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The world’s most famous Youtuber made the news in late January for his big spending. While Youtubers are notorious for their opulence, the standout part of this video was that this was spending with a cause – that cause being the funding of life-changing eye surgery for 1000 unsuspecting strangers. Mr Beast may be known for his extravagance, but he is undeniably admired for his philanthropy[1].

Sometimes you just ‘know’. In the absence of evidence, logic and often common sense, all of us experience a deeply felt certainty that seems to defy all of our standard principles of decision-making. Despite this, we can’t help but be led by these gut instincts, and they play a larger role in the formation of our beliefs, opinions and decisions that we realise.

The tech world is off to a great start this year with the famously ground-breaking and mind-blowing tech convention, CES, presenting some breakthrough innovations. The Las Vegas megashow is known for showcasing the most futuristic and quirky of the tech world’s inventions, and this year’s event lived up to its reputation.

Here are some of the most promising gamechangers.

The holiday season is here. While rest is undoubtedly and necessarily a priority for most of us this year, the holidays can be a stressful time for many. The bustle of Christmas gift shopping and the logistics of family trips and get-togethers can eat away immense energy. Then, once the gatherings have begun, await the universally dreaded conversations arising when someone unwittingly raises a political opinion that divides the family dinner table.

Who else is tired? At the beginning of 2022, we were all in a rush to return to normal. We speculated about what the ‘new normal’ might look like, we rushed full-speed back into work, we filled up our calendars again, all in an attempt to make up the time we lost in the previous two years. While 2022 has seen us regain the ‘normal’ we missed, and certainly engage in enough activity to make up the lost time, it has also left many of us feeling totally depleted.

On top of the fatigue that is characteristic of this time of year, it is important to remember that we are still carrying the emotional burden of the trauma, grief and confusion of the last two years. Our full calendars may have distracted us from this trauma, but they in no way eliminate it. Busy schedules might make up the time that was lost, but they don’t heal the grief of the loss.

The human being is a tribal creature. We operate as a ‘we’ far more reliably than we operate as an ‘I’, and our compulsion for conformity is consistently stronger than our impulse towards individuality. This revelation has been key to the last century of psychological findings, and offers vital insight to the social and trends of our day – and how we might influence them.

Intuitively, we all know we operate as a group. Anyone who has been caught up in the energy of a sports match or immersed in the atmosphere of a concert has witnessed firsthand the striking power of the herd. The group’s influence on the individual has been proved over and over in psychological studies, often to rather comical effects.

Good news: human beings are better than we think. Finding ways to motivate people has bewildered leaders for centuries. Long gone are the days of motivating people by the ‘stick’, with the psychological findings surrounding the effects of punishment expelling it from the dominant paradigm. Leaders for the last few decades have relied heavily on the dangled ‘carrot’ as a motivator, or in other words, rewards and incentives offered to people who perform in the desired way. However, research increasingly suggests that the psychology of the incentive is more counterproductive than we think.

Despite our protestations otherwise, we all have a conformity compulsion. If we sense that the herd is going in a particular direction, we instinctively fear being left behind or stranded. Part of this is likely a hangover from our tribal past as humans.

The compulsion to mimic and copy others is deeply rooted in our need to belong. By complying with social norms and collectivist views, we gain the acceptance of the tribe. Breaking social norms or dissenting is dangerous as it can see us expelled from the group. Or at the very least, shamed and embarrassed.[1]

Hybrid work is underway. Incentivising the return to workplaces has been a struggle for leaders as, for many workers, the freedom and flexibility offered by remote work makes it a high priority. The set of challenges that faces leaders, however, is not simply finding the right incentive to get workers back to the office. Rather, the hybrid work world has created a new set of priorities in employees regarding both their teams and their leaders.

Microsoft recently released a trends report, highlighting the statistics and numbers that emerged from research into workplace relations within hybrid work models[1].

Here are 3 key insights from their findings.

There are few things more frustrating than an opponent who won’t budge. We’ve all experienced those conversations with a voter on the other side of politics or a friend who is endlessly stubborn, in which any amount of evidence is insufficient in moving their position. Our natural impulse is to do just this: begin big in our persuasive efforts, believing that a barrage of information and evidence will knock someone from their position instantly. But, contrary to our aim the result of this approach is usually the other’s deeper entrenchment in their beliefs and a defensiveness that inhibits any further dialogue.

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