Brain Training: 5 hacks to overcome mind games

The Brief
This post comes from the RelSci 5, our weekly newsletter for and about wealth management advisors. Its curated articles and insights revolve around a different theme each week and will help you do your job better. This week’s theme is Mind Games.  

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1. Agree to disagree? Chances are good that one day you’ll be forced to work closely with someone on the opposite side of your ideological coin. The liberal to your conservative, say, or the Apollo Creed to your Rocky Balboa. (In the first movie, at least.) How do you get what you need out of a colleague who rubs you the wrong way on a very basic level? Appeal to his better nature, which is to say, accord him some kind of status. Pay him a genuine compliment on a specific action he took, and, most importantly, do NOT try to change his opinion on the kinds of things you disagree on.

 2. How much does board composition matter? Media giant Gannett spent the last week announcing sweeping changes, from its split into two companies—one print and one digital/broadcasting—to significant reorgs across several newsrooms. One objective for all the movement: to attract a wider and younger digital audience. But does this old-school operator have the right stakeholders in place to move in on the turf of whiz kids like Buzzfeed? Take a look at how their respective leadership teams stack up and who stands to profit.


3. Drop the beat. Science has finally proven what professional wrestlers have long known to be true. If you want to feel more powerful before a big fight—or meeting—blast some bass-heavy music. You’ll not only dial up your sense of dominance, you’ll also do better in power-associated areas like abstract thinking. Just maybe opt for headphones.

 4. Catch more tpyos. Good news: There’s a reason you keep making all those sloppy errors in your emails, and it has nothing to do with a lack of language skills. New research shows that when the brain performs complex tasks, like arranging sentences to convey ideas, it deals with small details (i.e., forming words) by combining what your eyes see with what your brain expects to see. Simply changing the background color or proofreading your documents on printed paper can help you reduce all those unsightly bloopers.

 5. Just because. So you’re polishing up the old resume and see a little room for improvement? You know, when that “Line Cook” gig from college becomes “Chef de Cuisine.” Well, you’re not alone, and you’ll probably get caught. Nearly 60% of hiring managers say they’ve caught lies on resumes. The biggest whopper caught so far? Let’s just say this guy was going for gold.


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