Empathy is not necessarily helpful

“Empathy is a distributed brain process” says the research team from the University of Colorado Boulder.

What does this mean? Empathy as an experience is not located in a specific region of the brain, rather it “utilises” the whole brain.

The researchers differentiate between empathic care – where empathy generates care and assistance and occurring in the part of our brain associated with value and reward; and empathic distress – where it triggers avoidance, fear and anger, and occurring in that part of our brain dealing with mirroring.

While there is little difference person to person as to the patterns for empathic care and empathic distress, what promotes the care element?

Check this out on Medical News Today.

Impact of digitised delivery of legal services

As Cohen said,

“The features of digitized legal providers are becoming well- defined– they are customer centric, tech and process enabled, agile, diverse, accessible to clients in real-time, intelligent, globally branded, scalable, multi-disciplinary, and enterprise focused.”

What does the impact of technology on legal services mean for the humans in that space?

Customer-entric, agile, diverse, accessible, intelligent and enterprise-focused apply to lawyers (and other professionals). What skills are required to respond to a changing workplace?

They include the ability to grow and manage relationships, an ability to process and consolidate large amount of information, and the psychological agility to remain calm and focused in times of transition and change.

For Cohen’s article in Forces magazine, see here.

Brainwriting… what is it?

Brainwriting is “scientifically proven to get better creativity from anyone” says Leigh Thompson, professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Brainwriting is the precursor to brainstorming. Write your ideas before you share them, as a way to navigate team dynamics. Seems like a technique most suited to those exhibiting greater introversion.

Check out the post here.

Multi-tasking is an illusion, be innovative instead.

“Innovative thinking, after all, comes from extended concentration…” as MIT neuroscience professor discloses that multi-tasking is an illusion.

Humans have limited capacity for simultaneous thought, rather what we perceive as multi-tasking is rapid sequential processing which Prof. Miller states lacks depth and impedes concentration.

If you want to be a leader in your field, try taking long periods of time to focus on the one thing that truly matters.

See this article from Fortune magazine.

Masculine traits contribute to mental health problems

Recent research from Indiana University Bloomington shows traditional stereotypes of masculinity are linked to mental health challenges. The greater the conformity to these masculine “traits” of “a desire to win, need for emotional control, and risk-taking” and “playboy behaviour or sexual promiscuity”, the higher the risk of mental health issues.

In 2015, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, film-maker, was inspired to direct “The Mask You Live In” to bring to light the narrow definition of masculinity in US society, and and its negative impact on men’s mental health and social dysfunction.

We can choose re-write the story of who we are and who we want to be, to be rid of the bonds of these unhelpful “traits” and “stereotypes”.

To read about men’s experiences of this, go to this article from the Guardian.