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The100: Negotiation tips, icebreakers and Toco Toucans

On a scale of none to thermonuclear

The Noble Baron of Marketing, Mark Ritson, is again anointing us with his wisdom, this time in the form of the marketing BS Index.

Maslow built his [hierarchy of needs] model from qualitative research on the Native American inhabitants of the Blackfoot reservation who later pointed out that his whole theory was entirely incorrect when applied to their culture and identity. The hierarchy has subsequently been criticised on the basis of missing stages, putting stages in the wrong sequence and the fact stages change according to circumstance, culture and geography. So basically everything.

Brilliant (and it’s not the only holy cow that’s skewered).

The Barber’s Party

Sometimes hypnotism just doesn’t work (schucks). Instead, to change someone’s mind, Jim Carroll suggests we start by recognising agreement.

So often in business we approach a dispute with our minds focused on conflict and contention, dissent and discord […] We should always begin by seeking common ground, shared interest, mutual benefit.

Or, according to Eric Barker, we could try the ‘unread library effect’ (h/t @storythings).

Invite explanations, ask for specifics, follow up with pointed questions […] the more they attempt to explain, the more likely they are to realize the limits of their own knowledge […] this strategy not only helps moderate strong views, it models openness, willingness to admit ignorance, and readiness to revise beliefs.

Don’t break the ice. Crush it

Breeze through those awkward intros with this list of conversation starters. Granted some will dispatch eyebrows scalpward if used on a business call, but others are still worth a shot.

So, here’s 2 questions for you, and I’d genuinely love it if you replied (look into the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don’t look around the eyes, look into my eyes.)

  1. Without using the title of your job, tell me what you do ? Go on…
  2. What could you talk about for 30 minutes without any preparation?

Principles, effects and paradoxes

In a sheaf of tweets, Gurwinder Bhogal has described 40 powerful concepts for understanding the world.

Belief Bias: Arguments we’d normally reject for being idiotic suddenly seem perfectly logical if they lead to conclusions we approve of. In other words, we judge an argument’s strength not by how strongly it supports the conclusion but by how strongly *we* support the conclusion.

Still reassembling my brain. Send help.

Happy endings

Here’s one to please your inner copywriter. John Simmons has released an A to Z of writing to help you motivate, inspire and engage.

Can you force yourself to think new thoughts and write new words by plunging yourself into a period, say ten minutes, of automatic writing? That means just writing without thinking too restrictively, allowing your words to emerge unedited in a stream.

Could be fun.

Talking of writing, we’re running a 1hr session with Robert McKee.

Robert is a bit of a storytelling legend, has his own Simpsons character, trained 60 Oscar winners. Good CV.

It’s at 4pm London time on 3rd Dec and we have just 8 places left for our lovely readers of The100. Let me know if you’re interested and I can send more details. FCFS.

Bone alone

Who said beauty is only skin deep? Over the past few years Oregon Zoo has been sharing fascinating x-rays of their animals.

The Golden Eagle, Toco Toucan and Ball Python – wow.