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Here’s a conversation tip from #34 on our Most Creative People of the year list, comedian Marc Maron.

“I don’t make a list of questions. Ever. I think a lot of my interviews are driven by my need to feel connection. You listen and when you hear intonations, you hear feelings. It’s just feeling where there’s something more, getting them to a place that they’re not usually.”
Here’s more advice from some of 2013’s most creative people. 

Here’s a conversation tip from #34 on our Most Creative People of the year list, comedian Marc Maron.

“I don’t make a list of questions. Ever. I think a lot of my interviews are driven by my need to feel connection. You listen and when you hear intonations, you hear feelings. It’s just feeling where there’s something more, getting them to a place that they’re not usually.”

Here’s more advice from some of 2013’s most creative people. 

How A Little Graciousness Can Do Wonders For Your Career
Tom Chiarella recently wrote an ode to graciousness for Esquire. Any aspiring lady or gentleman would do well to take it to heart:

Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self. Start with what you already possess. You, for instance, have a job. Live up to that.

Read more about what it means to be gracious here.

How A Little Graciousness Can Do Wonders For Your Career

Tom Chiarella recently wrote an ode to graciousness for Esquire. Any aspiring lady or gentleman would do well to take it to heart:

Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self. Start with what you already possess. You, for instance, have a job. Live up to that.

Read more about what it means to be gracious here.

Why The Happiest People Have The Hardest Jobs

"The happiest people I know are dedicated to dealing with the most difficult problems," Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes for HBR. Whether reversing schools’ struggles, making unsafe water potable, or helping the terminally ill, “they face the seemingly worst of the world with a conviction that they can do something about it and serve others.”

Kanter pulls in a number of anecdotes, including that of her friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman. Upset by the care her dying mother received, Goodman left her syndicated columnist gig to start The Conversation Project, which aims to get every family to talk about death and end-of-life care. While Kanter doesn’t quote Goodman in the piece, we can infer that Goodman is doing emotionally fulfilling work—which, as positive psychology tells us, is a key to enduring happiness, as opposed to the fleeting nature of pleasure.
A meaningful, happiness-generating career, then, will include a sense of engagement—or even devotion—to the work one does. And while engagement is a predictor of success on a global level, less than half of American workers have it.
The role of money
Money isn’t what motivates these high achievers, Kanter writes; instead, engaged people pursue mastery, membership, and meaning. Money was a distant fourth. Let’s be clear: money matters plenty—if you don’t have enough to feel secure, you’llact like an alligator. But as research suggests, once you clear the income thresholds of $50,000 to $70,000 a year, the cash-to-happiness correlation levels off).
"Money acted as a scorecard, but it did not get people up-and-at ‘em for the daily work," Kanter observes, "nor did it help people go home every day with a feeling of fulfillment."
But fulfillment doesn’t have hockey-stick growth. Kanter talks about the corps members of City Year who are working with at-risk students and seeing improvements and problems come in waves. But progress “isn’t linear,” she says—it may only be apparent after many long days, like when a D student raises his hand.
In the office, on purpose
So, in our work, we need to be mindful of cultivating mastery of our skills, give our people a sense of membership, and look for where we can find meaning from what we’re doing.
"It’s as though we all have two jobs," Kanter says, "our immediate tasks and the chance to make a difference."
The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems
[Image: Flickr user Bob Vonderau]

Why The Happiest People Have The Hardest Jobs

"The happiest people I know are dedicated to dealing with the most difficult problems," Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes for HBR. Whether reversing schools’ struggles, making unsafe water potable, or helping the terminally ill, “they face the seemingly worst of the world with a conviction that they can do something about it and serve others.”

Kanter pulls in a number of anecdotes, including that of her friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman. Upset by the care her dying mother received, Goodman left her syndicated columnist gig to start The Conversation Project, which aims to get every family to talk about death and end-of-life care. While Kanter doesn’t quote Goodman in the piece, we can infer that Goodman is doing emotionally fulfilling work—which, as positive psychology tells us, is a key to enduring happiness, as opposed to the fleeting nature of pleasure.

A meaningful, happiness-generating career, then, will include a sense of engagement—or even devotion—to the work one does. And while engagement is a predictor of success on a global level, less than half of American workers have it.

The role of money

Money isn’t what motivates these high achievers, Kanter writes; instead, engaged people pursue mastery, membership, and meaning. Money was a distant fourth. 
Let’s be clear: money matters plenty—if you don’t have enough to feel secure, you’llact like an alligator. But as research suggests, once you clear the income thresholds of $50,000 to $70,000 a year, the cash-to-happiness correlation levels off).

"Money acted as a scorecard, but it did not get people up-and-at ‘em for the daily work," Kanter observes, "nor did it help people go home every day with a feeling of fulfillment."

But fulfillment doesn’t have hockey-stick growth. Kanter talks about the corps members of City Year who are working with at-risk students and seeing improvements and problems come in waves. But progress “isn’t linear,” she says—it may only be apparent after many long days, like when a D student raises his hand.

In the office, on purpose

So, in our work, we need to be mindful of cultivating mastery of our skills, give our people a sense of membership, and look for where we can find meaning from what we’re doing.

"It’s as though we all have two jobs," Kanter says, "our immediate tasks and the chance to make a difference."

The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems

[Image: Flickr user Bob Vonderau]

Your Personal Brand Is More Than Your Follower Count

Your brand isn’t about numbers, it’s about how people experience you in real life.

We’ve been discussing personal brands at Fast Company for a while now—like since 1997—but most of the time when we discuss the Brand Called You, we fittingly focus on Twitter tai chi and LinkedIn leverage. While these mediums are essential, we do live at least some of our lives offline—and your personal brand is present there, though you don’t get automated emails about it.
What we need, then, is a more holistic perspective. Writing for Forbes, Glenn Llopis supplies us with one:

"A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are."

So live mindfully—and authentically.

Branding isn’t acting the part—performing all day will drain you—but rather the consequence of living with authenticity. Like a wise woman once said, “brand is an exhaust fume from you running the engine of your life.”


Read the rest here.
[Image: Flickr user Kurt Haubrich]

Your Personal Brand Is More Than Your Follower Count

Your brand isn’t about numbers, it’s about how people experience you in real life.

We’ve been discussing personal brands at Fast Company for a while now—like since 1997—but most of the time when we discuss the Brand Called You, we fittingly focus on Twitter tai chi and LinkedIn leverage. While these mediums are essential, we do live at least some of our lives offline—and your personal brand is present there, though you don’t get automated emails about it.

What we need, then, is a more holistic perspective. Writing for Forbes, Glenn Llopis supplies us with one:

"A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are."

So live mindfully—and authentically.

Branding isn’t acting the part—performing all day will drain you—but rather the consequence of living with authenticity. Like a wise woman once said, “brand is an exhaust fume from you running the engine of your life.”

Read the rest here.

[Image: Flickr user Kurt Haubrich]

How To Master The Email Introduction
Bringing people together is awesome. But like most social interactions there are unwritten rules. First Round Capital partner and ‘superconnector’ Chris Falic spells them out here.

Like any good scholar (or leader), Fralic lays out the over-arching goals for email intros: they should help everyone involved, they should make it easy for them tohelp you, and they should build your relationships and reputation along the way. Important stuff, right?

Here are some of his tips:
Always ask “May I?”: Fralic says to first ask permission from the parties involved before you fire off that connecter message. Why? “This makes it a choice for the recipient and doesn’t create an obligation,” he says.
Be personal, not lazy: If you don’t know these people well, then at least do a bit of good-natured Google-stalking before you pelt them with generalities and requests. While in the days of handwritten letters it might have come with the inky territory, you should make sure your recipients know that you are writing for them, not some generalized nonperson.
Tell them why they care: In journalism we call it a nut graf—the paragraph that’s the heart of the story. The reason that you care. An email will be (or should be) shorter than an article, but you still need a few sentences for why your reader cares and what’s in it for them.
Prompt with presentation: Take the time to distill your message. Then, as Fralic says, bold your ask, underline key words, and put your links in your words. This is hypertext, after all, and spilling them across the page looks sloppy.
Respond tactfully: Give the other person some room to breathe, Fralic says. If you’re being introduced via email, don’t inundate them with another message two minutes later. It gets a little overwhelming.
Close that loop: If someone’s taken the time to introduce you to a contact of theirs, the least you can do is keep your karma clean and let them know what came of the connection.
Do you have any tips? 
Read the full story here.

How To Master The Email Introduction

Bringing people together is awesome. But like most social interactions there are unwritten rules. First Round Capital partner and ‘superconnector’ Chris Falic spells them out here.

Like any good scholar (or leader), Fralic lays out the over-arching goals for email intros: they should help everyone involved, they should make it easy for them tohelp you, and they should build your relationships and reputation along the way. Important stuff, right?

  • Here are some of his tips:
  • Always ask “May I?”: Fralic says to first ask permission from the parties involved before you fire off that connecter message. Why? “This makes it a choice for the recipient and doesn’t create an obligation,” he says.
  • Be personal, not lazy: If you don’t know these people well, then at least do a bit of good-natured Google-stalking before you pelt them with generalities and requests. While in the days of handwritten letters it might have come with the inky territory, you should make sure your recipients know that you are writing for them, not some generalized nonperson.
  • Tell them why they care: In journalism we call it a nut graf—the paragraph that’s the heart of the story. The reason that you care. An email will be (or should be) shorter than an article, but you still need a few sentences for why your reader cares and what’s in it for them.
  • Prompt with presentation: Take the time to distill your message. Then, as Fralic says, bold your askunderline key words, and put your links in your words. This is hypertext, after all, and spilling them across the page looks sloppy.
  • Respond tactfully: Give the other person some room to breathe, Fralic says. If you’re being introduced via email, don’t inundate them with another message two minutes later. It gets a little overwhelming.
  • Close that loop: If someone’s taken the time to introduce you to a contact of theirs, the least you can do is keep your karma clean and let them know what came of the connection.

Do you have any tips? 

Read the full story here.

5 Stupid Reasons You’re Underpaid- And How To Fix Them 
You are not being out-earned because you are being out-skilled.  People often have blindspots about getting paid— so pull back the veil and start earning what you’re worth. 

Dave Fecak knows whywe aren’t making enough. Fecak has had long exposure to technologists’ salaries: He’s been a part of software recruiting since 1998. And while his points are directly intended for programmers, they carry currency beyond coders.
These are the reasons you aren’t making enough.

Image consciousness
The first negotiation
Know the market (and your place in it)
Profit or cost?
Skill scarcity
Here’s the story.
Why are you underpaid?

5 Stupid Reasons You’re Underpaid- And How To Fix Them 

You are not being out-earned because you are being out-skilled.  People often have blindspots about getting paid— so pull back the veil and start earning what you’re worth. 

Dave Fecak knows whywe aren’t making enough. Fecak has had long exposure to technologists’ salaries: He’s been a part of software recruiting since 1998. And while his points are directly intended for programmers, they carry currency beyond coders.

These are the reasons you aren’t making enough.

  • Image consciousness
  • The first negotiation
  • Know the market (and your place in it)
  • Profit or cost?
  • Skill scarcity

Here’s the story.

Why are you underpaid?

Surefire Negotiation Tactics For People Who Hate To Negotiate
Life, then, is a negotiation—and that doesn’t even have to be this gross, cynical thing. Let’s admit it: We’re constantly making deals, even with ourselves. So why’s it so scary?
As ever, Alice Boyes of Psychology Today has some insights. Let’s go over a few here.
Know your cognitive style
Understand your attitude
Pick the right starting point
Find opportunities for practice
Here’s the full story.

Surefire Negotiation Tactics For People Who Hate To Negotiate

Life, then, is a negotiation—and that doesn’t even have to be this gross, cynical thing. Let’s admit it: We’re constantly making deals, even with ourselves. So why’s it so scary?

As ever, Alice Boyes of Psychology Today has some insights. Let’s go over a few here.

Know your cognitive style

Understand your attitude

Pick the right starting point

Find opportunities for practice

Here’s the full story.

"Vagueness is the opposite of useful," Geoffrey James writes for Inc. “The clearer the goal, the more convincing your e-mail will be.”

  1. Start by writing what you think you are trying to say
  2. Discover that the first few lines are wholehearted hogwash
  3. Rejoice in your determination to write something well
  4. Keep your hands on the keyboard, look for the conclusion when it appears
  5. THEN move that conclusion to the top of the message

Here are more tips.