Conversation Piece, April 15, 2018

A weekly series.

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Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO–curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

The importance of being honest. A Harvard Business Review study has determined the qualities that constitute a good leader—and while being able to take initiative and drive results are important, they found that above all, honesty and integrity, both emotionally-driven “soft skills” are most critical to competent leadership. Research also shows women in particular tend to excel in such soft skills as conflict management and inspirational leadership. Learn more about the importance emotional intelligence in the workplace, here.

Sweet deal. We know to listen to our elders—especially when it comes to the secrets of their longevity, which, more often that not, seem to be quite agreeable. Rather than forgo life’s pleasures, some of the world’s oldest people have attributed their long lives to having a good attitude, staying single, and drinking beer. Japan’s Masazo Nonaka, who at 112 was recognized this week for being the world’s oldest man, has particularly awesome advice: take hot baths and eat a lot of cake. We can do that. Read more about Nonaka, here.

Simple minds. It’s a common problem: a task is compelling until we master it, at which point, it bores and annoys us. Does that mean we should be intentionally making our lives difficult, just to keep ourselves sharp? Perhaps so—“desirable difficulties,” as they’re called, can enhance cognitive and problem-solving abilities. The concept also applies to a degree to economic difficulties, and raises the question: is the best route to fulfillment the path of more resistance? Read more, here.

Karaoke theory. Once considered a kitschy guilty pleasure, karaoke is experiencing somewhat of a cultural renaissance—and with good reason. As Allie Volpe writes, it’s no secret that music has the power to evoke an emotional response within us, but that’s particularly true with the act of performing music, which can bond strangers more quickly than almost any other activity. Learn more about the psychological power of belting out your favourite jams, here.

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April 15, 2018