By Eric Beckman

The holiday season, with its themes of light, hope, peace on earth, and goodwill is meant to bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, the holidays also present many opportunities for stress, anxiety, and high expectations. It is during these times we can exercise leadership to help bring out the best in ourselves and others in moving from conflict to harmony.

I have often run an exercise in workshops in which the participants create an emblem that represents what they stand for – what they want the world to know about them. They then meet in small groups and without saying anything about it, show that emblem to the others, in turn. Each person, when they are the focus of the group, shows the emblem but offer no other information at first. The others are to learn as much as possible about the focus person, using the information on the emblem, but may not agree, disagree, or offer feedback. They are specifically asked not to offer either negative or positive evaluation, but they may ask questions and the focus person may answer them.

By B. Kim Barnes Reprinted from LinkedIn, June 10, 2019 Research in neuroscience and behavioral economics tells us that it is very difficult–if not impossible–to change someone’s mind, once they have committed to an opinion or point of view. We …

An Approach to Rational Conversation in Divisive Times Read more »

By B. Kim Barnes, Barnes & Conti CEO, and Nelson Soken, Ph.D, Barnes & Conti Chief Innovation Officer
Reprinted from  LinkedIn, June 1, 2016. We are sharing it in this update because unconscious bias is especially relevant to us today.

There are many variations of the following quote, first attributed to Bernard Baruch. “You have the right to your own opinion, but you don’t have the right to your own facts.” The reality is, though, that there are enough facts for people to pick and choose the ones that support their preferred conclusion.

We like to think of ourselves as a rational species – but recent evidence from behavioral science research suggests otherwise. We tend to seek information that supports our views and disregard facts that are counter to our belief systems. This is known as the confirmation bias, and explains why people with conservative political views watch and read conservative media sources and liberals watch and read liberal sources. We hold fast to ideas…

Framing—or reframing—is a strategic tool which is useful to exercise influence and to manage change. In this article,  Kim Barnes discusses making what is considered new and potentially threatening into something both familiar and comfortable. So how can we use …

New Article by Kim Barnes on Reframing as an Influence Tool Read more »