Emotions are absolutely crucial to who we are and what choices we make. Kathrine Aspaas invites us to use our feelings and emotions as the inner power they are. Emotional insight is an advantage when new technology takes over old work tasks. Our primary strength will be what we do better than the machines; to be human and fellow human beings. The ability to create trust and good relationships will be superpowers in the worklife of the future. Soft skills are the new hard skills. This book a social analysis and an emotional fitness center. You get concrete techniques to cope with feelings like disappointment, sadness and shame, while increasing the experience of belonging and joy of life. The emotional revolution is already taking place in several places of the world. Now we will take it to Norway.
Let your emotions become your strength!
Kathrine Aspaas is a Norwegian journalist, entrepreneur and public speaker. She is author of the bestselling books The Age of Generosity and Pink is the new Punk. Kathrines philosophy on vulnerability, transparency and the art of being flawsome has turned into a movement in Norway. She is a TEDx-talker and Huffington Post-blogger, and her new book The Emotion Revolution was launched in March 2018. This is a translation of the first two chapters of the book.
“To hide behind a mask is to die.” – Stein Torleif Bjella
I grew up with joy and yet, sorrow is the first feeling I remember having. It was not deep sorrow but the experience of tears running down my face. I was only a few years old. My dad was playing the guitar in a minor key – the sorrowful scale of music. That was all it took. My tears kept running and they still do. For a long time, I believed that there was something wrong with me for crying that easily. My solution was to gradually build a shield of armor around my mind and heart. I built this armor during my university years at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, and at the reporter position I held at the Aftenposten newspaper; I armored myself for morning meetings and for press conferences. It kept me protected during work related events and even family get-togethers. This armor worked by creating distance through irony, quoting facts, sarcasm and assertiveness. I thought I was doing great. For a long time I was admired both socially and in my line of work, until one day I could not take it anymore. I became exhausted and I felt lonely. I became insensitive and began to hurt people without even noticing it. I became tough and arrogant, and gradually lost myself. The little girl who once cried when her daddy played in minor a key was all abandoned, somewhere inside this armor, and I missed her. This book is about emotions. It is about the life beyond the armor and the freedom that comes with it. The immense amount of longing and vulnerability we humans are capable of feeling through music, art and literature, astounds me. Would you dare to carry these emoti
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ons with you into your day-to-day life? To school? To work? I think we could all benefit greatly from doing just that. The challenge is that emotions have long been treated as something unwanted - something ‘irrational’. Perhaps feelings are not tidy enough? Not quantifiable enough for the economy? Emotions can be embarrassing. Revealing. Intimate. Emotions can cause a person to blush. Tremble. But is there really any contradiction between sense and sensibility? What if real common sense is to have insight into one’s own and other peoples’ emotions and feelings? We are facing what many call The fourth industrial revolution. Artificial intelligence (AI) and new technologies are changing the way we work and learn. AI provides entirely new possibilities. While computers continue to replace humans, we can develop our own special gifts. It can help us define what it means to be human; To be a great communicator. To create genuine connections and exert care. By having a solid emotional core, we can live through major changes and navigate demanding circumstances. To choose education is a change. To lose one’s job is a change. The transition from black to green energy is definitely a change.
An emotional power plant The word ‘emotion’ derives from the Latin word emovere, which means movement. Feelings move us. Also the word ‘motivation’ derives from emovere. Feelings are what drive us. They drive us towards mastery and great accomplishments, and yet they also drive us towards impulsive decisions such as devouring an entire bag of Cheetos when feeling frustrated. We talk about having something on our heart when we need to share some thoughts that are important to us. It’s something entirely different to have something on one’s brain. There is a reason why Martin Luther King said “I have a dream” in his famous speech from 1963 – not “I have a plan”. It’s all about feelings and emotions. Stories are data with a soul, as professor Brené Brown puts it. 2 | t he e m o t io n re v o lu t io n
Not only good feelings move us. There is nothing more adept at causing change than despair and irritation – especially if these feelings are acknowledged and ‘molded into pipelines”. Imagine a thundering waterfall. A power plant, where we can channel rage and worry into crystal clear, and eternally renewable, energy. There is always more irritation where it came from. And definitely more disappointment. When we take ownership of these feelings, we can use them for development. Perhaps we can push some greediness into these pipelines and channel it into creativity and joie de vivre? What about envy? Does it contain an element of admiration? Can one of our darkest feelings, sorrow, be transformed to exit the pipline as love? This transformation can happen through acceptance and later on in this book, you will get more acquainted with this process. It’s not dangerous to feel. Feelings of loneliness, anger, excitement and happiness can all coexist in our life. It’s not always necessary to channel these feelings into pipelines. We can freely throw them into the wild – letting them become a magnificent display of a thundering waterfall of anger or sorrow. The basic rule for this is simple: If we run from our feelings, they will control us. If we acknowledge our feelings, we control them. The choice is ours, and knowing this is deeply liberating. I want for everyone to be able to understand how our knowledge about relationships and emotions have developed over the past decades. The purpose of this is to strengthen our emotional core and introduce you to some of the top academics within the field of emotional research. You will be able to learn techniques that ensure you will be emotionally savvy and you will hear the stories of people have taken big strides in this subject. This encourages us to become acquainted with the wide spectrum of feelings and to live life to the fullest in good times and in bad. With a professional background in journalism and economics, I am fully aware that I am entering unfamiliar territories where I am merely a guest in the fields of psychology, biology, neuroscience, phi
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losophy, and sociology. I want to thank all who have gone before us and developed these subjects. We can all benefit greatly from exploring each other’s fields. This is often how innovation works. One of the best feelings that I know of is having goosebumps; when my hairs stand up after hearing the gentle notes from the opening of Mozart’s Requiem. What exactly happens when something is experienced as unfathomably beautiful? Having goosebumps is a sensation that is both mysterious and pleasant and therefore I choose to start with this feeling. What can we draw from that moment we get goosebumps? Personally, I have used this feeling as a compass some time now. I go where the goosebumps lead me and this is what I call the Goosebump-effect. Now, I want you to connect to your inner compass – to follow your own goosebump-effect.
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C hapter 1
Follow the goosebumps!
In a concert venue in Oslo, about sixty gentlemen are focused on the stage. The snow is packed outside the windows, and soon the song flows into the room. Four voices. Softly. Gracefully. It is Guldberg Academic Choir, having the traditional Christmas party, and the evening has progressed to the annual Goosebump-competition. Who can give the audience their best chills? The competition’s originator got the idea when he sang his first concert with the choir at the Oslo Concert Hall. He describes the experience as a firework of emotion. “We were singing Vere - a simple Gregorian song. I got chills on my back that stretched down my thighs. It was like an internal explosion, and the feeling lasted for a long time. It felt like frost running down my thighs, “says Bjørn Haugland, an avid singer and entrepreneur. He explains how the Goosebump-competition works. It’s not about singing perfectly. The winners are not necessarily the most artistic, but they must hit the heart and nervous system of the audience. “These guys love what they do. You can tell by the way they smile with their whole body. They open up their souls as most of us do only when we are at home and safe. It’s so beautiful. “ Everything indicates that we humans like the feeling of goosebumps. The diversity of music and animal videos in social media is a clear indication that we are actively looking for it. Professor Alan Fiske from UCLA in California is in the midst of a long-term project to find out what goosebumps are all about. How does this mystic feeling affect our inner climate and our actions? What happens when the hair rises, the eyes are filled with tears and some feel the need
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to touch the heart while they say: Aaaawwwwww ... in a high-pitch voice. The research shows that this feeling often occurs when we see someone being very kind to others, and when we are somehow surprised in a positive way. He calls it Kama Muta - Sanskrit for being moved by love. Thomas Schubert at the University of Oslo, one of the researchers in professor Fiskes project, says that the feeling also involves an intensification of relationships. There is a clear connection between closeness and the feeling of being touched or moved. One of their research methods involves displaying short video films, such as the movie Giving from Thailand, about a little boy being caught while stealing three vials of pain reliever tablets. A cook from a nearby soup kitchen sees the little boy being caught, runs to his rescue and asks if his mother is ill. “Yes ...” whispers the little boy, whereupon the cook pays for the medicine and sends the boy home with a soup for his mother. Then we are moved 30 years ahead in time, where we see the same street - the same restaurant - the same cook serving soup. Suddenly he falls over. His daughter sends him to the hospital, where his heart is operated then and there. The cook survives and we then see the daughter reading a bill of 792,000 baht. This is an impossible amount for her, and she puts the restaurant up for sale. Then we see her again, at her father’s hospital bed, where she discovers a new bill from the hospital. It reads 0.00 baht, with the following text: “All costs were paid 30 years ago, with three vials of painkillers and a bowl of vegetable soup. The best regards, Dr. Prajak Arunthong.” The videos have been shown to groups in fifteen different countries, including China, Japan, South Africa, Portugal, Norway and the United States, and the findings were unambiguous. After watching the video, the participants reported goosebumps, tears and a warm feeling in the chest. “We cry when we are sad. We smile when we are happy and we both cry and smile when we are moved, “says Thomas Schubert. What gives you the goosebumps? I have asked nearly 400 people, 6 | t he e m o t io n re v o lu t io n
and the majority talked about moments of music, sportsevents, close conversations and nature. Strikingly many Norwegians mention the powerful, symphonic vignette of the Champions League. Search for it on YouTube. It comes with a close to goosebump-guarantee. Others share stories about rare coincidences and stories that strike a chord in them – a kind of recognition. Being part of something bigger. Being close to nature, animals, art or other people. “When I see young people who surprise themselves and master something. That pride and joy! That touches me. Then I can get goosebumps, “answered Crown Prince Haakon when I asked him. “I’m navigating more and more after the goosebumps. When they come, I know I’m on my way, “says pianist and composer Maren Selvaag. “I get it right now, as you talk. I love this project!” says Karen from Washington DC. “To kayak down the rivers in The Grand Canyon. The contrast between peaceful nature and wild rage, “says Karl from Virginia. “I have a rule”, says Norwegian songwriter and artist Maria Mena. “I do not stop researching what happens to me just before my eyes well up when I write music. To be touched like that! I am interested in how I react physically when that happens.”
Listen to the body Our body is an underestimated instrument. We live in a culture that rewards thinking to such a degree that we almost forget that we have a body. The body becomes like an annoying attachment to the intellect. In this book, the body is the hero. Just writing about the body makes me a little bothered, as if it’s cluttered with something shameful. Not so with the brain. I write completely effortlessly about the brain, but the rest of the body? There is a good rule when we are hijacked by strong emotions: Go to the body! Breathe deeply and notice. Emotions are not dangerous. They are important information, and we can use the body to deal with emotions. Look at the dogs
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when they see something scary and their fur gets bigger. Afterwards they shake and stir themselves into a calm state. We can also do that. We can get excited that way, and we can calm down by shaking our body. The same goes for a smile. It affects our performance. In May 2017, the marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge stood for a wild performance in the small town of Monza, in northern Italy. He ran the marathon in 2 hours and 25 seconds, the fastest for a marathon ever. How did he do that? He smiled all the way, from start to finish. Try it when you do something difficult. On top of it all, you risk getting some smiles back. We have a lot to learn from our body, but we seem to insist on being objective and “rational”. I ensure you we are not. Behavioral research shows that over 90 percent of the choices we make are unconscious. We are governed by innate instincts and induced survival mechanisms. There are many studies showing how rarely rational we are. Judges rule stricter penalties when they are hungry, usually before lunch. We humans also tend to be stricter and less generous when we sit in a room that smells of garbage. The mood itself is influenced by the way we move the body. When we sit with our legs crossed and make ourselves “small”, we feel weaker and rarely raise our voice. Conversely, sitting with your legs spread - making us big - increasing the production of testosterone, makes us feel stronger. Standing in a power-pose, for example with your arms over your head, also affects the testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, which in turn affects the chance of success in what we do. This way we can create ourselves, through how we use the body.
Crying with strangers The research shows that goosebumps is the ultimate collective emotional reaction. It motivates us to associate ourselves with what is greater than ourselves, preferably through collective rituals, celebration, music and dance. The feeling helps us to shift focus from 8 | t he e m o t io n re v o lu t io n
self-interest to the group’s common interests. Take funerals, for example. Although it can feel heavy, it is also connection to the love of the life that’s over. The same goes for collective celebration in joy. Like when a whole soccer-stadium with 95,000 football fans in Australia sings Liverpool’s powerful hymn You’ll never walk alone. And it’s not just Liverpool’s own fans that sing. The Australian home team fans are singing their hearts out - greeting their competitors. They show generosity, adding extra to the goosebump-effect. “I have come to believe that crying with strangers can save the world,” writes professor Brené Brown in her latest book Braving the Wilderness - the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone (2017). We need reminding ourselves that we are not alone. We need to realize that we live in the same world – tied together by the awesome, painful experience of being human. Whether there are common experiences like a concert or a sporting event, a funeral or a party; We share joy, pain and sorrow. When the accident strikes, we do not ask the injured which religion or political affiliation he has before we help him. We are created to help each other, by the happy chemicals we release in the body as we do so.
The feeling of awe In a survey, students at Berkeley University were asked how often during the past month they had experienced different feelings, such as hostility, enthusiasm, zeal and inspiration. The students then delivered saliva samples, which were analyzed for a molecule known to create inflammatory conditions in the body. The students who reported the most pleasant feelings also had the lowest levels of the inflammatory molecule. And the very lowest levels were linked to the feeling of goosebumps, or awe. The study thus shows that the goosebumps actually contributes to strengthening the immune system. Moreover, awe has the following characteristics:
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– Sharpens our memory. – Makes us less self-focused and more social. – Reduces the feeling of deserving more than others. – Increases the desire to help others. My wish for you is to look for moments of awe – and the feeling of goosebumps. Share it with friends and family and boost your level of the “love-chemical” oxytocin in your body. Be aware of what creates the sense of belonging and affection for you, and take the signals seriously. We can also talk about goosebumpeffect for entire companies and organizations. What is a goosebump- business? In my world that is businesses that makes amazing products and earns money while making the world better. Thankfully, a growing number of us want to work for companies like that. Author and Entrepreneur Annicken Day, calls it “truth-chills” – an inexplicable physical sensation that tells her that she is on the right track. She tells about when she, as director of the Norwegian IT-company Tandberg, was employing new programmers. She could pick and choose among the best computer engineers the country had to offer and had the candidates undergo many kinds of tests. However, the ultimate test, as they were not informed, was the ability to build relations and cooperate with others. “That way, we clearly saw who had the ability and desire to share knowledge, collaborate and help others. A person who shares and helps others has a great value for an innovation-driven company,” she says. Help others? In a situation where you compete with the one you help? That is not easy. Nevertheless, Tandberg was looking for people who had this caring behavioral pattern. In the next chapter, you will learn more about how emotional insight and relational skills are among the most wanted skills of the future, but first I let Bjørn Haugland in Guldberg Academic Choir finish this chapter. He sits in front of me and talks about music, and the loving broth10 | t he em o t io n re v o lu t io n
erhood in the choir. I ask him what, in his experience, gets in the way of magic experiences. What is the kryptonite of goosebumps? After a short break he comes up with the following list: Condescension Exclusion Cynicism Shame “The feeling of awe demands equality and fellowship,” he says. “The notion that I could never have created this on my own. Goosebumps are a kickstarter of joy. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude and affection.” He closes with a story from when the choir was on tour in the United States, to Saint Olaf Cathedral in Minnesota. After the concert, the singers stood in the church door wishing the audience a safe trip home. The rain was pouring down, and the audience mainly consisted of Norwegian-Americans who had lived in the United States for over fifty years. An old lady held the hands of one of the singers for a long time. She tried to find the words in Norwegian. Fumbled a little. Tried to taste the language she once knew. Finally found some words and said joyfully: “It was so beautiful – I got totally ... goose høne*!” *høne meaning hen in Norwegian.
A SMALL GOOSEBUMP EXERCISE. Pay attention to your own goosebumps. When does it appear? Where do you get it and how does it feel? Use it as a compass, and be aware that it can be manipulated. Feel free to share the experience.
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C hapter 2
Finance and Feelings
“In a state that is not characterized by emotions, no progress is made in something that is essential to humans.” – Baruch de Spinoza
What do you feel when you hear the word digitization? Are you annoyed? Worried? Inspired? We hear this word so often now that many of us are a bit tired. Some are basic technology optimists, and become eager. Some people are worried about not having the relevant skills, while others are fearful of side effects such as impaired privacy and powerful technology out of control. Whatever we might feel about the technological shift that is taking place around us, it’s little use to fight it. Changes will happen whether we like them or not. The computers already beat us in everything that smacks of repetitive reporting and numbers, not to mention robotics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. The Norwegian bank DNB has already projected that half of their 10,000 employees will be replaced by machines over the next five years. What does this development mean for us? What does it mean for the economy? For our schools and the way we learn? For business and politics? Do we move towards a cold and mechanical world where human contact is exchanged with robots? Or do we face completely different possibilities? In this chapter we will explore these possibilities. The goal is for us to stand firm in the storm. No, the purpose is greater - that we are actively creating our own future.
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The Fourth Industrial Revolution The previous industrial revolutions did not only affect industry and business. They dug deep into the whole of society’s development. Imagine a working home in the early 1850s. It is evening and dark outside. In order to afford one hour of reading light, a human being had to work on average of six hours. Today, most of us take reading light for granted. We need to work for half a second to afford an hour’s reading light. Imagine what this meant for learning opportunities. When the assembly line took over a lot of manual work, people gained time and motivation to pursue politics. There was frustration and strikes. Democracy grew slowly and the first big wave of women’s struggles started. In 1898, all Norwegian men over 25 years were entitled to vote, and fifteen years later, the women followed. People got better education and schools developed. In Norway we started producing light bulbs in 1916. This is how industrial development and social development go hand in hand. During the third industrial revolution, when computers gradually took over manpower work in the 1970s and 1980s, we earned even more time. Time to meet in cafes and develop ideas. Time from idea to product became shorter, and changes took place sooner. The question is; from what will this fourth industrial revolution free us? What kind of social change will technology stimulate? How can we develop skills that let us surf the wave of changes instead of becoming passive and discouraged?
The Four Industrial Revolutions 1784 – The first industrial revolution began with the first machine-driven loom. 1870 – The second industrial revolution started with the first assembly line in car production. 1969 – The third industrial revolution started with the first computer. 2016 – The fourth industrial revolution started with the first self-propelled car.
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Let us talk a little more about artificial intelligence. Today’s computers are extremely fast learners They are not physically tired and they are truly shameless. They do not regret making mistakes, as we often do. Our more or less shameful response to making mistakes delays our learning compared to machines. Machines are not punished socially when they make mistakes, as we humans tend to punish ourselves, and each other, when failing and learning. Take medical diagnosis. Let’s say you’ve fallen and think you might have broken your arm. First, you need the doctor who sends you to an operator to take x-rays. Then the image is sent to an expert who looks at it and concludes - you have broken your arm. This may take a few days. If the doctor sends the image directly to a computer, it takes a few seconds for the machine to review all the world’s data, and find that you actually have two fractures - one small and one larger one. The answer comes quicker and is more precise. Imagine a future with self-propelled cars and boats. This is not science fiction. Driverless ships will soon be tested in the old Norwegian marine town of Horten. With all its maritime areas, the municipality has entered into an agreement with the Norwegian Maritime Directorate and the Coastal Administration, which owns and controls the maritime areas in Norway, to establish the entire municipality’s maritime area as the test arena for future driverless ships. In the case of cars, it is assumed that the last person who needs a drivers licence is already born. No wonder that many of us may feel uncertainty and concern about all this. At the same time it is advisable to acknowledge that it will not stop, because there is no alternative to growth. Growth is the basis for everything that lives. We long for, and crave, growth. As companies – as humans – as Symphony Orchestras - nurses, engineers and teachers. We want to create greater music experiences, better care, more sustainable technology and better learning methods. The question is where do we want the growth? What is it that we want more of in our lives – in our cultures and companies? How can we get that growth? These questions are crucial to the fourth industrial revolution, and on the way we can be 14 | t he em o t io n re v o lu t io n
sure of one thing: many professions will be lost in the next ten years. During the first industrial revolution, it was the weavers who first lost their jobs, when the technology of machine-driven looms was invented. The weavers had to find other ways to make themselves useful and relevant in the society. The same was true of the manual workers with the assembly line in 1870. The question now is who are the weavers and manual workers of our time?
The weavers of our time We can assume that drivers and transport workers are weavers of our time. The same applies to many types of brokers and interÂ mediaries, as well as lawyers, writes lawyer Richard Susskind in his book The End of Lawyers? When big data moves into the judicial sector, the lawyerâ€™s work will change. Conflict resolution skills will be needed to preempt conflict in the first place. To solve judicial issues as early as possible. Now, that will be truly relevant work in a polarized world. Conflict management requires solid emotional core muscles and profound human knowledge. This may be lawyers work in the future. But the professional group that will disappear the fastest, are the auditors, according to the magazine The Economist. Auditing is largely about data processing - facts, numbers and systematics, which the machines do in a fraction of a second. Second, an audit is basically a substitute for trust. Making budgets and checking every quarter can be read as an expression of basic mistrust. In many ways it can push business and financial markets into shortsightedness. This does not mean that we will stop measuring and revising, rather, we will measure deeper, broader and in more relevant manners. Big data enable us to measure anything: the degree of innovation, perceived joy and meaning of employees, quality, respect, sustainability, earnings - any area where the company wants development and growth. Most of us are used to budgets and control, and many consider a life without budgets as wishful thinking. It is not. Many of the largest companies
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now operate without budgets - Maersk, Sodexo and Wholefoods, to name a few. They practice so called Beyond budgeting. To dig a little deeper into what it means to run without budgets, I have taken the trip to one of Norways most successful and profitable industrial companies, the paint manufacturer Jotun in the town of Sandefjord. The company dropped its budgets eight years ago, and CEO Morten Fon’s logic is simple: He will not use 21 employees to produce a budget, or an economical crutch, as he calls it, and then 21 employees to check that the budget does not match. Instead, these 42 employees will make the products better and the customers more satisfied. My editor was completely shocked when she heard this number. “There were probably even more,” says Morten Fon when I met him at his office in Sandefjord. He insists that life without a budget makes it absolutely necessary to articulate clear values. This value-driven operation keeps the business in a better economic, cultural, innovative and mental state, he claims. “Our board has not seen a budget in eight years,” he says. “My main task is to develop the business. We know exactly where we want to grow, and we have good strategic plans.” The company’s values - Courage, Respect, Care and Loyalty - act as a continuous compass for the employees, and in the end it boils down to this one thing: Satisfied customers. At the same time, this flexible way of managing business can leave some employees insecure. Most of us are used to reporting and being controlled on a regular basis. What do we do instead? When reporting is not work anymore? This is where longterm cultural change comes in. Everyone is in charge of taking responsibility for innovation and development - “take the plow” - being curious and active in addressing how their work can be developed and renewed. Those times are gone where a manager tells the employees what to do and they do it. Employees have the freedom and responsibility to see how their jobs can be done differently and better, to pursue innovation and cooperation – and to take initiatives across departments and disciplines. 16 | t he em o t io n re v o lu t io n
I ask Morten Fon about what he thinks about the term company values. Is it just a chic ornament, as some critics claim? “That’s just bullshit! We spend about 30 percent of our time on cultural work. To make people feel safe and motivated. For example, we have stopped evaluating people. It makes people unsecure and it can ruin good relationships. Instead, we encourage people to do more of what they are good at.” I have to smile, because this reminds me of the way I train my dog. When she does something right, I cry gooooooood girl! Then I smear a little sausage into her mouth. She gets so proud! When she fails, I ignore it and make the necessary adjustments for her to succeed next time; lower the bar of the exercise or increases her motivation with my energy. It works brilliantly, and it strikes me that dog training in many ways is more human than human training. We often try to correct or punish each others unwanted conduct. What about rewarding and highlighting success instead? I know exactly what works best for me. The sausage wins every time! Jotun delivers strong financial results, and it must be motivating and challenging to have a trusting and curious boss. Many companies now follow the example of Jotun and develop a culture towards a life without budgets
Global Human Warming According to Economist, auditors, brokers, intermediaries and drivers are among the most insecure employment today. But who’s safest when not even typical creative professions are safe? The movie giant 20th Century Fox recently cut a trailer for a movie without the use of people. IBM’s Watson machine has mathematical algorithms that can make artwork at La Rembrandt. Machines are already writing symphonies. Both math and creative professions can be copied, according to The Economist, but what is so unique that it cannot be
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copied? When I think about this, for some reason, there are a lot of professions with P: Psychologist Politician Private Secretary Project Worker Planning Engineer Psychologists Psychiatrists Police Programmer Program Director Professor Press Innovator Pediatrician Park Worker Just add to the list, please! According to The Economist the safest profession also starts with P, and this is both touching and logical: Personal trainer (PT). My mind wandered quickly to body pressure and perfectionism when I read this, but then I realized that this is about much more than physical vanity. The keyword here is personal. The unique fingerprint that we humans have; Who we are. What we love. Who we help, regardless of what kind of work we do. Our job is to find, grow and develop our own unique fingerprint and help others to develop theirs. This work requires security, courage and a safe, strong sense of self. And it’s not just about physical, personal training: Mental trainers, emotional trainers - coaches of all kinds. Good teachers. Everybody who cares for others in some way. When I studied economics in the 80ies and 90ies it was possible to say that “I’m working with numbers, because I’m not very good with people”. This is no longer 18 | t he em o t io n re v o lu t io n
an option. Most number-work will not be work for humans, and everyone is going to work with people in one way or another. This is where the new skills come in. Our new human software. Our job is to be good with people. If you are additionally good with animals and nature, you’ve hit the jackpot! Knowledge and concern regarding our senses will be immensely important in all the products and services we are going to produce; taste, smell, sound, touch, experiences and feelings that are activated. Try to ask a computer to produce the smell of heather, moss and mountain, or the feeling of sitting on the stairs in the sun, drinking a cup of coffee. Try to ask it to produce the smell behind the ear of a puppy - a very special mixture of popcorn and honey. Or the sweet scent of a baby? Relationships and feelings - cultural work and trust work. Much of what we call work today can be given to computers in the near future, but to be good, inspiring and caring colleagues and employees, here the robots will be struggling for a while. We can use the fourth industrial revolution well. We can use it to leave the cold work to the machines and develop our capabilities of warm work. Make sure we start a Global Human Warming. As the Jack Ma, businessman and Chinas richest stated at The World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018: “We need to learn soft skills for the future; relations, values, how to care for others.” We see the traces of human warming in the ongoing efforts to introduce Mastering life as a separate subject in the Norwegian school. Many people have opinions about what such a subject should contain, and the work takes time, but we are underway. Self knowledge, compassion, empathy and inner strength will be superpowers for students when they go out in a future working life. The knowledge and insight of their own and others’ feelings can make our lives and relationships richer and better – and it’s definitely good for business. We need emotional core muscles, since skills such as security, self-awareness and the ability to withstand resistance are not something we can upload once and for all. There are still no algorithms for
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good self-knowledge, empathy and compassion. This is a daily and long term practice. For most of us it takes many years and thatâ€™s why we have to start together - here and now. This is the first 20 pages of the book The Emotion Revolution (2018) by Norwegian journalist, economist and TEDx speaker Kathrine Aspaas. She is currently working on a full translation of the book.
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Emotions are absolutely crucial to who we are and what choices we make. Kathrine Aspaas invites us to use our feelings and emotions as the i...
Published on Apr 16, 2018
Emotions are absolutely crucial to who we are and what choices we make. Kathrine Aspaas invites us to use our feelings and emotions as the i...