It Took Elon Musk Exactly 5 Words to Teach a Major Lesson in Emotional Intelligence - Inc.

It Took Elon Musk Exactly 5 Words to Teach a Major Lesson in Emotional Intelligence - Inc.


It Took Elon Musk Exactly 5 Words to Teach a Major Lesson in Emotional Intelligence - Inc.

Posted: 17 Feb 2020 02:44 AM PST

Tesla has become one of the most valuable automakers in the world, based primarily on its potential for changing the auto industry. So, it's easy to forget that the company is also in the solar panel business--due to its 2016 acquisition of Solarcity, a company Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been heavily involved in since inception.

Musk recently announced that Tesla is ramping up installations of solar tile roofs, also known as Solarglass, with international expansion planned later this year.

"Please let us know what improvements we can make to any aspect of Tesla SolarGlass roof! Critical feedback is much appreciated."

There's a lot to be learned from the process of asking for consumer feedback, but I'd like to focus on the value a single short sentence:

Critical feedback is much appreciated.

One simple sentence. Five words. But it's backed up by decades of research, and it highlights a major facet of emotional intelligence: the ability to learn from negative feedback.

What's emotional intelligence got to do with it?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions. Put more simply, it's the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.

Typically, when we get criticized, our default reaction is to do one of the following:

  • Defend ourselves
  • Make excuses
  • Minimize the problem
  • Attempt to rationalize
  • Sidestep the issue
  • Shift the blame

In short, when making decisions, we rely heavily on a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. But when we feel triggered or under attack, a different part of the brain springs into action--the amygdala. The amygdala serves as our emotional processor, and it tends to take over when we feel we're under attack. 

This is known as an emotional hijack.

Emotional hijacks aren't always bad. In the case of an emergency, the amygdala can provide the courage and motivation you need to defend yourself or your loved ones. But the amygdala can also cause you to act in a way you later regret. And when it comes to interpreting negative feedback, it can lead you to default to one of the above behaviors, before you even recognize what's happening.

Now, here's the rub: Nobody's perfect. We all have blind spots and perspective gaps. We need negative feedback if we're going to grow. Since most criticism is rooted in truth, it helps fill those knowledge gaps so you can improve. And even when feedback is off base, it's still valuable--because it helps you understand the perspective of others. 

All of this is what makes Musk's invitation so excellent. By inviting the negative feedback, he puts himself in control. He frames the incoming comments, not as an attack, but as a learning experience. At the same time, he braces himself for what's coming. 

If you scroll through Musk's "tweets and replies" tap on Twitter, you'll find a perfect example of this: a two-way conversation between CEO and consumers. Musk uses the feedback to answer questions, clarify messaging, and even to crowdsource ideas--all a much better way of responding to negative feedback.

Of course, Musk isn't perfect. Over the past few years, he's gotten himself into trouble by responding to criticism in the wrong way, also on Twitter. 

But this further emphasizes the need to have a plan to deal with negative feedback. And while it would be great to be able to always identify our triggers ahead of time, it will usually happen the other way around: we react to something that rubs us the wrong way and say or do something we later regret.

By understanding the amygdala and how it works, you can start to sort through your thoughts and feelings, like pieces of a puzzle. And as you begin to understand your reaction, you can train yourself to respond differently the next time.

Train yourself

Feedback is like a freshly mined diamond. To the naked eye, it's unattractive. But its true value becomes obvious after a little cutting and polishing. In the same way, it's easy to see criticism as something ugly. But you can train yourself to view it differently--by reframing it. 

So, invite negative feedback, by remembering a simple, five word sentence:

Critical feedback is much appreciated.

And when the feedback comes, don't view it as an attack. Rather, see it as a gift--a chance to learn.

Published on: Feb 17, 2020

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Why ‘The Mighty Ducks’ Is The Tip Of The Reboot Iceberg For Disney Plus - Forbes

Posted: 17 Feb 2020 08:58 PM PST

The Mighty Ducks fans celebrated the recent announcement that Emilio Estevez will return as Coach Gordon Bombay in the Disney Plus original series inspired by the hit movie franchise. It was good news that's been a long time coming.

The original Disney movie hit theaters in 1992 and grossed $50.8 million against a $14 million budget. Although it quickly became beloved by audiences, critics were unimpressed. Two sequels followed, D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks, which grossed $45.6 million and $22.9 million, respectively.

The 10-episode The Mighty Ducks series will premiere on Disney Plus later this year. Oddly, none of the movies are currently on the platform.

The Estevez-Mighty Ducks announcement came days after news that a TV series based on another Disney property, the 1989 movie Turner and Hooch, was also headed for Disney Plus. The original film, which starred Tom Hanks in the lead role as Detective Turner, grossed $71.1 million at the box office against a $13 million budget. 

Because of their evergreen appeal, it's no surprise that movies like The Mighty Ducks and Turner and Hooch are being reimagined for the small screen. While both would work as big-screen remakes or sequels, the streaming platform allows for longer, broader, and deeper narratives and character development. The Karate Kid, which isn't a Disney product, has enjoyed a similar appeal to audiences across the generations and has found great success and acclaim as a serial, Cobra Kai, on YouTube's streaming service. 

While some might decry the decision and talk about a lack of fresh ideas, it makes perfect business sense.

Disney already had a rich catalog of movies to look at for adaptation. Since the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, or 20th Century Studios as it is now known, that library of opportunity has grown considerably, much of it from the same era as The Mighty Ducks and Turner and Hooch. Not only that, but in just three months, Disney Plus already had 28.6 million subscribers who are hungry for content.

The Stakeout movies, which starred Estevez alongside Richard Dreyfuss, would seem like another ideal opportunity for Disney to look at for an original series. Buddy cop comedies Stakeout and Another Stakeout grossed $65.67 million and $20.21 million, respectively. 

The Rocketeer, the 1991 movie based on the comic book character, was not a big hit, grossing $46.7 million against a budget of around $35-40 million. However, there's a lot of love for that movie, and a series would complement the multiple Marvel shows that are headed for Disney Plus already.

Elsewhere, now part of the Disney catalog, a series reboot of the Cocoon movies would seem like a no brainer. The first film, directed by Ron Howard, made over $76 million at the domestic box office alone on a budget of $17.5 million. The same goes for Romancing the Stone. That grossed $86.5 million on a $10 million budget. The sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, grossed $96.7 million against a budget of $25 million – additionally, a series following the continued adventures of Jack Colton and Joan Wilder was on the cards a few years back. On the adventure front, there's already talk of a serial sequel to Ron Howard's Willow

While I would hate for this trend for small screen reboots of big-screen properties to feel like it was wearing thin, as the stream of live-action movies can, the possibilities are plentiful. Who wouldn't be open to a Night at the Museum TV show – a franchise that grossed $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office, or a Planet of the Apes series? Then there's Tron, Dick Tracy, Three Men and a Little Lady, or even, Buckaroo Banzai, all of which would make great series for Disney Plus. The only limit is the need for it to be family-friendly.

The possibilities are endless, and the quality of the potential source material is high, so if this is a trend that continues, and can match the quality of the likes of original series we have already seen such as The Mandalorian, this is a content future that looks bright.

'Systemic change needed': study shows embedded bias towards male judges - UNSW Newsroom

Posted: 17 Feb 2020 02:09 PM PST

Female judges are more likely to be treated unequally at the pinnacle of their legal careers suggesting an embedded bias towards male judges, a UNSW Law study has found.

Law graduate Amelia Loughland analysed the transcripts of Full Bench hearings over two years to determine interruption behaviours during oral argument in the High Court of Australia. 

Her study found that female judges were far more likely to be interrupted than their male colleagues. More significantly, the rate of interruption increased when the High Court was presided over by its first female Chief Justice, Hon Susan Kiefel AC. 

"The number of female advocates was so small, their interruption behaviour was 'statistically insignificant'."

"Considering how far removed formal oral argument is from the setting and norms of everyday conversation...this illustrates how gendered norms transcend even the highest spheres of judicial authority," Ms Loughland writes in the study.

The empirical evidence also found that the number of female advocates was so small, their interruption behaviour was "statistically insignificant."

Interruption behaviour

Ms Loughland is a graduate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills. She says she was initially shocked by the findings, as well as the language used and the manner of interruptions. 

"Women are interrupted more commonly in social situations, but you don't expect it to occur in a setting where there are institutional incentives for these advocates to be deferential…trying to make a persuasive case," she says.

"When I was seeing the kind of language that [was] being used, and the manner of interruption, I couldn't believe it was occurring that level."  

The research echoes the findings of a previous study in the US which found that gender was the 'salient explanatory factor' for interruptions between judges across three terms of the US Supreme Court. 

"The unequal treatment of men and women, even at the height of the legal profession, should be a 'wake-up call to the need for systemic change'."

Speaking with a colleague, Ms Loughland says the impact of the research hit home. 

"It completely resonated with her experiences as a barrister," she says. "…what the paper shows is that if it's happening at that level, we know that it's happening to women in less powerful positions." 

"[There are] women in the legal profession sitting in meetings and having their ideas being looked over…being claimed by more senior men in the room, so it's unfortunately not a new phenomenon." 

Unconscious bias

She says that the unequal treatment of men and women, even at the height of the legal profession, should be a "wake-up call to the need for systemic change."  

"I don't think that any of these men are consciously disrespectful or that they shouldn't be in a position of power – it's just a completely unconscious behaviour," she says.

"All of us are the victim of unconscious bias…until you are actually confronted with the reality of it, you have no tools to address it." 

The research consequently suggests that unconscious bias training is necessary to transform the implicit gendered dynamics in the High Court and the legal profession. 

"I think that things like unconscious bias training are ways that we just have to [encourage] advocates to be aware of this behaviour consciously...and to self-regulate once they're in their environment." 

"I recommend in the paper that it should be taught at the university level, but there's no reason to stop making people aware of these behaviours from a very young age." 

"I [also] think that the Chief Justice of the Court has to take responsibility in making it like policing...it's their role to make sure that other judges are allowed to ask questions without being cut off." 

The study will be released later this year in the Melbourne University Law Review.

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