claps and hurrays. Meanwhile, the slow learner is the hiker up on the mountain, breathing the fresh air, taking in nature, and appreciating life one moment at a time.

Learning fast

Fast learning is exhilarating and gets rapid results. It can be glorious, although easily blinding. When it is stripped off of the buzz and sometimes ego-pumping compliments from the audience, it can be genuinely useful in getting things done. Ticking clocks and backlogs benefit from fast learning. However, too many shortcuts build debt overtime and an unhealthy habit of quick fixes that overlook the long term. It’s not for the long run but it works upfront.

Learning slow

Slow learning is a profound and  rewarding experience with compounding benefits. Learning doesn’t have to be glorious, it can be humbling instead. Most times there really is no need for an audience. It’s just you learning, it’s just you and the journey. The benefit is that you build flow, depth, and  focus, among other things. The outlook is not narrow nor shallow and it stretches beyond just getting things done. There may not be upfront benefit all the time, but it pays manifolds in the long run.

Learning fast and slow

There is a place for both learning fast and slow. Although slow learning is ever-so-often discounted in the mainstream, it creates profound experiences and  results. Fast learning is sometimes overhyped, but if harnessed thoughtfully, it can build momentum and rapid results.

References

Oakley, B. (2014) Learning how to learn [Video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O96fE1E-rf8.

Categories
Human

On intellectual humility

On intellectual humility

We can describe intellectual humility in different ways: the opposite of intellectual arrogance (Whitcomb, et.al., 2017); the low concern for social status (Roberts and Wood, 2003); a virtuous mean (Church, 2016); an attitude (Tanesini, 2018). In this small corner of the world, I’d like to shine a different light on intellectual humility. I hope we can use it as we learn from each other.

Willingness to learn

It’s possible that the willingness to learn is a sign of intellectual humility. It’s when someone is willing to grow because they realise that there is room for growth. Even though the learning is too challenging, or labeled too easy by others. That could mean having the initiative to connect the dots yourself, awareness of your own limits, and the grit to take on tasks deemed impossible.

Failing better

With intellectual humility comes many failures. In other words, it may be alright to fail  as long as you fail better. When you find out why you failed and try to improve on it next time, or take that lesson and apply it somewhere else, that’s failing better. Mistakes are part of the journey.

Openness to diverse perspectives

It’s hard to flourish with narrow thinking. On the other hand, it’s exciting to learn different perspectives. There’s a delightful moment when you realise that something that has always been one way can be done or seen another way. That stands for many aspects of cultures, societies, disciplines, and  domains.

References

Church, I. (2016) ‘The Doxastic Account of Intellectual Humility‘, Logos and Episteme, 7(4), pp. 413-433. doi: 10.5840/logos-episteme20167441.

Roberts, R. and Wood, J. (2003) ‘Humility and epistemic goods‘, Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives From Ethics and Epistemology. In Zagzebski, L. And DePaul, M. (eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Tanesini, A. (2018) ‘Intellectual Humility as Attitude‘, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 92(2), pp. 399-420.

Whitcomb, D., Battaly, H., Baehr, J., Howard-Snyder, D. (2017) ‘Intellectual Humility: Owning Our Limitations‘, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 94(3), pp. 509-539. doi: 10.1111/phpr.12228.