The road to happiness, according to neuroscience



According to UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb, you can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life through 4 simple rituals:

1. Ask yourself what you are grateful for
The benefits of gratitude start by improving the dopamine system, but it also boosts the serotonin production. And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy, it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

2. Label Negative Feelings
Studies demonstrate that consciously recognizing the emotions reduce their impact. Meditation has employed this skill for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

3. Make That Decision
Ever make a decision and then your brain finally feels at rest? That’s no random occurrence. Brain science shows that making decisions reduces worry and anxiety.

4. Touch people
No, not indiscriminately (that can get you in a lot of trouble). But we need to feel love and acceptance from others. When we don’t, it’s painful. Touching is incredibly powerful. We just don’t give it enough credit. It makes you more persuasive, increases team performance, improves your flirting… heck, it even boosts math skills.

To learn more, read the full article by Eric Barker on Time.


Image: FlickrMoyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)




How to talk so others will listen



A post published on the Coaching Positive Performance blog stresses the importance of communication skills as a pivotal part of everyday life.

It highlights 7 essential communication skills which will improve the quality and effectiveness of our communication in order to deliver a clear and specific message to our audience:

  1. Be complete
  2. Be concise
  3. Be considerate
  4. Get your facts right
  5. Be clear
  6. Be courteous
  7. Keep it appropriate

The post also suggests to master communication skills with a simple but powerful guide to communicating with confidence.

Read more here.


Image: FlickrBritt Reints (CC BY 2.0)






Reputation and appearance


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The Diplo calendar 2016 realized by Stefano Baldi and Ed Gelbstein presents a selection of quotes from the Classical World for living and working better.

For the month of May the selected quotation is by Socrates, Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon.

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear

Calendar 2016 Festival_im_Page_08

Photo credit: Ed Gelbstein (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

12 books a leader should read



On December 2014 Bob Sutton, Professor at Stanford University, published the long-awaited list of 12 books (or 13…) recently published books that every leader should read.

This is the list:

1. The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer.

2. Influence by Robert Cialdini.

3. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.

4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

5. Collaboration by Morten Hansen.

6. Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie.

7. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull.

8. Leading Teams by J. Richard Hackman.

9. Give and Take by Adam Grant.

10. Parkinson’s Law by the late C. Northcote Parkinson.

11. To Sell is Human, by Dan Pink.

12. The Path Between the Seas by historian David McCullough.

Sutton suggests also to add a 13th book published in April 2015: Work Rules by Laszlo Bock.

Do you want to know more? Click here


Image source: Flickr – Jonathan Kim (CC BY-NC 2.0)




Quick Diplomatic Response

Quick Diplomatic Response is one of the few existing comic books on diplomatic activities. This booklet was written by Jovan Kurbalija, illustrated by Vladimir Veljasevic and published by Diplofoundation in 2007. It can be consulted here.

This comic book aims to explain the crucial role of diplomacy in the contemporary world. It also shows how diplomacy can be improved through the use of modern tools and approaches.COVER NOVI -L

Keep on Learning to be a Successful Leader: 5 Tips


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Successful leaders continue to grow and learn on the job. In fact, an essential leadership attribute is the ability to remain open to new ways of thinking and to continuously learn new skills.

According to the research Learning About Learning Agility  by the Center for Creative Leadership and Teachers College, Columbia University, the willingness and ability to learn throughout one’s career is increasingly important as changing technology, markets and methods require new skills and behaviors.

Over the long term, your ability to learn new knowledge, skills and behaviors will equip you to respond to future challenges more than your current skill-set.

Researchers found five tips that enable one’s learning agility:

  1. Innovate: Challenge the status quo
  2. Perform: Remain calm in the midst of adversity
  3. Reflect: Take time for reflection
  4. Risk: Purposely seek challenging situations
  5. Defend: Be open and avoid defensive thinking

Read more here


Image: Flickr – (CC BY-SA 2.0)

9 Most important things to Learn


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Which are the nine most important things that it is possible to learn in our life? In an interesting article mixing numerology, wittiness and common sense, Maria Popova, the founder of “Brain pickings”, tried to create her own personal list.

Here’s the result:

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. In a world where everyone has an opinion, sometimes being incoherent and changing our minds could connect us with our hidden self.
  2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. The best incentive is to do what makes you happy.
  3. Be generous with your time and your resources and especially, with your words.
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Finding the time for a walk or for yoga allows you to stay centered, to generate ideas and to entice your creative thinking.
  5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. The assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity for. Look for what makes life worth living.
  7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time. At odds with the culture of immediacy, let’s enjoy the period of blossoming “where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny”.
  8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit. Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them and visit them often.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.

Read the full article


Image source: Flickr – duncan c (CC BY-NC 2.0)


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