Why feedback is never worthwhile

In their forthcoming book, Nine Lies About Work, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall make a startling claim, with implications far beyond the workplace: they argue that giving people feedback – in the sense of telling them what you think they’re doing right or wrong, and how to do it better – is never [...]

There’s an epidemic of alarmism – but don’t panic

Here are some things about which, according to the headlines, it’s “time to panic”: the threat of big technology, the failure of capitalism, the appointment of John Bolton as US national security adviser, and the performance of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Oh, and climate change. “We live during a [...]

After a trip to the hairdresser’s, I feel refurbished

There was a time when I went years without visiting a hairdresser. I know. But I found sitting bang in front of a starkly lit mirror faintly terrifying, and did my best to avoid it. Nobody enjoys confronting cavernous pores or realising that, while you think you are Galadriel, up close the vibe is more Gollum. There [...]

Why I love the smell of wood

My grandfather had a shed. That isn’t a boast. That would be like boasting that he had a wool-knit cardigan. Or that he said that things were better in his day. Or never talked about the war. That would be like boasting about having had a grandad. But, oh man, I loved that shed. It was at the end of the garden, past [...]

Should every worker have a 75-minute lunch break?

Schoolchildren should have at least 75 minutes of breaktime every day, say a group of MPs. Most schools, according to a report by the all-party parliamentary group on a fit and healthy childhood, have cut lunch and breaktimes, which has a negative impact on pupils’ concentration, health and social skills. This begs [...]

Travelling light is the closest thing to feeling free

I have crossed borders with nothing but a rucksack on my back. Arrived in countries with a holdall and that’s it. Last year, at midnight, I booked a plane ticket for 7am that morning from London to Glasgow, packed a bag barely heavier than the quotidian, and off I went. I have gone to Morocco and Egypt in similar [...]

Seven ways to beat a sore throat this winter

Rest your body – and your voice Sore throats are very common and usually get better by themselves within a week. Getting a good night’s sleep always helps to help fight off infection. The NHS advises those with a sore throat to stay well hydrated, although hot drinks should be avoided. Sucking on ice cubes, ice [...]

Seven ways to boost your self-esteem

Check negative self-talk How we value and perceive ourselves and our abilities is believed to be strongly tied to influences in childhood. A recent longitudinal study following nearly 9,000 participants in the US from birth to age 27 found that family environment (covering parenting, cognitive stimulation and physical [...]
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