Category: Persuasion and Influence

Invisible Friends Series: How to Give Constructive Criticism

“I actually don’t like the term constructive criticism,” he said shaking his head. “It sends the wrong message.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well criticism is pointing out what someone has done wrong. That’s never constructive. It’s one of those oxymorphisism thingies.”
“You mean oxymoron?”
“Yeah, like if I say that’s a giant shrimp, or it’s an open secret. Same thing with constructive criticism. The only thing criticism ever does is make people defensive, or depressed. It never builds anything constructive.”

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A Daily Mantra For a Divided World

“There is always something I can learn,” will be my Daily Mantra for the foreseeable future. Mantras are simple phrases, or words, or sounds, that people use to help themselves stay focused on a particular state of mind. In my case, I need to focus on what unites us rather than divides us. As our upcoming election approaches, I find it easy to take a side, but everything I know about riding life’s river reminds me that it would be wiser if I did a little more listening and learning with an open mind to the people with whom I disagree…

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How do you face down prejudice?

Well you don’t do what I used to do. You don’t face down prejudice with logical arguments. Prejudice is too deeply rooted in emotions like fear to be influenced by logical arguments. Instead, you treat their prejudice like a fear and use systematic desensitization to slowly peel away that fear. To explain, let me share a story…

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