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The case for workplace interruptions
Plus, just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t mean you’re bad at another.
“Sometimes the things we rely on – how fancy someone's clothes are, how confident they appear – aren't actually the best pieces of information to accurately read intentions.” --Psychologist Tessa West
Not you again. Does Dave from accounting keep showing up at your desk to tell you about his weekend? That might not be such a bad thing. A 2020 study looked at social interactions in the workplace. In the study, a group of workers reported how often they were interrupted by their coworkers, then answered various questions about how they felt about their jobs. The researchers found that workplace interruptions were sometimes stressful, but they also gave workers a better sense of belonging and ultimately boosted job satisfaction. “We find that interruptions can actually benefit individuals from an interpersonal perspective,” said study co-author Heather Vough. “Thus, interruptions at work may have gotten a bad rap due to a failure to consider their human element.”
Are you a math person? Just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t mean you’re bad at another. For example, recent research has found that as students progress through school, they tend to see themselves as either a “math person” or a “language person,” even if they’re good at both. Researchers analyzed data from students around the world, looking at information about their academic performance as well as their perceptions about their academic performance. As students move from primary to secondary schooling, they start to develop this misconception that they can only be good at math or good at reading. For example, author Sirui Wan pointed out that girls perform very well in math, but because they do even better in language, they might view math as a weakness. And this can keep them from pursuing math-related educational and career paths. “In other words, the misconception found in our study can lead some students to miss out on educational opportunities,” Wan wrote.
Looking inside. How well do we know ourselves? Maybe the better question to ask is how well can we truly know ourselves? Introspection only gets us so far. But there are some simple ways to improve our self-knowledge. Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
Sept 19: We constantly make inferences about the thoughts, feelings and motivations of the people around us. Social psychologists call this "interpersonal accuracy," and say it is the foundation of our ability to navigate our social world. The problem is, most of us aren't very good at interpreting other people's thoughts and feelings. This week, psychologist Tessa West explains why — and how we can improve our ability to get inside another person's head.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Sept 20: After Rebecca left an abusive relationship, she felt broken. She told her counselor, "I can't do this." Then her counselor told her something that she will never forget.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
A hat and scarf cost a total of $1.10. The hat costs $1.00 more than the scarf. How much does the scarf cost?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
A man is caught on the King's property. He is brought before the King to be punished. The King says, "You must give me a statement. If it is true, you will be killed by lions. If it is false, you will be killed by trampling wild buffalo.” But in the end, the King has to let the man go.
What was the man's statement?
The answer: "I will be killed by trampling of wild buffalo." The King can't say it is true, because if so the man should be killed by the lions. But if he is killed by the lions, then his statement would be false, and so should have been trampled by buffalo. The King can't tell if it is a lie or truth, so decides to just let him go. [Source]
FROM THE TWITTERATI…
A MOMENT OF JOY
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