“Barry trains FBI and Secret Service agents and U.S. Marshals in questioning potential serial killers, terrorists, or would-be presidential assassins before they act. … Barry teaches ‘rights respecting’ questioning, which most experts say is the most effective way to get a hostile person to open up. His objective is to lower a person’s defenses and move his or her brain out of red alert territory. His questions are framed to generate conversation, however halting, as a means of establishing trust and building a dynamic that will coax information from the most reticent personalities” (pages 66 and 68).
“The chronic stress that comes from the uncertainty about what will happen in an organization affects parts of the brain that undermine motivation and cognition. Uncertainty causes us to be hyperaware of possible threats: We need to pay attention to everything because danger could arise anywhere. This steals neural bandwidth from the rest of the brain, reducing concentration and productivity. We also lose the ability to properly evaluate future events and to integrate multiple streams of information. Uncertainty puts the brain and body on high alert, wanting to escape from lions and their corporate cousins, pink slips. In a true neurologic sense, you can’t think when you face high uncertainty. And you certainly cannot be an effective team member” (page 110).
“You may be saying, ‘Hold on. Isn’t this book supposed to be about authenticity? Why does it matter so much what other people think?’ Here’s the deal with presence: It’s part communicating in alignment with your intention and part being received with clarity. You can’t figure out how you are doing on the latter without some sort of feedback, formal or otherwise. Finding out the effect you have on others gives you a helpful framework for focusing on your own presence” (page 58).
“Consider the fallout The New York Times’ extensive, highly critical investigation of the workplace culture of Amazon…The article describes an instruction to employees to ‘climb the wall’ if they hit the wall from the relentless pace and late nights; encouragement for employees to ‘tear apart’ their colleagues’ ideas in meetings and backstab them in private messages to their bosses; and a ‘purposeful Darwinism’ model in HR. And that’s just in the first four paragraphs.
“It’s a cautionary tale. People live and validate a corporate culture, so if a company is selling its culture–and the reality is that in this radically transparent, socially minded age, every company is selling its culture, whether it’s pitching business pubs on how great that culture is or not–it must be aware that it can’t simply spin the story” (page 43).
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