Tag Archives: Communication

Inspirational Leadership: Allowing the Soul to be Free

1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.

2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.

3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.

4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.

5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.

6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.

7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.

Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.

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Personality and Leadership Styles


Slides from our event, December 5th, 2018:

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The leader-follower relationship: Theories and related strategies

1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.

2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.

3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.

4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.

5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.

6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.

7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.

8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.

9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.

10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.

11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.

12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.



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Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.


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Human-computer interaction and its implications for learning


Wireless technologies have not only changed the way we work and live but also how we socially interact (Walker, 2017). Is it possible to substitute real social relationships with technological ones? Harlow’s research found that monkeys need their parents for survival not only from a nurturer perspective. However, the experiments also showed that a surrogate ‘machine-mother’ could, albeit not ideally, provide sufficient love for survival (Vicedo, 2009). Research examining the link between the Internet and offline social contacts remains conflicting, indicates a tendency towards Internet use having a reinforcing effect on antecedent propensities for interaction or isolation (Walker, 2017).

The ability to memorize the structure of interlinked digital information depends on the reader’s visuospatialability (Rouet, Voros, & Pleh, 2012). Indeed, spatial thinking is a key factor for individuals’ scientific performance, and it seems to be possible to develop this capacity through training (Uttal, Miller, & Newcombe, 2013). So-called embodied cognition suggests the benefit of adding motoric (not only visual) feedback to verbal explanations in learning (Yun, Allen, Chaumpanich, & Xiao, 2014). This is in line with the transient learning theory that states that visual information gets “overwritten” by subsequent animated presentations; a fact that should be considered when designing educational technology (Wong, Leahy, Marcus, & Sweller, 2012).

Cybernetics stands for a scientific field about systems whose behavior is influenced by internal and external feedback. It is such continuous feedback that builds the basis for intelligence (Bendele, 2016). Do respectively can human-technology interactions provide such necessary feedback? The cognitive connectionist architecture approach refers to parallel mental processing that is, for example, embracing the concept of artificial neural networks (ANN). ANN poses that information does not lie in neural nodes, but rather in the connections between them (Bendele, 2016). We don’t need to use our long-term memory anymore thanks (or due) to ubiquitous digital information. It would be interesting to study further how theoretically fewer neural nodes would translate into a likewise reduced number of informative neural connections (such research may exist, but was not identified in the context of this limited focus article).

Online learning approaches seem to adapt according to the awareness for improved feedback, why concepts like Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs), Expert Systems, and Case-based Reasoning Systems are used to design feedback-reliant intelligence generation (Bendele, 2016). In that regard, the involvement of emotion in the learning and motivation processes is vital for promoting effective traditional and online technology mediated learning (Chai, Hafeez, Mohamad, & Aamir, 2017). Already Aristotle claimed the importance of emotional communication and combined progress in computer sciences, and psychology is developing emotion sensitive systems from perceptional, interpretational, and expressional perspective (Robinson, 2009). Arguing that we’ll probably never fully understand the human mind, machines will never have a real human emotional capacity. Therefore, blended approaches to social interactions in general and education and learning in specific may balance advantages and risks best and allow for maximum learning success (Conradty& Bogner, 2016).

Photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)


Barrett, M. E., Swan, A. B., Mamikonian, A., Ghajoyan, I., Kramarova, O., & Youmans, R. J. (2014). Technology in Note Taking and Assessment: The Effects of Congruence on Student Performance. International Journal Of Instruction, 7(1), 49-58.

Bendele, M. S. (2016). Artificial intelligence in cognitive psychology. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,

Chai M., T., Hafeez U., A., Mohamad N. M., S., & Aamir S., M. (2017). The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory. Frontiers In Psychology, Vol 8 (2017), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01454/full

Conradty, C., & Bogner, F. X. (2016). Hypertext or Textbook: Effects on Motivation and Gain in Knowledge. Education Sciences, 6

Olofsson, J. K., Niedenthal, S., Ehrndal, M., Zakrzewska, M., Wartel, A., & Larsson, M. (2017). Beyond Smell-O-Vision: Possibilities for Smell-Based Digital Media. Simulation & Gaming, 48(4), 455-479. doi:10.1177/1046878117702184

Robinson, P. (2009). Computation of emotions in man and machines. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1535), 3441-3447.

Rouet, J., Voros, Z., & Pleh, C. (2012). Incidental Learning of Links during Navigation: The Role of Visuo-Spatial Capacity. Behaviour & Information Technology, 31(1), 71-81.

Uttal, D. H., Miller, D. I., & Newcombe, N. S. (2013). Exploring and Enhancing Spatial Thinking: Links to Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics?. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 22(5), 367-373.

Vicedo, M. (2009). Mothers, machines, and morals: Harry Harlow’s work on primate love from lab to legend. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 45(3), 193-218. doi:10.1002/jhbs.20378

Walker, K. (2017). Social Impacts of Wireless Communication. Research Starters: Sociology (Online Edition),

Wong, A., Leahy, W., Marcus, N., & Sweller, J. (2012). Cognitive Load Theory, the Transient Information Effect and E-Learning. Learning And Instruction, 22(6), 449-457.

Yun, Y. H., Allen, P. A., Chaumpanich, K., & Xiao, Y. (2014). Interactive Learning to Stimulate the Brain’s Visual Center and to Enhance Memory Retention.

Overcoming Language Barriers



  • Language barrier in health care
  • The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
  • Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier


Language barrier in health care

A lot of literature seems to focus the challenges of language barriers in the health sector, as, for example, studies that identify language barrier as a significant threat to care quality in hospitals [1]. The adverse effects are related to the various health service processes, such as understanding, quality, and patient and provider satisfaction [2]. In multinational corporations (MNC), non-native speakers were found to tend to communicative withdrawal that is negatively influencing content and relationships [3]. Social isolation subsequently can lead to reinforcing the language and culture boundaries [4].

The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

The advantages from bilingualism are manifold; being an asset for (academic) career is one of them [5]. Mobility and employability are further evidenced examples that can be achieved, e.g., by content and language integrated learning (CLIL) to foster not only language, but also communication and interaction skills combined with intercultural awareness [6]. Indeed, it seems that hands-on activities and collaborative communication role-playing [7], or patient-centeredness, to use a health example again [16], even if supported by the native foreign language, are effective in overcoming language barriers [15]. Allowing silence to support communication processing should not be forgotten too [7]. Importantly, all begins with the proper identification of the existence of a language barrier at all [8]. An innovative medical dictionary and tracking application is facilitating the imperative language-related data collection of foreign clients [9].

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language

For the future it is predicted that so-called SATS (Synchronous Automated Translation Systems) or even reality augmenting wearables will take out the hassle of today’s still cumbersome translation applications such as Google [10]. Regarding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate translation, women displayed a lower rate of technology use compared to their male colleagues [11]. For technology to be adopted by foreign-speaking users, aids and guides should be developed [12] and diverse learning backgrounds supported. Barriers can also arise due to cultural differences in learning and conceptualization styles. Also, especially in rural context, it should be evaluated whether ICT even contributes to increased awareness of separation with the rest of the world [13]. The presence of organizational codes and trade zones are examples of sub-cultures that can additionally make the interpretation of communication difficult [14].

Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier

The progress in removing language barriers is for sure a great vision. However, in communication-intensive fields like social sciences (as compared to, e.g., technical engineering) [5], success will require more innovation. From the money-making industries relying on translation and interpretation services, some hesitance in adopting new business models might be expected. Finally, the maintenance of national borders may also use language to protect delimitations [10].


[1] Van Rosse, F., de Bruijne, M., Suurmond, J., Essink-Bot, M., & Wagner, C. (2016). Language barriers and patient safety risks in hospital care. A mixed methods study. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 5445-53. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.03.012

[2] Schwei, R. J., Del Pozo, S., Agger-Gupta, N., Alvarado-Little, W., Bagchi, A., Chen, A. H., & … Jacobs, E. A. (2016). Changes in research on language barriers in health care since 2003: A cross-sectional review study. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 5436-44. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.03.001

[3] Aichhorn, N., & Puck, J. (2017). “I just don’t feel comfortable speaking English”: Foreign language anxiety as a catalyst for spoken-language barriers in MNCs. International Business Review, 26(4), 749-763.

[4] Challenges in teaching international students: group separation, language barriers and culture differences. (2013).

[5] Lendák-Kabók, K. (2017). The impact of the language barrier on the success of Hungarian minority women in the higher education system of Serbia. Temida, Vol 20, Iss 1, Pp 77-93 (2017), (1), 77. doi:10.2298/TEM1701077L

[6] Yang, W. (2017). Tuning university undergraduates for high mobility and employability under the content and language integrated learning approach. International Journal Of Bilingual Education And Bilingualism, 20(6), 607-624. doi:10.1080/13670050.2015.1061474

[7] Doyle-Moss, A. M., Sor, S., Krupka, S. D., & Potts, A. (2018). Crossing the Language Barrier: A Role-Playing Activity. Nurse Educator, 43(1), 7-8. doi:10.1097/NNE.0000000000000456

[8] Okrainec, K., Booth, G., Hollands, S., & Bell, C. (2017). Language Barriers Among the Foreign-Born in Canada: Agreement of Self-Reported Measures and Persistence Over Time. Journal Of Immigrant & Minority Health, 19(1), 50-56. doi:10.1007/s10903-015-0279-9

[9] Tahir, D. (2015). App breaks down language barriers. Modern Healthcare, 45(4), 27.

[10] Tomáš, S. (2017). No linguistic borders ahead? Looking beyond the knocked-down language barrier. Transcultural, Vol 9, Iss 2, Pp 86-108 (2017), (2), 86. doi:10.21992/T93Q0F

[11] Elega, A. A., & Özad, B. E. (2017). Technologies and Second Language: Nigerian Students’ Adaptive Strategies to Cope with Language Barrier in Northern Cyprus. Journal Of International Students, 7(3), 486-498.

[12] Dunham, E., & Xaviera, F. (2014). Breaking the Language Barrier: Describing Chicano Archives with Bilingual Finding Aids. The American Archivist, (2), 499.

[13] Empowering rural women in Kenya with literacy skills using web 2.0: experiences of language & communication barriers in learning. (2010). ICIA 2010 Proceedings, 100.

[14] Andreas, B., & Oliver, B. (2013). LANGUAGE BARRIERS. Econometrica, (2), 781.

[15] Cyparsade, M., Auckloo, P., Belath, I., Dookhee, H., & Hurreeram, N. (2013). Beating the Language Barrier in Science Education: In-Service Educators’ Coping with Slow Learners in Mauritius. Science Education International, 24(4), 402-415.

[16] Landmark, A. D., Svennevig, J., Gerwing, J., & Gulbrandsen, P. (2017). Research Paper: Patient involvement and language barriers: Problems of agreement or understanding?. Patient Education And Counseling, 1001092-1102. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.12.006

Reverse Mentoring and its Benefits

mathias-sager-reverse-mentoring copy

Traditional mentoring

Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable [1]. In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship [2]. Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program [3]. Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field [4], a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning [5].

Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success

Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” ([6], p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE [7]. It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions ([8]; [9]). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues [10]. Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success [6].

Benefits for the employees

Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills [11]. Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built [9]. Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds [12]. Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas [13], which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations [14]. Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is [7].

HR supported implementation for improved employee retention

In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% [2]. In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees [15]. While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors [16], more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them [17]. It is essential that older leaders get the courage [13] to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships [18]. Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce [19] through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too [20].


[1] Bollig, J. (2016). What Company Do You Keep?. Superintendent, 32.

[2] Disch, J. (2018). Rethinking Mentoring. Critical Care Medicine, 46(3), 437-441. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000002914

[3] Bergelson, M. (2014). Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Innovative Approaches to Mentorship. People & Strategy, 37(2), 18-22.

[4] Ellis, R. (2013). Reverse mentoring: Letting millennials lead the way. T And D, 67(9), 13.

[5] Morris, L. V. (2017). Reverse Mentoring: Untapped Resource in the Academy?. INNOVATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION -NEW YORK-, (4). 285.

[6] Marcinkus, Murphy W. (2012). Reverse mentoring at work: Fostering cross-generational learning and developing millennial leaders. Human Resource Management, 51(4), 549-573. doi:10.1002/hrm.21489

[7] Lane, G. (2018). REVERSE MENTORING. Professional Manager, 7-8.

[8] Stephenson, G. (2014). Breaking traditions with reciprocal mentoring. Nursing Management, 45(6), 10-12. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000449766.91747.77

[9] Meister, J. C. (2017). 4 Ways Companies Are Developing Millennials for the New World Of Work. Communication World, 1-3.

[10] Harvey, M., McIntyre, N., Thompson,  H. J., & Moeller, M. (2009). Mentoring global female managers in the global marketplace: traditional, reverse, and reciprocal mentoring. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 20(6), 1344-1361. doi:10.1080/09585190902909863

[11] Breck, B., Dennis, C., & Leedahl, S. (2018). Implementing reverse mentoring to address social isolation among older adults. Journal Of Gerontological Social Work, 1-13. doi:10.1080/01634372.2018.1448030

[12] Walton, C. (2018). Lifting the lid on creativity. Training Journal, 24-26.

[13] Gardiner, B. (2015). RBA embraces competition and reverse mentoring to drive innovation. Cio (13284045), 1.

[14] Barrett, B. (2013). Creating Virtual Mentoring Programs for Developing Intellectual Capital. Proceedings Of The International Conference On Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning, 47-53.

[15] Catrin, H. (2017). Affective Commitment to Organizations: A Comparison Study of Reverse Mentoring Versus Traditional Mentoring Among Millennials. Binus Business Review, Vol 8, Iss 2, Pp 157-165 (2017), (2), 157. doi:10.21512/bbr.v8i2.3666

[16] Pieters, B. (2011). Reverse Mentoring: Fresh Perspectives from Future Leaders. Profiles In Diversity Journal, 13(6), 68.

[17] Jane, B. (2014). Reverse mentoring becomes a two-way street: case study of a mentoring project for IT competence. Development And Learning In Organizations: An International Journal, (3), 13. doi:10.1108/DLO-01-2014-0001

[18] Thoman, R. (2009). Reverse mentoring: How young leaders can transform the church and why we should let them. Christian Education Journal, 6(2), 432-436.

[19] Holden, L., Rumala, B., Carson, P., & Siegel, E. (2014). Promoting careers in health care for urban youth: What students, parents and educators can teach us. Information Services & Use, 34(3/4), 355-366. doi:10.3233/ISU-140761

[20] Chen, Y. (2013). Effect of Reverse Mentoring on Traditional Mentoring Functions. Leadership & Management In Engineering, 13(3), 199-208. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000227

Why People Justify Social Systems That Disadvantage Them


The paradox of the disadvantaged justifying authoritarian systems

It can seem paradoxical that people often justify the existing social system even when this comes at personal and collective costs [1]. System Justification Theory (SJT) provides a framework to understand what the motives and contexts behind this phenomenon are [2]. SJT posits that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious belief of inferiority most strongly among individuals of underprivileged groups [3]. It is not just passivity that gives way to the dominance of political elites [4]. Psychological and ideological processes related to resistance to change imply that albeit possible, change is often difficult [5]. Change is especially difficult if there is an ideological system in place that pronounces an authoritarian culture of inequality that, according to SJT, tends to reinforce itself as a ‘culture of justification’ [6]. The association of a nation with God further strengthens people’s confidence to justify the system [7].

Exposure to threat causes conservative shift

The political notion of discussion is persuasion [8] and SJT can be used to influence voters’ viewpoints. Studies found that people who were exposed to thoughts related to death became more supportive of conservative perspectives [9]. Exposure to threat, e.g. in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, indicated a possible shift towards increased approval rates for President George W. Bush [10]. Protests, from a socio-psychological perspective, are triggered by perceived injustice and related anger, social identification, and the faith in collective action. However, existential and relational needs for security can undermine these change antecedents [11]. Following this logic, employees, for example, show an enhanced tendency to deny flaws at their workplace especially in times of scarce labor markets [12].

System justification impedes critical consciousness

Although it is a myth that Western Societies are characterized by equality of opportunity, studies found that a majority’s belief in equality helps to justify a meritocratic ideology, i.e., that it is, given we all start with the same possibilities, fair that individual differences are rewarded. The motive to legitimize economic inequality is further blocking critical thinking capacities with severe consequences for the economic and psychological well-being of marginalized persons [13]. System threat defense mechanisms related to SJT, such as victim blaming, stereotyping, and inequality legitimization, can help reduce emotional anguish. However, the victims of a justified crisis often have to pay a high price for it [14]; a price that may be higher in the long-term than the price of protest to achieve positive change.

The role of psychologists in policymaking

It is essential to understand individuals’ view of the salience and scope of systems as they might be system justifiers of varying degrees related to different systems [1]. Also, one must be aware of how ideologies are advocated and reinforced, e.g., through political and societal structures. Psychologists should work in interdisciplinary teams together with policymakers to remove change-averse infrastructure and untrap citizens from the psychological barrier of system justification [15].

Should system justification be used by organizational leaders to evoke desirable behavior?

First, according to different missions of organizations (e.g., to generate profit, or to grow a movement, etc.), desirable behavior might differ too. Second, I think, even if the behavior of the employees is desirable, a responsible leader should be concerned about how this behavior is created. As system justification is a mostly unconscious and automatic psychological response to threat [1], it might not be the best basis to maintain desirable behavior sustainably. It may also be difficult to evaluate whether the lack of awareness is protective of the employees’ well-being or whether there are possible indirect taxes to consider. Rationalizing away inequalities to defense the status quo may seem to support fearful individuals [16]. However, being in control in one area may hinder progress in other areas. For example, studies found that women retaining power in their traditional household role prevented them from claiming more equality at the workplace [17]. Possibly not the best outcome for the women and the organization as workforce diversity may be useful for the innovation capacity of organizations in many cases [18]. As system justification works based on personal fear and lack of self-esteem, it is, for example, causing narcissistic personalities to justify hierarchy in the case they believe to benefit from it personally, i.e., having the chance to rise to the top [19]. I could often observe adverse outcomes related to selfish reasons and hidden agendas. Therefore, in summary, I would foster desirable behavior through increasing awareness and reward informed and transparent efforts towards desired outcomes.


[1] Ido, L. )., & Jost, J. ). (2011). Special issue: System justification theory motivated social cognition in the service of the status quo. Social Cognition, 29(3), 231-237. doi:10.1521/soco.2011.29.3.231

[2] Blasi, G., & Jost, J. T. (2006). System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice. California Law Review, 94(4), 1119-1168.

[3] Jost, John T., a., Mahzarin R. Banaji, a., & Brian A. Nosek, a. (2004). A Decade of System Justification Theory: Accumulated Evidence of Conscious and Unconscious Bolstering of the Status Quo. Political Psychology, (6), 881.

[4] Van der Toorn, J., & Jost, J. (2014). Twenty years of system justification theory: Introduction to the special issue on ?Ideology and system justification processes?. GROUP PROCESSES AND INTERGROUP RELATIONS, (4). 413.

[5] Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A. M., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2017). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, doi:10.1037/xge0000368

[6] Mashele, R. (2015). Traditional Leadership and Democratic Governance: Using Leadership Theories to Calibrate Administrative Compatibility. Acta Universitatis Danubius: Administratio, Vol 7, Iss 2, Pp 27-36 (2015), (2), 27.

[7] Shepherd, S., Eibach, R. P., & Kay, A. C. (2017). ‘One Nation Under God’: The System-Justifying Function of Symbolically Aligning God and Government. Political Psychology, 38(5), 703-720. doi:10.1111/pops.12353

[8] Körösényi, A. (2005). Political Representation in Leader Democracy. Government & Opposition, 40(3), 358. doi:10.1111/j.1477-7053.2005.00155.x

[9] Zhu, L. )., Kay, A. )., & Eibach, R. ). (2013). A test of the flexible ideology hypothesis: System justification motives interact with ideological cueing to predict political judgments. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(4), 755-758. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2013.03.007

[10] Sterling, J., Jost, J. T., & Shrout, P. E. (2016). Mortality Salience, System Justification, and Candidate Evaluations in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. Plos ONE, 11(3), 1-21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150556

[11] Jost, J. T., Becker, J., & Osborne, D. (2017). Missing in (Collective) Action: Ideology, System Justification, and the Motivational Antecedents of Two Types of Protest Behavior. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 26(2), 99-108. doi:10.1177/0963721417690633

[12] Proudfoot, D., Kay, A. C., & Mann, H. (2015). Motivated employee blindness: The impact of labor market instability on judgment of organizational inefficiencies. Organizational Behavior And Human Decision Processes, 130108-122. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.06.008

[13] Godfrey, E. B., & Wolf, S. (2015). Developing Critical Consciousness or Justifying the System? A Qualitative Analysis of Attributions for Poverty and Wealth Among Low-Income Racial/Ethnic Minority and Immigrant Women. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22(1), 93-103.

[14] Napier, J. L., Mandisodza, A. N., Andersen, S. M., & Jost, J. T. (2006). System Justification in Responding to the Poor and Displaced in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Analyses Of Social Issues & Public Policy, 6(1), 57-73. doi:10.1111/j.1530-2415.2006.00102.x

[15] Gifford, R. (2011). The Dragons of Inaction: Psychological Barriers That Limit Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. American Psychologist, 66(4), 290-302.

[16] Schlenker, B. R., Chambers, J. R., & Le, B. M. (2012). Conservatives are happier than liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality, and life satisfaction. Journal Of Research In Personality, 46(2), 127-146. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2011.12.009

[17] Williams, M. J., & Chen, S. (2014). When “mom’s the boss”: Control over domestic decision making reduces women’s interest in workplace power. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17(4), 436-452.

[18] Mamman, A., Kamoche, K., & Bakuwa, R. (2012). Diversity, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior: An organizing framework. Human Resource Management Review, 22(4), 285-302.

[19] Zitek, E. M., & Jordan, A. H. (2016). Narcissism predicts support for hierarchy (at least when narcissists think they can rise to the top). Social Psychological And Personality Science, 7(7), 707-716. doi:10.1177/1948550616649241

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer: Inspiration for the Leader in All of Us


Father of Motivation and Sage of Maui

The life and work of author and speaker Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who died at the age of seventy-five in 2015, provides the opportunity to reflect on leadership from a holistic perspective beyond a specific organizational setting or national politics. Dyer’s many best-selling books on the practical psychology of personal development towards a positive transformation for all of humanity [1] brought him the nickname of the Father of Motivation by his fans [2]. Writing and meditating on Maui on Eastern Philosophies like Taoism, the Sage of Maui covers the self-conscious wisdom category of the self-help genre [3]. Like in the book ‘Wisdom of the Ages,’ Dyer’s messages focus on virtuous love, inspiration, and patience as found in Confucian, Christian, and Thoreauvian teachings [4]. Having written ‘Erroneous Zones,’ one of the most famous books of all time [5], and if leadership is about influence, Wayne Dyer was an enormous leader in influencing masses around the globe [6]. Although not limited to an organizational goal setting context, the topics Dyer was promoting represent the core of the study of leadership and address change, motivation, inspiration, and influence [7].

A practical, humorous, personal, and sometimes too self-confident leader?

As a Welch proverb puts it aptly: “The hand will not reach for what the heart does not long for” [8], p. 38. In that sense, Dyer’s messages speak empathically to the core desires of people through practical, humorous [9], and personal [6] stories, presented as inviting offerings rather than pushing rules. Practical intelligence is of high importance for leaders [7]. Indeed, Dyer focused on outcome rather than intellectualization [13], one possible reason why he chose the career of an independent writer rather than continuing his university job, which he saw limited to producing papers for the sake of a small self-serving academic community [14]. It was Dyer’s high self-confidence that allowed him to, for example, tell “the shocking truth” he was so convinced about publicly [10] and therefore intuitively take required risks to advance his growth as a leader [11]. Dyer got accused of plagiarism of Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) [12]. However, he did seemingly ignore what other people think of him [4] and unwaveringly continued his mission.

Life transitions and openness to experience

Assertiveness is the candid expression of one’s desires, opinions, and feelings and may help to get the recognition that is a powerful human motivator [7]. Wayne Dyer’s public exposure of his style in writing and speaking may have also reflected a personality tendency of extraversion. In the US, extraversion is a personality trait showcased to create a societal image of openness and friendliness [15]. It is therefore difficult to say how much Dyer’s demonstration of extraversion is part of his working brand to reach the goal of spreading his messages as much as possible, and how much, in comparison, he enjoyed his extended writing retreats on Maui from a more introvert perspective. In any case, according to his children’s accounts, he naturally loved to lecture and entertain others with his vast knowledge [16]. Extraversion and openness to experience are personal characteristics that strongly relate to leadership effectiveness [17]. Wayne Dyer’s openness to experience may be well seen in his demonstration of mindfulness that allowed him to accept new and demanding situations, to further develop his self-image, to promote changes, and to let go of attachments [18]. Dyer went through different career transitions and lived over time with three wives and eight children [3]. He also underwent a spiritual transformation in his “meaning stage” of life. These may be lessons of what Dyer framed in his film ‘Shift’ as “What was true in the morning has become a lie in the afternoon” [19].

Between charismatic mentorship and rescuer syndrome?

Regardless of the leadership position, it seems that the opportunity to help others’ personal growth, rather than sources of satisfaction like power, salary and status [7] represented the main motive of meaningfulness for Wayne Dyer throughout his life. Dyer spent parts of his childhood in foster homes. However, he described himself as seeing and remembering mainly the positive aspects, what helped him already at the age of three to help others in overcoming their despair [10]. It may be this “naturally” developed talent of soothing others distress that adds a charismatic quality [20] to Dyer’s personality. In his thirties, Dyer visited his father’s grave and could resolve his anger towards that person who had left a wife with small children in a difficult situation. This pivotal event of forgiveness might not only have unlocked Dyer’s potential as a writer [10] but may have been necessary not to let the urge to mentor other people become a self-serving compensation for emotional and psychological issues; which would also be known as the rescuer syndrome [21].

Holistic leadership: inspirational motivation, trust, and loving service

Like Einstein and Emerson, Wayne Dyer believed in the Transcendentalist ideas [3] of the human soul being able to intuitively connect to the spiritual truth that creates a collective consciousness [22], itself capable of reconstructing the world [23]. Wishing to lead a God-realized life [24] and occasionally named a self-help guru [25] and pied piper of the movement [5], Dyer could be suspect of suffering self-perceptions of grandiosity [20]. However, Dyer believed, and that’s the position of equality that might have been so appealing to his diverse readers, that the divine realm is available to all [1]. Such an uplifting vision is inspirationally motivating and contributes to a new-genre leadership style that emphasizes an environment of trust and feelings beyond what is necessarily found in transformational leadership [26]. Dyer may be an example of one of the newest leadership theories, that is authentic leadership, and which is true to its values [27]. As a friendly, amiable, assertive, and serving ‘soft leader’ [28], Dr. Wayne W. Dyer lived the messages he taught [6]. It is loving service and unselfish love that makes holistic leadership [29].



[1] About Dr. Wayne Dyer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drwaynedyer.com/about-dr-wayne-dyer/

[2] Percival, J. (2004). Desire vs intent. Nursing Standard, 19(7), 27.

[3] Valiunas, A. (2010). The Science of Self-Help. New Atlantis: A Journal Of Technology & Society, 2885-100.

[4] Bauman, A., Post, M., & Cooper, P. (2000). Catching Up With…Wayne Dyer. Runner’s World, 35(9), 15.

[5] Rogers,  J.  (2015, September 1). Wayne Dyer, author of ‘Erroneous Zones’, dies at 75. Retrieved from http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/sep/01/wayne-dyer-author-of-erroneous-zones-dies-at-75/

[6] Inam, H. (2015, August 31). Wayne Dyer On Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/hennainam/2015/08/31/wayne-dyer-on-leadership/#5a62d3ea3012

[7] DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

[8] Zufelt, J. M. (2016). Leadership vs Pushership. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 33(9), 37.

[9] Robbins, T. (2015b). Dr. Wayne Dyer interview with Tony Robbins | Power Talk! | Part 2 of 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXpBW4w9ZnY

[10] Robbins, T. (2015a). Dr. Wayne Dyer interview with Tony Robbins | Power Talk! | Part 1 of 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBYO4M_c9UY

[11] Singh, A. (2009). Leadership Grid between Concern for People and Intuition. Leadership & Management In Engineering, 9(2), 71-82. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1532-6748(2009)9:2(71)

[12] Wayne Dyer. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from

[13] Manifesting What You Want. (2016). IDEA Fitness Journal, 13(7), 111.

[14] Dyer, W. (2015) I Can See Clearly Now, Hay House, Inc.

[15] King, F. (2012). RUNNING DEEP: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. NATIONAL REVIEW -BRISTOL CONNECTICUT THEN NEW YORK-, (11). 45.

[16] Anders, N. (2016) Wayne Dyer: Himmel auf Erden ist kein Ort, es ist eine Entscheidung.: Zusammenführung der 55+ höchsten Lebensweisheiten von Dr. Wayne Dyer (German Edition). Freiheit. JETZT! Kindle file.

[17] DeRue, D. S, Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psychology, 64, 7-52.

[18] Day, D. )., & Gregory, J. ). (2017). Mindfulness as a Prerequisite to Effective Leadership; Exploring the Constructs that Foster Productive Use of Feedback for Professional Learning. Interchange, 48(4), 363-375. doi:10.1007/s10780-017-9307-0

[19] Waghmare, H. [Good Health 24/7] (2015). The Shift – Wayne Dyer – Positive Attitude – English [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfT8Ts6wPFs&t=732s

[20] Doyle, M. E., & Smith, M. K. (2001). Classical models of managerial leadership: Trait, behavioural, contingency and transformational theory. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/leadership/traditional_leadership.htm

[21] De Vries, M. K. (2013). Are you a mentor, a helper or a rescuer?. Organizational Dynamics, 42(4), 239-247. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.07.001c

[22] Williamson, A., & Null, J. W. (2008). RALPH WALDO EMERSON’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AS A FOUNDATION FOR COOPERATIVE LEARNING. American Educational History Journal, 35(1/2), 381.

[23] Barney, J. B., Wicks, J., Otto Scharmer, C., & Pavlovich, K. (2015). Exploring transcendental leadership: a conversation. Journal Of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 12(4), 290-304. doi:10.1080/14766086.2015.1022794

[24] Altersitz, K., Bechtel, B., & Mullin, D. W. (2010). ‘Father of Motivation’ offers advice for the self-actualized life. Ocular Surgery News, 28(4), 15.

[25] A Tribute To Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. (2015). Leadership Excellence Essentials. p. 5.

[26] Bonau, S. (2017). How to become an inspirational leader, and what to avoid. Journal Of Management Development, 36(5), 614-625. doi:10.1108/JMD-03-2015-0047

[27] Billsberry, J., & North-Samardzic, A. (2016). Surfacing Authentic Leadership: Inspiration from “After Life”. Journal Of Leadership Education, 15(2), 1-13.

[28] Rao, M. (2013). Soft leadership: a new direction to leadership. Industrial & Commercial Training, 45(3), 143-149. doi:10.1108/00197851311320559

[29] Dhiman, S. (2017). Holistic leadership : a new paradigm for today’s leaders. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Toot, no tweet anymore! Mastodon: The co-operatively run Twitter alternative


Social networking, back in your hands

The world’s largest free, open-source, decentralized microblogging network

How awesome is that!

For more information, check: https://joinmastodon.org/

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Find your perfect community

Mastodon isn’t one place and one set of rules: it’s thousands of unique, interconnected communities to choose from, filled with different people, interests, languages, and needs. Don’t like the rules? You’re free to join any community you like, or better yet: you can host your own, on your own terms!

Take control of your content

With powerful tools to control who sees your posts and a 500-character limit, Mastodon empowers you to share your ideas, unabridged. The best part? All posts are in chronological order, not “optimized” to push ads into your timeline. With apps for iOS, Android, and every other platform imaginable, Mastodon is always at your fingertips.

Putting the user first

You’re a person, not a product. Mastodon is a free, open-source development that has been crowdfunded, not financed. All instances are independently owned, operated, and moderated. There is no monopoly by a single commercial company, no ads, and no tracking. Mastodon works for you, and not the other way around.

Feel safe in your community

Mastodon comes with effective anti-abuse tools to help protect yourself from online abuse. With small, interconnected communities, it means that there are more moderatorsyou can approach to help with a situation. This also means you can choose who sees your posts: friends, your community, or the entire fediverse.

Additional features

  • Robust anti-abuse tools
  • Flexible post filtering
  • A huge audience
  • Easily deploy your own
  • They’re called toots
  • Embed media in your posts
  • Built on open web standards
  • Spoiler warnings
  • You decide what’s relevant


Metacognitive Strategies for Learning (LD) vs. Intellectual Disabilities (ID)


Summary. This article describes some metacognitive strategies to learner profiles and then evaluates those strategies for individuals of different ages with intellectual and learning disabilities. In order to do so, different variables that effect those with intellectual and learning disabilities are identified. Social and cultural implications, as well as life span stages and interpersonal communication are discussed.

Continue reading Metacognitive Strategies for Learning (LD) vs. Intellectual Disabilities (ID)

Rage Against the Externalized Self


Summary. Inabilities to accept (and therefore recognize) our dark feelings are leading us to externalize our shadow (as Jungians would say) to others, for example to a therefor loved partner. Especially vulnerable narcissists defend themselves against shameful helplessness in cases of separation with a partner (and therefore with a part of themselves) by negating their helplessness. To avoid frustration, rage, and violent defenses in case of uncontrollable separation it is, therefore, to some extent, essential to learning to live with (learned) helplessness.

Continue reading Rage Against the Externalized Self

Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

mathias-sager-cooperative learning.jpg

Human interactions don’t lack technical but rather cooperative communication skills. The good news is that pro-social behavior can be learned. Collective argumentation is one means to scaffold learners’ engagement in group work. Also, the negotiation of values is vital for achieving a shared sense of agency and accountability between teachers and students. In computer-enabled learning, consequential engagement in the form of enabling equitability and showing the benefits beyond single contributions, as well as using game formats are promising pathways to progress cooperation in learning environments.

Continue reading Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

Research Ethics in Social Sciences: Online Data Gathering and Big Data Analysis

Thanks to kelseyannvere (pixabay.com)

The widespread use of the Internet, mobile devices, and social media represents a significant opportunity for researchers, known as the trend of computational social science as named by Popov, Gosling, Kosinski, Matz, and Stillwell (2015), but also comes with ethical challenges (Drotar, 2011).

Continue reading Research Ethics in Social Sciences: Online Data Gathering and Big Data Analysis

Shopping for Truth in the ‘Wild West’ of Facts Finding


It’s a good time to think about the phenomenon of “fake news”. I’d like to share what I have found when searching for “alternative facts,” “political deception,” and “truthfulness & falsehood in politics“ as related to political persuasion from a scientific point of view.

Continue reading Shopping for Truth in the ‘Wild West’ of Facts Finding

Approaches to political persuasion


There are general psychological mechanisms to be considered for political persuasion on the one hand side, and on the other hand, there are important specifics related to social context and means in approaching political debates. Still though, the development of convincing policies may involve a significant degree of experimentation too and continue to use the strategy of proving the value of ideas through trial and error.

Continue reading Approaches to political persuasion

Mindfulness strategies for avoiding undesirable persuasion


Of course, it is impossible and unwise to withdraw from environmental influences, because a lot of information and persuasion is necessary and useful. However, I am continuously interested in learning what influences are, for example, one-sidedly commercially motivated rather than seeking the well-being of all.

I listed some main mindfulness points that I apply to avoid getting involuntarily respectively unconsciously persuaded. For these points, related concepts from social psychology was researched to get more insight into such persuasion resistance strategies that are worth to develop further in the future to avoid unhealthy and harmful behavior.

Continue reading Mindfulness strategies for avoiding undesirable persuasion

How to frame a message that it is most persuasive (on the example of encouraging healthy eating)


Unhealthy diet due to excessive consumption of fat and sugar can lead to increased risks such as obesity (Kakoschke, Kemps, & Tiggemann, 2014). According to Pettigrew (2015), food marketers contribute significantly to pushing unhealthy products that meets the consumers’ desire for flavorful, easily available, and cheap food.

How to frame a message that it is most persuasive

Continue reading How to frame a message that it is most persuasive (on the example of encouraging healthy eating)

The importance of interpersonal communication in coaching / psychotherapy


“Despite doctors having a central role in performing a patient-centered and collaborative consultation, studies show that physicians still tend not to involve their patients.” – Goss, Rimondi

Continue reading The importance of interpersonal communication in coaching / psychotherapy