Your Brain on Meetings

December 28th, 2022

This week, the impact of meetings on the human brain is examined, fewer young adults live independently, and the debate rages on about the problems with the US labor force.

In the News

Meeting Brain Fog: This is what your brain looks like after back to back (to back) meetings (Huffington Post).

Living with Mommy & Daddy: The percent of 18-29 year olds who live with their parents has spiked to an alarming, 50%. (Quartz).

Succession Planning:Companies who champion a long-term strategy to eventually replace their current leaders may stand to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • 72% of organizations (EmPerform) predict an uptick in leadership vacancies over the next 3-4 years but a majority, 56% of organizations (Society for Human Resource Management) say they do not have a succession plan in place.

Pessimism and Optimism on Hiring: According to a report, 88% of HR decision makers expect hiring to be more or as difficult  (Jobvite) in 2023 as it was in 2022.

  • The report found that 77% of organizations have not reduced their plans to hire workers, despite fears of a looming recession and mass layoffs.
  • 60% of hiring managers expect to hire more in the next calendar year.

Other News

Off the Job Learning: Only 0.3% of US workers are apprentices (Progressive Policy Institute).

Words You Shouldn’t Say: Colleges have long been known for their sometimes fringe political activism. In an action that was widely mocked (Daily Beast), The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (ELHI – Stanford University) project unveiled a list of ‘harmful’ words (The UK Independent).

According to Stanford’s EHLI, the following words were among those that should not be used because of varying degrees of cultural insensitivity, including: ableism, cultural appropriation, gender bias, and institutional racism, among other factors.

  • Survivor
  • American
  • Victim
  • Walk-in hours
  • Indian giver
  • Insane
  • Blacklisted

A Deeper Dive

Size of the US Workforce: Here is what the labor force participation rate (St. Louis Federal Reserve) and total number of people in the workforce (Statista) look like over time.

The debate rages on about why there’s a worker shortage and the extent to which it is a problem in the US economy.

  • Liberals tend to argue that companies need to pay and treat their employees better to entice them to work (American Progress).
  • Conservatives tend to argue that policy makers have expanded the welfare state by advancing disincentives to work such as Covid-19 emergency declarations (NY Post).
  • In the 1950s, far more women stayed at home with the kids, which could explain why the labor force participation rate was so low then, but now it is men who are decreasing (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Quote to Consider:

“When we dehumanize and demonize our opponents, we abandon the possibility of peacefully resolving our differences, and seek to justify violence against them.”

– Nelson Mandela

What I’m Reading

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – Kim Scott

  • Most people who want to manage or lead a team care about people, but how do you show your team? By being radically candid, of course. The author details several interesting personal stories from her time working at major Silicon Valley companies like Google and Apple. The biggest takeaway from the book is, if you say what needs to be said, and do so respectfully, people will appreciate and respect you more.

Do you care enough about people to tell them what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear?

This is an excellent read if you are a leader of a team or want to become one.

Get it in Print or Audio.

Articles of the Week

Besides being famously disloyal to employers, young workers from Generation Z and the iGeneration take these five personality traits with them into the workplace? (The Productivity Pro)

If you want something, you have to ask for it. Here is how to ask in a way that gets results. (Brian Tracy)

Happiness is thought to be partially due to genetic and lifestyle factors, but these 8 ways to experience more happiness will help with the lifestyle part. (Insider)

The winter blues are real, but they are just part of the cycle of the seasons. Feel better? (Jeff Goins

New Deep Dive Careers Article: Forget About Goals: This New Year, Try a System

  • SMART Goals are popular but do they actually work? Read about why systems are a better way to improve at something that matters to you.

Other Fun Stuff

Only one New England town (94.9 WHOM Radio Station) appeared on a list of the 10 most mispronounced town names in the United States ( Perhaps this is because the locals in places like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are the ones who say the name of their towns wrong?

Speaking of New England, the first major snowstorm of the season hit recently. Based on the abysmal use of winter driving tactics, these tips on how to drive properly in the snow may just save a life. Read up! (Art of Manliness).

Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you next week.

Be well,


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