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17.06.2014
According to Catherine Salmon, middle children's negotiating skills are often better developed than those of their siblings. Salmon: "If you think about it, parents have expectations for their children, and they often have very specific things that they want them to do or don't want them to do. From Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to Alec Baldwin (yes, really), the secret of many super successful people isn't Kanye West-like bravado, it's striking the right balance between pride and humility. To understand humility, it’s helpful to first take a look at its lesser twin, pride. In Christian teachings pride was condemned as one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but according to modern research, it is the result of a dizzying array of cognitive distortions from illusory superiority to egocentrism, including a host of skewed tricks of the mind such as the confirmation bias, hindsight bias, overconfidence phenomenon and gambler’s fallacy. Pride is our default setting, causing us to warp the raw data of reality in order to convince ourselves that we are better than we actually are.
So the better we get at what we do, the more understanding we have of those skills and the more humble we become about them. From a book we wrote on success, we saw this again and again among the high achievers who told us that true humility was integral to their success. Gary Noesner former FBI chief negotiator told us that despite his decades of experience operating in the high-pressure environment of FBI hostage negotiation where a split second decisions could be a matter of life or death, he recognized that he alone was not the font of all wisdom. Opera superstar Anna Netrebko, too, was emphatic explaining exactly why playing the part of a preening, self-absorbed diva does not lead to a great performance.
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They're often described as confused underachievers, overshadowed by older and younger siblings, and overlooked by their parents. In this self-promotional era of social media flaunting and positive thinking, to be humble can seem at best to put us at a competitive disadvantage, at worst, to seem hollow. Not the kind of pride in which we maintain a healthy self-regard or feel satisfaction in a job well done, but the excessive pride of an inflated sense of self. Numerous studies have shown that we construct and reconstruct our opinions, memories and self-worth relative to others in order to flatter ourselves. How prideful or humble we are affects how we rate ourselves, our accomplishments and failures, and ultimately how we assess our place in the world. It’s a cognitive imbalance known as the Dunning-Kruger effect named for the psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University who studied students, medical residents, and hunters and concluded that the less competent one is at a given skill, the more likely he or she is to overinflate their level of skill and discount the skill levels of others.
Even though many of the members of his team had far less experience, in order to challenge his own perception of a given situation, Mr. From the moment she meets cast and crew on a new production, Netrebko said, she fosters an atmosphere of cooperation and bonhomie. He put it succinctly when he said, "My goal as CEO is to make as few decisions as possible. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium.


In other words, pride is our default setting, causing us to warp the raw data of reality in order to convince ourselves that we are better than we actually are.
To exaggerate our faults is as inaccurate a self-appraisal as thinking too highly of ourselves. There's an awful lot of pressure on you from your parents in terms of what you're going to achieve and what you're not going to achieve. June Price Tangney, a psychology professor and leading researcher of moral emotions and cognitions at George Mason University describes what she considers to be true humility this way: Having the ability to acknowledge our mistakes and limitations, having an openness to new ideas, and being able to maintain a realistic perspective of our place in the larger world. And that is one of the hidden benefits that middle children get because they do have this sense of independence and they think outside the box a little bit more. While for the last-born, as anyone who's had to deal with a lot of last-borns often knows, they tend to whine to the parents or get very upset if they don't get their way. So they often get very good at negotiating, figuring out what the other person wants and needs, and then managing to get them what they want and what the middle child themselves want at the same time.
And, of course, one of the things that middle children often want is peace and calm and quiet and for everybody to get along.



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