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Ben Dattner shares an article published in Harvard Business Review that reveals the source of most conflicts in the workplace. 

Conflict happens everywhere, including in the workplace. When it does, it’s tempting to blame it on personalities.  But more often than not, the real underlying cause of workplace strife is the situation itself, rather than the people involved. So, why do we automatically blame our coworkers? Chalk it up to psychology and organizational politics, which cause us to oversimplify and to draw incorrect or incomplete conclusions.

There’s a good reason why we’re inclined to jump to conclusions based on limited information. Most of us are, by nature, “cognitive misers,” a term coined by social psychologists Susan Fiske and Shelley Taylor to describe how people have a tendency to preserve cognitive resources and allocate them only to high-priority matters. And the limited supply of cognitive resources we all have is spread ever-thinner as demands on our time and attention increase.

As human beings evolved, our survival depended on being able to quickly identify and differentiate friend from foe, which meant making rapid judgments about the character and intentions of other people or tribes. Focusing on people rather than situations is faster and simpler, and focusing on a few attributes of people, rather than on their complicated entirety, is an additional temptation.

Stereotypes are shortcuts that preserve cognitive resources and enable faster interpretations, albeit ones that may be inaccurate, unfair, and harmful. While few people would feel comfortable openly describing one another based on racial, ethnic, or gender stereotypes, most people have no reservations about explaining others’ behavior with a personality typology like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“She’s such an ‘INTJ’”), Enneagram, or Color Code (“He’s such an 8: Challenger”).

 

Key points include:

  • The problem with personality or style typologies
  • The right approach to resolving conflicts at work
  • Using personality testing

 

Read the full article, Most Work Conflicts Aren’t Due to Personality, on HBR.org.

 

Ben Dattner and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explain why the opinions of others shape our personal ‘brand’ and how to shape our digital personas for the best possible results in this article published in Harvard Business Review.

Who am I, really?’

Philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists – not to mention poets and artists — have been trying to answer this question for centuries. The good news for business leaders is that they don’t need to turn into armchair psychotherapists, or get an advanced degree in metaphysics, to figure it out. Nor do average employees need to dig deep into their unconscious, or unleash their inner Freud.

In the business world, there is a far simpler way of working out who we are, at least when it comes to our professional personas: just pay attention to how others see us.

Social science research says that who we are at work is predominantly defined by what other people think of us: how they measure the success of our behaviors and actions, how they perceive our characters and motivations, and how they compare us to others. Whether we get informal advice from our peers, or partake in formal assessment-related exercises, there is no better way to pinpoint who we are at work than to crowdsource evaluations of our reputations and personal ‘brands.’

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Understanding the algorithm
  • Social media posts
  • Manipulating the algorithm

 

Read the full article and access interesting links in, How to Curate Your Digital Persona, on the Harvard Business Review website.

 

 

Ben Dattner co wrote this article for Harvard Business Review on the issue of building ethical AI for talent management. 

Artificial intelligence has disrupted every area of our lives — from the curated shopping experiences we’ve come to expect from companies like Amazon and Alibaba to the personalized recommendations that channels like YouTube and Netflix use to market their latest content. But, when it comes to the workplace, in many ways, AI is still in its infancy. This is particularly true when we consider the ways it is beginning to change talent management. To use a familiar analogy: AI at work is in the dial-up mode. The 5G WiFi phase has yet to arrive, but we have no doubt that it will.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Training data sets
  • Efficient predictions on a candidate
  • Bias and creating homogeneity in organizations

 

Read the full article, Building Ethical AI for Talent Management, on the Harvard Business Review.