Leadership is the new trendy word… we seem to read it everywhere, in every single page, quotation, conversation or motivational talk at the moment… That just got me curious, and walking away from an exhibition in London, my eyes got caught by a simple book on display at the door… one very simple title Leadership and self-deception -Getting out of the box (the word-of-mouth phenomenon that’s set to transform lives), from The Arbinger Institute, Ed. Penguin first publication 2006.
I just love it! And without realizing, this getting out of the box think has become a must in my day… I’ve even made it viral among the students of my ICF accreditation course…
Written in a nice conversational way, this book relates a fictional 1 day and a half coaching session for a manager, 2 months after joining his company, from his own manager to present him the secret weapon of the company…the understanding of self-deception and self-betrayal… Yes, this is the secret weapon, and behind it the concept of being in or out of the box, without forgetting how to stay out of the box.
Somewhere, the book explores the idea of perception is projection, from a very interesting angle, the self-betrayal… how we are actually deserving ourselves while we believe we are top notch, hence the self-deception.
What I love about it, is how a very important information is explained using simple examples. While we are in the box (our reality) we actually cannot see how we are deceiving ourselves (the perception is projection) echoing one of our ‘gremlins’ -not the inner critic one -a more subtle… When in the box, we are deceiving ourselves by thinking we are great while we act the opposite of what we think we are. Yes, that’s right, that’s happen… How to get out of the box then? By focusing on others (their reality), on what we can do for them rather than how we improve ourselves.
A refreshing and well appropriate thought… our solutions are into focusing onto others.
Seeing how often we can create double bind for ourselves, be self-complacent or building up excuses, the title self-deception really got me. After reading the cover, I was also curious to see how the authors were to convey their message with a simple coaching story. Imagine… if this can be done with a book, how much stronger work can be done with a real coaching session. What I really enjoy is the authors simple approach in showing the importance of dissociating behaviour from intention. We can double-bind ourselves in entering self-deception by not acknowledging our first emotions, and we have a choice to avoid that. Fantastic! The idea is fresh, taking away the blaming section to really focus on doing things better by going back in seeing people as people; the concepts are really people oriented, emphasizing on collaboration for the common good. Nothing new somewhere, and at the same times everything new in the way it is presented and explained.
The book has a strong focus toward leadership, however leadership starting within us first of all, it’s easy to use the material for individual improvement. Stories in the book can easily be integrated into a coaching session to show the idea of self-deception. Using wording such as self-deception or self-betrayal makes the notion of ‘perception is projection’ easy to understand, and easier in giving the individual a direct choice of actions. yes a recommended read!
And if you want to have a preview before going for the full book, have a look at some of the arbinger.com online resources.