How Do We Make Sense of Things? The Language Connection

As award-winning blogger Maria Popova once said, "We can never see the world as it really is". And that's because, on the one hand, we are part of the very system we are trying to describe, and on the other because the things we perceive make little or no sense to us until we plot … Continue reading How Do We Make Sense of Things? The Language Connection

Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

In our lives, change is inevitable. It's always on the prowl, in the background, hiding behind an illusion of stability and safety. When 'black swan' events such as the Covid-19 crisis occur, companies are forced to implement changes to their work environments and their business model at the drop of a hat.  But how to … Continue reading Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Good question. But what is genderlect, anyway? Linguists use this blending of gender and dialect to describe how language use differs between men and women (and also to sound cool). Do men and women use language differently? A large body of research shows that yes, indeed they do. With the advancement of gender equality, these … Continue reading Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

"Parties can become angry or entrenched in their positions. Perceptions become distorted, and judgments are biased. The parties stop communicating effectively and instead blame one another. One party has a conflict management style that is not compatible with the other. Perceptions are so different that the parties do not believe there is any possible compatibility … Continue reading Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation

Unless you live alone on a mountain top, you are involved in negotiations every single day. (And even hermits have to drive a ruthless bargain with themselves every once in a while - yes, negotiations can be intrapersonal too). Even though the term sounds fancy, each time you try to persuade another person to do … Continue reading Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation

3 Openers for a Great Presentation

You have to get in front of an audience to represent your employer, your team, your idea or simply yourself. All eyes will be on you and you're not sure what to say to get off to a good start. You've done your homework. Maybe you've re-read Aristotle (for sure) and looked at argumentation and persuasion … Continue reading 3 Openers for a Great Presentation

Information and Persuasion: 3 Features of Conspiracy Theories (reloaded)

"Most people reason dramatically, not quantitatively" (O.W. Holmes) In light of the recent anti-Corona demonstrations (Stichwort #Aluhut), I feel almost compelled to post an older article I wrote about communication and the psychology of conspiracy theories. CRISES AND INGREDIENTS In times of crisis and upheaval conspiracy theories abound. When people experience unease and doubt, when old … Continue reading Information and Persuasion: 3 Features of Conspiracy Theories (reloaded)

Language and Deception: Distortion and Socially Constructed Reality

Motto: "What's in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other name will smell as sweet."William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet Over the weekend, a couple of my friends have watched Michael Moore's latest documentary, Planet of the Humans. The one aspect that caused the most bewilderment among them seems to be the … Continue reading Language and Deception: Distortion and Socially Constructed Reality

What My Kids Have Taught Me About Engagement

Are you also juggling job, homeschooling of children, creative projects, and research? Are your kids constantly coming to you for advice/support/validation/reassurance even though your spouse is also available? And does that drive you mad? Then you can relate. Now, I've racked my brain trying to understand this, until it hit me. It's a communication and … Continue reading What My Kids Have Taught Me About Engagement

Ways Out of the Lockdown: 4 Types of Discursive Strategies

To say that words are powerful, that they influence thought and perception, and engender representations is a truism. Their force and importance is uncontested. Sometimes it is the case, however, that a new physical context emerges before we even have a concept for it. And for it to become a psychological reality, a perceptible reality that … Continue reading Ways Out of the Lockdown: 4 Types of Discursive Strategies