File Name: leadership and self deception arbinger institute .zip
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Read the full comprehensive summary at Shortform. Self-deception—our tendency to see the world around us in a distorted way—is a common personal and organizational problem. Leadership and Self-Deception explains how self-deception derails personal relationships and keeps organizations and leaders from achieving the results they want.
Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Perhaps because of this, more and more people are starting to feel that they are superior to others and their needs are more important than those of the people around them.
Leadership and Self-Deception explains that this mentality is in fact a form of self-deception, and very harmful to our private and professional lives.
The book explains how innocently we get infected with this virus of self-deception by simply ignoring our most natural instincts. Finally, you will also find out how you can stop the vicious cycle of self-deception to become a better leader, a more effective worker as well as a kinder, more helpful person.
All people want to be treated with respect and dignity by others. This idea is so fundamental that it is even manifested in our constitutions, laws and philosophies. But when it comes to everyday life, many of us forget this ideal. In our daily interactions, we often feel that our needs and wishes are more important than those of other people. An example of this would be when we are sitting on a bus or plane, and instead of offering the empty seat next to us to others, we hope no one takes it, so we might enjoy more space.
In effect, we value our own comfort above the need of others to find a seat. Because we judge the needs of others as less real and important than our own, it is easy for us to start to think of them as mere objects. This is because our sense of superiority prevents us from seeing others as equals, so we no longer see a reflection of ourselves in others. This means that as we sit there on the bus or plane, we will probably see the other passengers as mere threats to us and our comfort, rather than as other human beings with their own needs.
Hence we are deceiving ourselves. You might say that when we are self-deceived, we are trapped inside a box, the limits of which distort our world view so we see other people as objects of little importance.
To break free of self-deception, we must break free of the box. We deceive ourselves by exaggerating our own needs and virtues while simultaneously magnifying the flaws and faults of others. This distorted view makes us more prone to blame others in times of friction. For example, imagine you are arguing with your spouse about where to spend your vacation.
You will blame your spouse for escalating the argument and for not respecting your wishes. Since you are self-deceived, you will probably not even be able to spot these flaws in reasoning.
But this kind of distorted worldview cannot stand on its own, as it will be inevitably challenged by reality. In order to stop it collapsing, we need to construct self-justification for it.
This means we actively look for and come up with excuses and reasons to bolster our worldview. For example, when you blame your spouse for not caring enough about your wishes regarding your holiday destination, you need to find a justification for this view. You may then inflate the importance of your own needs. We all want to be liked, respected and loved. Typically, one would think that the key to getting these things lies in our behavior: how we act toward others.
But in fact, the way others see us depends on something that runs much deeper than our behavior: our underlying feelings. This is because we are often able to sense how people feel about us, even if they do not show it.
We intuitively know if the behavior of the other person is not a true reflection of their feelings toward us. In fact, we tend not to respond to what people are doing per se, but rather to how we perceive their feelings toward us while they are doing it.
For example, imagine you are having a ferocious argument with your spouse when you realize that you will soon be late for work. You quickly end the argument and give him or her a kiss. Though there is nothing hostile in the kiss itself, your spouse will surely sense your true underlying feelings, and probably respond negatively to your kiss.
Just as others respond to our feelings, not our actions, it is not our actions that determine whether or not we are self-deceived. You can act very kindly toward someone, but still deep down feel that their needs are inferior to yours. This means that despite your apparent kindness, you are in fact self-deceived.
If you think about it, any behavior can be manifested either from inside the box of self-deception, when it is driven by feelings of superiority, or from outside the box of self-deception, driven by feelings of equality. It is this difference in feelings that determines how you view others, not their behavior per se. We have seen how self-deception affects our perception of others.
But it also negatively affects our own motivation and priorities, leading us to lose sight of what is really important.
This is because when we are self-deceived, we must constantly look for self-justification to support our distorted worldview. This means we are not focused on what we want to achieve, be it at work or at home. For example, at work you often need to work together with other people to get good results. This means that the real goal — generating good ideas for your employer company — will not be your main concern anymore. Therefore self-deception can stand in the way of being productive and achieving results.
Another way in which self-deception hurts us is that we actively seek out and even provoke faults in others so as to justify our own low view of them. For example, a mother who feels that her son stays out too late might set an unreasonably early curfew for him. In reality, she fully expects him to break it and thus justify her mistrust and the negative feelings about him. So in fact she is trying to provoke the very behavior she is upset about. Finally, our search for self-justification also has an impact on our own personality, by diminishing the very virtues we feel make us superior to others.
For example, if we feel we are more knowledgeable than everyone else, we will probably not respond well to others trying to teach us something new, because of our self-justification for our inflated sense of wisdom. Therefore we actually hinder ourselves from learning new things and become less knowledgeable. So in conclusion, if we are self-deceived, our search for self-justification harms our relationship with others, as well as diminishes our effectiveness at our work.
In our families and at work we seldom act autonomously. Interacting with other people is an inextricable part of life. This means that our self-deception has an impact on those around us as well, and can in fact spread like a virus. This is because when things go awry, if we are self-deceived we see others as inferior to ourselves, so we tend to naturally blame them. This of course makes them feel like they are being treated unfairly, which makes them defensive.
They naturally begin to emphasize our faults, while inflating their own virtues in order to feel better about themselves. This way they too become self-deceived. When two people are in the box of self-deception, they both blame each other for mistreatment, and react by further mistreating the other person.
This leads to a vicious cycle of mutual mistreatment. Your stubbornness and inability to see your own faults will eventually lead to your partner blaming you in disagreements, leading him or her to be blinded to their own faults as well. As you can see, self-deception is like a virulent infection that is passed along to others through contact. Due to the damage self-deception does to us and those around us, it is crucial to understand how we become infected ourselves and what the underlying causes for our infection are.
In the following book summarys, we will examine how and why this infection takes place. If we are mentally healthy and balanced, it is easy for us to feel empathy, because we see a reflection of ourselves in others around us. Nevertheless, self-deception can easily creep into our mentality. The first step in this process is self-betrayal , which happens when we ignore our natural desire to help other people.
Every human being instinctively wants to help others. For example, imagine you wake up one night because your baby is crying loudly in the other room. If you do not follow this natural instinct to be kind and helpful, you betray yourself. You may for example start wondering why it should be you who gets up, when you also need your sleep. You disregard their needs, and thereby betray your own natural instincts.
This is the gateway to self-deception. We all know that nagging feeling that arises when we feel we should do something for another person. So how does this self-betrayal put you in the box of fully fledged self-deception? Coming back to the example of the baby crying at night: if you do not act on your desire to be helpful and kind to your spouse, you will feel a strong need to justify this inaction.
You might think for example, that it is always you who gets up, or that you have something important in the morning so you should be allowed to sleep. Searching for self-justification like this puts you on a path that leads to the box of self-deception.
You are inflating your own needs and wishes above the needs of others, and this will lead you to blame them. In this example, you would probably start feeling angry at your spouse, blaming him or her for not getting up. This connection between self-betrayal and self-connection can be seen in the fact that we do not develop negative emotions toward others because of the way the act, but because of our own self-betrayal:. When you first woke up to the sound of your baby crying, you had no negative feelings toward your spouse, you just wanted to get up and help.
It was only after you betrayed yourself and made up excuses for your betrayal — thus becoming self-deceived — that your feelings for him or her took a turn for the worse. In this interval your spouse did not have the chance to do anything, hence your self-deception was purely about your own self-betrayal.
So self-betrayal leads to self-deception, and self-deception, as we have seen, is harmful both privately and professionally. Next, you will find out how you can stop self-betrayal in order to prevent yourself from succumbing to self-deception. We know that when we betray ourselves by ignoring our wish to help others, it leads to self-deception.
Therefore, if we can stop betraying ourselves, we can stop being self-deceived. This is because changing our behavior or avoiding tricky situations does not actually change our state of mind.
Remember, self-deception is not defined by what we do, but by what the underlying emotions are, so simply changing behavior will not solve the problem. But because your worldview is distorted, the quality of the relationship will not improve through this change in behavior.
When you do this, you will no longer resist your instinct to help them. Without self-betrayal, you will see others as equal human beings with valid needs and desires, instead of as mere objects. To keep this up, you must simply keep honoring that first instinct you have to help and be kind to others.
Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Perhaps because of this, more and more people are starting to feel that they are superior to others and their needs are more important than those of the people around them. Leadership and Self-Deception explains that this mentality is in fact a form of self-deception, and very harmful to our private and professional lives. The book explains how innocently we get infected with this virus of self-deception by simply ignoring our most natural instincts. Finally, you will also find out how you can stop the vicious cycle of self-deception to become a better leader, a more effective worker as well as a kinder, more helpful person.
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Arbinger's bestselling book, Leadership and Self-Deception. Since its Access the diagrams from Leadership and Self Deception in this downloadable PDF.
Since its original publication in , Leadership and Self-Deception has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. This book shows how the problems that typically prevent superior performance in organizations and cause conflicts in our personal lives are the result of a little-known problem called self-deception. When trapped in self-deception, we live and work as if trapped in a box. But there is a way out. Through an entertaining and engaging story, Leadership and Self-Deception shows what self-deception is, how it infects our lives, the damage it does, and, most importantly, what can be done about it.
However well intentioned they may be, leaders who deceive themselves always end up undermining their own performance. This straightforward book explains how leaders can discover their own self-deceptions and learn how to escape destructive patterns. The authors demonstrate that breaking out of these patterns leads to improved teamwork, commitment, trust, communication, motivation, and leadership. Google Drive. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of "self-betrayal." Page 3. SENSE. Get up and tend to David so Nancy can.