Often books are an easy way to get inspired, and this one will inspire you… to get out of the box!
With a very simple title Leadership and self-deception -Getting out of the box (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 work… So often without realizing we are sticking to “the box” “the old ways” “the always there”. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not about throwing everything away, far from that. This is just about looking at us first, and getting out of the box when it comes to communicating with others.
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 good reminder that we do not communicate for saying something -a famous misleading concept- rather we are communicating to be understood -the true concept!
Another piece writing I really enjoy is how the authors simply explain their understanding 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…. we all know “blame the process, forget the people” and this is true when the process is our internal thinking.
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!
Enjoy and get inspired!