How to Use the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Personality Test

Having trouble with someone at work? Working on a team that’s not working well together? Check out one of our most popular modules: how to use the Myers-Briggs (or MBTI) personality test to understand diverse personality types.

The MBTI test is used as a formal exercise to diagnose, understand, and better work with people with different personality preferences and ways of perceiving the world. It’s based on the psychological theories of Carl Jung and is used by 89% of Fortune 100 companies to promote a healthy approach to working with people who are unique and have different ways of interacting in the world.

You also have access to a great free tool as a gift from our team at Eazl–a step-by-step guide to using the MBTI exercise at work. Get that download here.
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Three Ways to Build a More Supportive Family and Friend Network

You might like Eazl’s new course on giving great feedback. Here’s a link that will save you $5.

When you’re trying to launch something new, it’s critical to get some early momentum. Many of us hope that our family and friends will be the first people to support our work and if they don’t it can be hard. Recently, I launched a campaign to raise awareness about how we can use new laws to shift more than 1% (the current percentage) of the United States’ $1.4tn of personal savings to local communities (find out more at www.thebigdeal.us).

The campaign is making steady progress but I’ve been disappointed with the support I’ve received from some of the people in my close personal network. Part of that is my fault and in this Brain Boost, I’ve shared 3 recipes that have helped our family network learn to be more supportive of one another. I thought I’d share them with you.

Strategy #1: Build the habit of celebrating small wins. You can find Harvard’s research behind this here.

Strategy #2: Teach your family and friends how to use social media well. Specifically, using hashtags and profile tagging will make their social media support much more effective.

Strategy #3: Build a culture that supports progress. When you’re doing something that will take a while to build, you need people to help you stay focused by reminding you of your progress. You should do the same for them.

Have you had an experience when your family and friends network didn’t support you?

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New Course Published: The Essentials of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Learn How to Give Constructive Feedback, Build Effective Teams, and Continuously Improve

*Get $5 off the course*

In this course, you’ll develop communication skills, learn specific feedback methods, and see examples of leading group meetings, giving performance reviews, giving real-time constructive feedback, creating a collaborative team culture, and implementing systems that lead to continuous performance improvements.
• Learn to Be a Better Leader with Great Feedback Skills
• How to build trust and between people in a professional setting
• Communication skills for giving effective feedback
• Specific feedback methods and examples of them in action
• Building towards continuous feedback culture (e.g. people operations and analytics)

Master One of the Most Important Skills for Great Managers and Founders
Your ability to give, receive, and use feedback is one of the most critical skills in business and in life–and that’s borne out by research. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review in 2016, internal trust is the #1 predictor of team effectiveness. This course on feedback and team communication is relevant to all professionals–for senior managers, shift leaders, new team members, startup teams, and freelancers.

Communication Can Only Create Positive Change If It’s Done Well
Ideal for a professionals in all industries, organizational structures and sizes, and geographies, in this course you’ll learn how to build trust, how to work with a variety of personalities, how the world’s leading companies attract and retain top talent, when and how to use information that you’re receiving in the form of feedback, and a lot more.

This interactive training series starts with a section on building trust within teams, offering specific, actionable strategies that you can start using right away. This section includes a variety of tools–from formal psychology analyses to fun, collaborative games taught at comedy schools to foster on-stage communication. You’ll learn what these tools are, how to use them, why to use them, and specific step-by-step methods for building team trust.

In section two, you’ll learn communication skills that will help you, your team, and/or your partners and clients exchange feedback to improve outcomes. You’ll learn what good feedback looks and sounds like, what growth-oriented communications are, how to solicit feedback, and how to steer conversations so that you can be a stronger leader or manager. These communication skills are 100% necessary if productive feedback is going to be possible.

In section three you’ll learn specific forms of feedback e.g. how to use group feedback sessions effectively, how to use digital mediums (e.g. messaging apps or email) for feedback, how to be a good coach or mentor, how to lead performance reviews and performance improvement talks, and more. You’ll get specific step-by-step methods for implementing these strategies so that you’re supported with an easy-to-follow structure as you build your skills in this area.

Then, in section four, you’ll see the feedback methods you’ve learned put into action with examples and role-playing exercises performed on screen. This will enable you to see what you’ve learned in action so that you have a learning reference available to you any time you need it.

In the final section, you’ll learn the foundational principles of people operations and people analytics. You’ll start to build your knowledge of continuous feedback methodologies which have proven to be the most effective and rapid prescription for improving performance in a fast-changing world. These methodologies are being used at top firms like Google, Proctor and Gamble, and others.

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Is Marijuana Good for Your Brain?

Is Marijuana Good for Your Brain?
New evidence shows that low doses weed might reverse the symptoms of aging in older brains. Exposure to THC might help older brains learn more easily and prevent memory loss. Andreas Zimmer from the University of Bonn in Germany says that after many repetitions of the experiment, his research team is seeing a “very robust and profound effect” of THC reversing the signs of aging in the older brains of mice.

The Experiment
Zimmer’s team gave young, middle-aged, and elderly mice a dose of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, over the course of a month. After a month, the team tested the mice’s ability to perform tasks like finding their way around mazes and recognizing other mice. There were two primary findings to these experiments:

1. Young mice who weren’t given any THC tended to perform better than middle and older-aged mice who also hadn’t gotten THC

2. Middle-aged and older mice’s performance improved significantly when exposed to consistent small doses of THC over the previous month.

Stronger Case for Weed
The University of Vermont notes that in 2016, legal marijuana sales hit $6.7bn in the United States. By 2020, they expect that the market for legal marijuana in the US will grow to $22bn –larger than the amount of money generated by the National Football League. With increasing evidence that there are wide opportunities for the use of marijuana for natural health, the legal marijuana industry might be one of the breakout industries of this generation.

Further reading:
Chronic Low Doses of THC Restores Cognitive Function in Older Mice
Follow Dr. David Nutt, Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs on Twitter
University of Vermont’s Report on the Legal Marijuana Industry in 2016

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Are We Living in a Simulation?

Elon Musk and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman have now publicly said in recent days that there is a strong possibility that we’re all living in a simulation. Are we? Is this the Matrix?

The Case for It
Though this idea was floated as early as the 17th century, it was popularized again in 2003 by Nick Bostrom, the founder of the Future of Humanity institute at Oxford University in the UK. It basically goes like this:
1. In the future, it is inevitable that human civilization will have enormous computing power
2. This computing power will surely be strong enough to run simulations to understand how their ancestors (us) thought, behaved, and evolved.
3. There is a strong chance that humankind will not self-destruct in the future
4. There is a strong chance that if future humans have the power to run simulations, they will run them.
5. Therefore, there is a strong chance that we are now in one of those simulations.

The Case Against It
People like MIT professor of physics Max Tegmark believes that, while there’s a chance that we’re in a simulation, it’s a slim one. His argument against this idea goes like this:
1. The laws of physics show evidence of ever-increasing complexity
2. Those laws would need to be mastered in order to run a simulation good enough for today’s smartest humans not to find flaws in the simulation.
3. We do not observe such flaws in the laws of nature, therefor it is unlikely that we are in a simulation.

Here are some fun links related to this subject
• Follow the Future of Humanity Institute on Twitter 
MIT Prof. Max Tegmark on Twitter
Y Combinator discussion of this topic
• Nick Bostrom’s 2003 paper on why we are likely to be in a simulation

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The Basics of Mutual Funds for Beginners

*Get more useful information and tools in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off)

Learn what a mutual fund is and the essential vocabulary around dealing with them.

This video is Part 3 of a three-part series.

View part 1, The Basics of Stocks for Beginners

Vies part 2, The Basics of Bonds for Beginners

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The Basics of Bonds for Beginners

Learn what a bond is and the essential vocabulary around dealing with bonds. This is part two of a three-part series. Subscribe to Eazl here to get notified when the final part of this free series is published.

Check out the first part of the series, The Basics of Stocks for Beginners.

Get more useful information and tools in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off).

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The Basics of Stocks for Beginners

In this video, learn about asset classes, price vs. value, capital gains, and more. This is one of a three-part series. Look for our other videos on bonds and mutual funds later this week! Subscribe to Eazl on YouTube to get notified when they are published.

*Get more useful information and tools like this in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off)

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Facebook is Making You Sick

Facebook promises to deliver social connectivity, a way to promote your business or cause, and a lot more but we think you should beware about investing in the platform as more and more warning bells are signaling that social backlash is building.

Facebook in Bed
According to Facebook, the average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day and recent survey found that the first thing many people do when they wake up is check social media applications like Facebook on their phones.

Comparison Causes Negative Impacts on Well-being
In today’s individualistic world, many of us compare ourselves to other people to gauge how we’re doing in life. Because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on Facebook, users increasingly believe that their own life compares negatively to the people they’re connected with on Facebook. In a new study, which was the largest ever conducted on Facebook use, researchers conclude that the use of Facebook is clearly connected to a negative impact on people’s overall well-being and especially on their mental health. You can find the study here.

Risky Business
Facebook has tried to convince business owners, bands, and brands that it is the place they need to build a following but here at Eazl we’re not so sure. There are growing calls from the health and academic communities for people to quit Facebook altogether and if you’re trying to grow a brand or a community, putting all of your eggs in the Facebook basket is risky business.

Check out some of Ludell’s tips for a technology detox that will help you be more productive.

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Three Mobile Apps to Help You Manage Debts and Save

It’s personal finance month here at Eazl and we wanted to share some mobile finance apps we love with you. If you want to learn about managing your credit and money, getting started with investing, and buying a house, go to here to save 40% on Eazl’s new financial empowerment class.

• Acorns automatically invests your spare change. Every time you make a purchase with a card connected to the app Acorns rounds it up to the next highest dollar and automatically invests the difference in a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you select based on your risk preference. When you want to take money out, you withdraw and however much you take out is sold from your portfolio. Acorns costs $1/mo. and is available to people in the US and Australia. Link: https://www.acorns.com

• Digit makes the decision to save for you. It’s an automated savings tool that connects to your checking account, analyzes your income and spending patterns, and then makes micro withdrawals–sometimes as little as $1 or $2–to set aside for you. When you want to access the money, you just text the app and the money comes right back into your checking account. It costs $2.99/mo. and it only works with US banks. Link: https://digit.co

• You Need a Budget (or YNAB) is a budgeting tool that doesn’t let you create budgets around money you don’t have – it forces you to live within your actual income. If you get off track it will help you see what you need to do differently to balance your budget. It also has a built-in “accountability partner” and online classes to help you get started. YNAB costs $50/year and it works everywhere but some direct data import functions only work in North America. Link: https://www.youneedabudget.com

FYI–nobody paid us to share these apps with you!

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