5 Reads: Experiencing Awe, Simple Writing Pays Off, Recognizing Employees and More

Here are five articles that have had me thinking over the last few weeks or so…

What Moneyball-for-Everything Has Done to American Culture
Derek Thompson. The Atlantic

Key quote: “Cultural Moneyballism, in this light, sacrifices exuberance for the sake of formulaic symmetry. It sacrifices diversity for the sake of familiarity. It solves finite games at the expense of infinite games. Its genius dulls the rough edges of entertainment. I think that’s worth caring about. It is definitely worth asking the question: In a world that will only become more influenced by mathematical intelligence, can we ruin culture through our attempts to perfect it?” Read the rest here

A Better Way to Recognize Your Employees
Christopher Littlefield. Harvard Business Review

Key quote: “Reflective recognition gives you, the leader, a window into what matters most to another person while at the same time, helping employees get present to their own progress and accomplishments. What’s more? When employees stop and reflect on their own achievements, how they’ve tackled challenges, and how they’ve made progress, it is great for engagement, too.” Read the rest here.

Why it is Awesome that Your Brain can Experience Awe
Richard Sima. The Washington Post

Key quote: “Experiencing more awe is associated with living healthier and more meaningful lives. A 2021 study reported that feeling more awe is correlated with reporting feeling lowered levels of daily stress. Intriguingly, people who feel more awe also tend to have lower levels of inflammatory cytokines. Positive experiences of awe have also been found to increase feelings of well-being, life satisfaction and sense of meaning.” Read the rest here.

When It Comes to Communication from the Top, Less Isn’t More
Claire Zulkey. Insights by Stanford Business

Key quote: “If perfect calibration is an unrealistic goal, err on the side of overcommunicating, which relays a desire to see your employees succeed. When a leader overcommunicates, Flynn says, “you might not be very effective at helping, but at least you are not also coming across as completely unfeeling. When you’re undercommunicating, there’s no evidence of any pro-social motivation to go along with an apparent lack of helpfulness.” Read the rest here.

Research: Simple Writing Pays Off (Literally)
Bill Birchard. Harvard Business Review

Key quote: “The cost of bad writing stems from the way the brain works. Science shows that if you don’t give the mind a stimulus that’s appealing — a piece of good writing in this case — it fails to respond with pleasing neurochemicals that motivate people to read further. If you do, you trigger a release of dopamine and other chemicals that hook readers — and keep them reading.” Read the rest here.