Talk To Strangers

NPR reports on recent research by The Harvard Business School which found that people with a mix of weak and strong social ties report higher levels of happiness and wellbeing. Their main take-away? Talk to strangers.

When asked if they talk to strangers, two New Yorkers, Ashley Bice and Mike Jones, unwittingly provided a tutorial for people like me who are slow to chat up strangers.

“ASHLEY BICE: One thing I love about our neighborhood. . . is you can go to a grocery store and have a conversation with someone. I think, especially after the few years that we’ve all been through, it’s nice just to have interaction.

MIKE JONES: Oh, I go to the corner store or whatever, and I talk to somebody. And we’ll be talking about basketball, talking about Bud, tequila, drinks. It doesn’t even matter. We just spark a conversation. And you’re like, all right, yo, I’m going to holler at you. I’m out. And then, that next time I see him at the corner store, it just goes from one – point A to point B, and you just end up chilling on whatever – you know? – just vibing.”

Can Sound Judgement Under Pressure Be Taught?

In college, in “The Sociology of Education” more specifically, I found “The Gospel According to the Harvard Business School” a fascinating read.  As a result, this article caught my eye, “What is Harvard Business School’s Secret Sauce“?

The author asks whether or not sound judgement under pressure can be taught. The Harvard Business School definitely thinks so. How?

“Students study about 500 cases during their two years at the school. . .”

Case studies are one of my all-time fave teaching methods, but I have to believe students reach a point of diminishing returns well before Case #500. I suspect fewer, more in-depth cases would yield better results.

Has the HBS or anyone else studied their graduates’ judgement relative to other non-HBS grads? How would one create a baseline of HBS grads pre-HBS judgement under pressure from which to compare? More generally, how would one conduct such studies?

Messy at best.

In other Harvard news.