Author Archive | Jonathan Becher

The Art of Countersignaling

Not long after I wrote about humblebragging, a reader asked me if humblebragging was an example of countersignaling. My short answer is ‘no’ but it deserves a more nuanced explanation. Signaling is a biological concept in which information is implicitly conveyed to others. Red mushrooms signal to would-be predators that they are poisonous. Peacocks bare…

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Fun With Palindromes, Without Aibohphobia

A palindrome is a word, sentence, or number that reads the same backward or forward. It derives from the Greek palindromos (palin is “again, back” and dromos, “running”), suggesting the palindrome “runs back” on itself. Most credit author Henry Peacham for introducing the word palindrome into English in 1638. Palindromes are quite common in English, especially three letter ones: mom,…

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Negotiated Givers Might Be The Best Employees

While talent, hard work, and passion are important characteristics for high performance, business success is increasingly dependent on how employees interact with others. In a team environment, so-called negotiated givers might be the best employees. In the best-selling book, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success,” Wharton professor Adam Grant describes three different workplace…

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Bias For Action

I have a bias for action. When a problem crops up, I quickly gather information and compare potential solutions. I use decisions-making tools to avoid paralysis by analysis. To no surprise to anyone who has worked with me before, I want to do something. My bias for action can be a strength when others are…

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