On Blackness (and to a minor degree, on ridiculing beliefs)

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BlackEnough4“When did you get smart?”

This was a question posed to me recently after I articulated my position on issues pertaining to both an ethical and religious matter. You would think that I’d take offense to such a query, however this is merely one of numerous instances I’ve been asked this very same thing in some form or another. Instead of taking it as an insult, I smiled, took it in stride and responded with, “I’ve always been smart. I just wasn’t always as aware, and the smarts I did possess in my youth, I masked.” My reply was partly in jest, unbeknownst to her. Regardless, she knows me from my teenage years and so left it at that.

She didn’t directly call my “Blackness”… Continue reading

Emotional Intelligence: To Win Over The Opponent, One Must Think Like The Opponent

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success-eiEmotional Intelligence - the ability to interpret, evaluate and effectively address the relationship between our motivations and decisions, including recognizing our tendency to relieve cognitive dissonance with rationalization.

Our initial instinct, when it comes to transmitting information and expecting it to directly affect recipients, is to give people facts and assume they will arrive *through reason* at the correct decision or behavior. However, research has shown that this approach isn’t very effective. It’s very difficult to change a person’s mind/behavior just by making a rational argument. You will find that their behavior is still overwhelmed by their beliefs and emotions.

The alleged “scared straight” approach is only minimally effective at best, as opposed to targeting emotional underpinnings supporting motivations. That being said, even… Continue reading

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