Archives For Psychos

Mixed feelings about Berlin

Julian —  5. September 2013 — Leave a comment



From “How to Be German In 20 Easy Steps”: Part 1Part 2

The average German has a complex relationship to its Hauptstadt. Berlin is the black sheep of the German family. Creative, unpunctual, prone to spontaneous displays of techno, unable to pay its taxes, over familiar with foreigners. To many Germans, Berlin is not really their capital, it’s more like a giant art project or social experiment that only turns up when hungover, and in need of a hand out. To them, the true capital is probably somewhere more like Frankfurt. You know where you are with Frankfurt.

(Bild CC)

Anhand der Wortwahl von Menschen kann man erkennen, wie gut es bei ihrem Arbeitgeber läuft. Das ist zwar jetzt nicht total überraschend, verrät aber, ähnlich wie Körpersprache doch einiges:

Wer zu seiner Firma “die Firma” sagt und für die Kollegen “sie” oder “die” benutzt, arbeitet wahrscheinlich in einem Umgebung mit sehr geringer Arbeitsmoral und einer hohen Mitarbeiterfluktuation. Wer hingegen “unser Büro”, “unsere Firma” und “wir” sagt ist wahrscheinlich viel zufriedener mit seiner Arbeitsumgebung. Sehr wahrscheinlich engagierte er sich stärker und fühlt, dass er sich in der Arbeit verwirklichen kann.

Aus dem Buch The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us

Management consultants sometimes distinguish among I-companies, we-companies, and they-companies. To get a rough idea of an organization’s climate, they ask employees to talk about their typical workday. If employees refer to “my office” or “my company,” the atmosphere of the workplace is usually fine. People working in these I-companies are reasonably happy but not particularly wedded to the company itself. However, if they refer to “our office” or “our company,” pay special attention. Those in we-companies have embraced their workplace as part of their own identities. This sense of we-ness may explain why they work harder, have lower employee turnover, and have a greater sense of fulfillment about their work lives. And be very concerned if an organization’s employees start calling it “the company” or, worse, “that company” and referring to their co-workers as “they.” They-companies can be nightmares because workers are proclaiming that their work identity has nothing to do with them. No wonder consultants report that they-companies have unhappy workers and high turnover.

(Bild CC, via)

(via Philipp Moder, Phocus DC)

Wie gibt man gutes Feedback?

Julian —  28. August 2012 — 1 Comment

Warum ist es eigentlich so schwer jemandem Feedback zu geben ohne ihn ärgerlich zu machen?

Weil es ein Machtspiel ist.

Aus dem Buch Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

The source of the difficulty here lies in who comes up with the solution. Paul’s suggestion makes him look smarter, and Eric less smart. This impacts their relative status, which Eric is likely to fight against. The better Paul’s answer is, the more likely Eric might resist it. It’s bizarre… Paul’s giving out suggestions also threatens Eric’s autonomy: it’s no longer Eric’s choice to follow a specific path.

Besser ist es keine Lösung zu präsentieren sondern Fragen zu stellen:

Eric isn’t going to take action until he has an idea that fits with his own thinking. In his current over-aroused state, he quickly rejects external ideas. Given that Eric is at an impasse, Paul needs to help him find an insight to solve this problem. If Paul can’t make direct suggestions, why can’t he just give Eric some clues about what to think about, perhaps posing a good suggestion as a question?

Wenn man den anderen nur mit Fragen führt und er selbst auf eine Lösung kommt, fühlt er sich weniger angegriffen und es ist wahrscheinlicher, dass er sich auf die Lösung einlässt:

Instead of your looking for a gap in the form of the source of another person’s problem, the other person is finding a gap in his own thinking process. It’s not you searching for problems; it’s him searching for gaps in his thinking process. You want people to look for assumptions or decisions that don’t make sense upon further reflection.


The more you can help people find their own insights, the easier it will be to help others be effective, even when someone has lost the plot on an important project. Bringing other people to insight means letting go of “constructive performance feedback,” and replacing it with “facilitating positive change.” Instead of thinking about people’s problems and giving feedback or making suggestions, change can be facilitated faster in many instances if you think about people’s thinking, and help others think about their own thinking better. However, letting go of the default approach to problem-solving requires working against the way your brain wants to go.

(via, Bild CC)

Keine Ahnung ob Euch das auch so geht, aber mir passiert das immer wieder. Ich muss eine wichtige Sache entscheiden, habe alle Pros und Contras abgewogen, sämtliche Leute die mir zu dem Thema einfallen befragt und komme aber trotzdem nicht zu einer Entscheidung. In diesem Blogpost bei Stepcase Lifehacker habe ich neulich eine interessanten Weg aus dieser Blockade gesehen:

Man wirft einfach eine Münze

Allerdings nicht so wie Ihr das denkt, sondern so:

  1. Sucht Euch eine passende Münze
  2. Weisst jeder der beiden Seiten eine der beiden Entscheidungsalternativen zu
  3. Werft die Münze, aber lasst die Hand über der Münze liegen

Der Witz ist nicht auf das Ergebnis zu kucken, sondern einfach nur kurz auf seine Gefühle während des Werfens zu achten. Im Normalfall wird man sich just in Moment gewünscht haben, dass eine der beiden Alternativen eintritt und das ist eben auch genau die Lösung, die man eigentlich favorisiert. Und genau für die sollte man sich entscheiden.

Ich finde das eine ziemlich gute Idee, wenn man vor lauter rationalem Denken eigentlich gar nicht mehr genau weiss, was man eigentlich intuitiv entschieden hätte. Gerade wenn die beiden Alternativen eigentlich gleich gut oder schlecht sind, kommt es eigentlich ja nur noch darauf an, was man eigentlich will. Und genau dabei hilft einem dieser Trick.

(Bild CC)

Filme und Fernsehshows über dumme Leute, machen einen vorrübergehend ebenfalls dümmer:

Media priming refers to the residual, often unintended consequences of media use on subsequent perceptions, judgments, and behavior. Previous research showed that the media can prime behavior that is in line with the primed traits or concepts (assimilation). However, assimilation is expected to be less likely and priming may even yield reverse effects (contrast) when recipients have a dissimilarity testing mindset. Based on previous research on narrative comprehension and experience as well as research on media priming, a short-term influence of stories on cognitive performance is predicted. In an experimental study, participants (N = 81) read a story about a stupid soccer hooligan. As expected, participants who read the story without a special processing instruction performed worse in a knowledge test than a control group who read an unrelated text. Participants with a reading goal instruction to find dissimilarities between the self and the main protagonist performed better than participants who read the story without this instruction. The effects of reported self-activation and story length were further considered. Future inquiries with narratives as primes and contrast effects in media effects research are discussed.

Source: “A Story About a Stupid Person Can Make You Act Stupid (or Smart): Behavioral Assimilation (and Contrast) as Narrative Impact” from Media Psychology, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 144 – 167 (via). Bild CC von salmoneus


  1. Einfühlungsvermögen: Den Kunden verstehen und seine Anforderungen erkennen
  2. Eigenantrieb: The ability to push forward and close.

Aus The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life:

In 1964, three years after McMurry fired his salvo against the sales industry, two young academics, David Mayer and Herbert Greenberg, refined his ideas. On the basis of seven years of field research, much of it among insurance agents, they wrote that successful salesmen must have two qualities, empathy and ego drive: enough empathy to listen and understand what is in the customer’s head, and enough ego to close the sale.


Here lies the challenge in finding good salespeople. You need excellent empathizers who aren’t so empathetic they can’t close a sale. And you need people with strong ego needs who can still take a moment to figure out what another person wants. They must be aggressive enough to close, but not so aggressive they put people off. Too much empathy and you’ll be the nice guy finishing last. Too much ego drive and you’ll be scorching earth everywhere you go. Not enough of either and you shouldn’t be in sales at all.


Experience, the researchers consluded, was a trivial predictor of success at selling, as was a “good front,” or fine appearance. Much more important were these “inner dynamics” of empathy and ego. People with these attributes could be made into even better salespeople through training. But those without them would always struggle, no matter how many training courses they went through.

Wenn man keinen Schnelltest für Einfühlungsvermögen und Eigenantrieb zur Hand hat, beispielsweise in einem Bewerbungsgespräch, womit kann man diese Fähigkeiten am ehesten abschätzen?

Mit Optimismus:

Of the 1100 questionnaires Seligman sent out to the salespeople of Metropolitan Life, 169 were returned completed. Ninety-four of these came from salespeople with established track records, which could be used to test the validity of the ASQ in predicting performance. Despite the small data set, the results turned out to be compelling. Agents who scored in the optimisitic half of the explanatory style scale sold 37 percent more insurance than those in the pessimistic half. Those in the top decile sold 88 percent more than those in the bottom decile. A positive attitude turned out to make you a much better salesperson.


Die positiven Nachrichten über Alkohol scheinen ja gar nicht mehr abzureisen. Bisher hatten wir:

Jetzt gibt es eine weitere Erkenntnis aus Australien, immer hin ein Land dass sich mit Alkohol ja gut auskennt. Gemäßigtes Trinken reduziert die Wahrscheinlichkeit für Demenz im Alter um stattliche 26 Prozent. Es ist allerdings nicht klar ob das direkt am Alkohol liegt oder weil Leute die Alkohol konsumieren in der Regel auch wesentlich geselliger sind:

An Australian study of more than ten thousand people found that moderate drinkers are about 26 percent less likely than abstainers to develop dementia in later life. The difference may be due to biology (alcohol’s anti-inflammatory properties) or psychology: moderate drinkers are social.

Geh mir gleich mal ein Bier holen.