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Master Public Speaking w/ Stanford Professor; Evolution of Human Violence; When Elon Fired His Assistance

published3 months ago
2 min read

Evolutionary History of Human Violence

Humans have been extremely violent creatures for the better part of their 2,00,000 years of evolutionary history. We butchered our way to survival. When we study our fossils, we find that the biggest reason behind our ancestor’s death was murder — there was no concept of a terminal illness.

However, later in the evolutionary spectrum, we realized the importance of collaboration. The change occurred when we transitioned From Nomadic Bands to Large Settlements.

In this essay, Rob Henderson shares insights from a new research paper from the Oxford evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. They talk about the big idea of how humans overcame violence and turned into peaceful creatures as we are today.

We have pretty strong evidence that Religion was the most crucial factor to put a halt to our violent tendencies. As mentioned in the essay:

“In the absence of formal social mechanisms (religion, community leaders, group bonding activities, etc.), all deaths in a small-scale human society would be due to murder.”

You can read it here!

When Elon Fired His Assistance Who Asked for a Raise

Musk recently fired 5 senior executives at Twitter including former CEO Parag Agarwal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal affairs chief Vijaya Gadde.

This reminded me of a story I read about Elon when he fired his secretary at SpaceX when she asked for a raise.

“I told her, ‘Look, I think you’re very valuable. Maybe that compensation is right. You need to take two weeks’ vacation, and I’m going to assess whether that’s true or not,’” Musk said, according to the footnotes in Ashlee’s book.
So, Brown took two weeks off and Musk took over her job.
After two weeks when Brown came to the office, Musk told her that he didn’t need her service anymore.
According to Musk, “When she got back, my conclusion was just that the relationship was not going to work anymore. Twelve years is a good run for any job. She’ll do a great job for someone.”

Here’s a great medium article you can read to get an in-depth look into this story and the lessons that you can take from it. Use incognito mode if you are unable to access the full blog.

Communication Lecture from MIT Professor

Matt Abrahams is a lecturer of strategic communication at Stanford School of Business. In this video, Matt shares resources with research-backed techniques for becoming a better communicator.

You know how much emphasis I put on fluent communication. It is critical for success in business and in life. Stressed about an upcoming interview? Anxious about speaking up during a meeting? Learn and practice techniques that will help you speak spontaneously with greater confidence and clarity.

With 26 Million views and 8 years of presence on the internet, this video is a gem for people who want to improve their public speaking skills. It’s play and fun as it should be — teaching at its best.

And if you want to dive deep, here is a 25hr long playlist to master public speaking.

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Content I Shared This Week

Stop Being a People Pleaser

I like to be concise when I am sharing important information. So here are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Say NO more often: if you don’t feel like doing something, but you’re only willing to do it because it would upset the other person. Don’t do it. Unlike how most people think about it, you don’t have to be rude in your tone to say NO. Be polite.
  2. Disagree when you want to: If you find it difficult to disagree, use fillers like this to soften up your disagreement – “I would hate to disagree but this is what I think” or “Correct me if I’m wrong”, etc.

More here!


The Secret Behind Lord Ram’s Death

There are countless things we all have learned from the Ramayana. This Diwali, we learn 5 lessons from a story largely unheard of. This is the secret behind Lord Ram's death.

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How to Ace Your Team Meetings

Team meetings are intimidating. There are so many people observing and judging you.

Happens all the time that you want to put your thoughts out, but you couldn’t because you’re too scared.

Share your ideas, give your input, take responsibility where you can, and Don’t Shut Up!

More here!