Non-verbal communication can predict anybody’s success or failure. Research of Patryk & Kasia Wezowski has proven that decoding somebody’s “Body Language Code™” can predict the outcome of presidential elections or your inborn potential to have an advantage in negotiations. Knowing how to read “micro expressions” is probably the most effective way to connect more with people and the most crucial skill to prevent the increasing social autism caused by today’s technological innovations.
While millions of people around the world are glued to their television screens to see which country will win the 2014 World Cup Football — soccer for US folks — in Brazil, as an evolutionary scientist my main interest is in the place that football occupies in the evolution of our species. How did football become so popular? Is football the new religion or a disguised form of warfare? Do football players have more sex and offspring than average? Is watching football good or bad for your physical and mental health? And, does it matter what tribal colors the football teams wear in the World Cup for predicting success?
The evolutionary origins of the beautiful game
First, let’s look briefly at the history of football. We could go back to the end of the 19th century when the physical education teachers at the public schools in England were thinking of new ways to challenge the sons of the wealthy to improve their physical fitness and team skills. But to explain the origins of football we may have to go back a bit further in human history.
According to the British zoologist Desmond Morris football carries the features of an ancient hunting ritual. I very much doubt if this analysis is correct. Who are the hunters in football and who is the prey? And why would you need a good defense? A more probable evolutionary story is that football has its origins in the tradition of tribal warfare among our ancestors in which the male band members formed coalitions to weaker or destroy local rival bands. Former Dutch football coach Rinus Michels was exactly right when he claimed that football is like war.
You might wonder then why football did not develop much earlier than in 19th century England. For this, we need to look at New Guinea. Nowhere else in the world do so many different peoples and language groups live together in one circumscribed area. Until the 20th century, these tribes were constantly fighting tribal wars against each other and the slightest incident led to a tribal conflict with many deaths on both sides. Only when the missionaries arrived on the island, and the tribes handed in their deadly weapons did the opportunity arise for peaceful intergroup interactions. Now they are even playing football in New Guinea. Yet to avoid escalation of the conflict and warfare, the referee always ensures that games end in a draw, even when it means playing on.
Football is War
What is the evidence for the claim that football is a form of ritualized warfare which evolved from the ancient tribal disputes?
First, there are the well-known historical examples of international football matches leading to an armed conflict between neighboring countries. For instance, the war between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 began after a runaway qualifier for the World Cup in Mexico. There were 2,000 deaths in the 100-hour war which only came to an end through an intervention of the United Nations.
Feature continues here: The Tribal Psychology of Football
The 500 most-commonly used words in the English language have:
a). over 5,000 different meanings &
b). comprise over half of your word usage.
Maximize your ability to be understood by remembering the “Three Vs.” Every spoken message has three key components: the verbals (i.e., words), the visuals (body language), and the vocals (voice speed, volume, and tone). When integrated, the three compliment one another and increase the likelihood of being understood. As such, always use caution with email and texts, as they strip away key aspects of your message — significantly increasing the probability of miscommunication.
What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests its someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety – especially in an uneven economy – means taking on big responsibility.
Digital natives, the term used for Millennials and the follow-on generations, are at grave risk from the very technology they’ve so thoroughly embraced.
New research finds that this reliance on emails, texts, and similar impersonal tools has removed the non-verbal component from how these generations communicate. However, as readers of this blog are aware, however, the bulk of every single human interaction is nonverbal.
Devoid of all the subtle nuances that comprise effective communications, digital natives are left with nothing but emotionless words. Given decades of research demonstrating that at least 60% of every message is nonverbal, digital natives are at risk to experiencing lives of institutionalized miscommunication.
This news alone is startling, but more devastating is the second key finding of this latest study. Absent the emotional (i.e., nonverbal) component of their cyber interactions, the digitals‘ brains are being rewired to process communications in a reason-based fashion. Thus, communication is reduced to mathematical equations wherein “word+word+word=irrefutable fact.”
Sadly, the rest of the world does not think and act based exclusively on logic and reason. Emotion is, and always will be, at the heart of every decision made by non-digital natives. This puts natives in a significant disadvantage whenever they interact face-to-face. Inexperienced at reading body language and the other theatrics of language, their failure rate in analyzing and interpreting others’ actions or negotiating favorable outcomes is stunning.
Predictably, this discomfort and unfamiliarity with F2F communications leads some digitals to retreat back into their comfort zone of technology-based tools. This response, however, can send the digital into a communications death spiral and increasingly deep personal and professional isolation.
Fortunately, the digitals can be saved, but only if older generations intervene. Non-digital natives need to teach the younger generations about nonverbal communication, the emotional roots of being human, behavioral cues, statement analysis, and so forth. Its not to late to save them – but their personal and professional futures require our immediate assistance.
Unless you live and work alone in a cave, it is almost certain that you have work relationships that involve some level of collaboration. Collaboration is vital not just for getting work done as efficiently as possible; it is also critical for optimum workplace satisfaction, because true collaboration increases an individual’s morale, sense of accomplishment, and identity within their team and company. As a leader or an aspiring one, you should be consistently reflecting on how you collaborate and seeking opportunities to raise your “collaboration game.” Not only will being a strong collaborator raise your productivity and job satisfaction, it will reinforce to others that you are a leader.
Every day, without thinking about it, you head to work and spend the day interacting in a number of collaborative relationships. You might collaborate with your closest team member, your supervisor, someone in another department, or maybe someone in a satellite or overseas office. When collaboration is easy, the process flows effortlessly. You explore ideas and approaches to the current project or task, go back and forth over how to get it done, divide duties according to individual skills, and move forward to complete the job. Sometimes, however, you wish it would be this easy. Occasionally, things just don’t click with the other person, despite a mutual desire to be successful.
1. Start with a strong foundation
But why are some relationships easy and fluid while others feel like an uphill battle? In any human interaction, there is a host of things of things going on that can influence the outcome. In order to maximize effective workplace collaborative relationships, they must have the following:
- Clear objectives
- Clear roles
- Trust that each party will fulfill what they have agreed to do
- Communication that is open and timely
2. Optimize and refine
Fine-tuning your collaboration skills begins with assessing all of your existing collaborative relationships.
- First, confirm the people with whom you have strong relationships. Think about the personality traits you and the other person share that enable you to work so well together.
- Next, think about the complimentary skills the two of you share and how they mesh together.
- Finally, ask what enables strong ongoing collaboration to take place.
Feature continues here: The Three Steps
How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? Step into the lab with cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier to hear surprising news about how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.