How Pretending Develops Leaders
Your brain knows gibberish when it hears it. You can’t fool yourself. “I think I can,” sounds like a lie to someone who believes they can’t.
Pretending you can doesn’t help, but pretending does.
Expand skills and develop behaviors by pretending.
Fred’s performance stalled. It’s time for a tough conversation that you dread. Worse yet, tough conversations often end with you comforting rather than challenging. You’re a softy.
Invite a member of the leadership team for a walk. Tell them it’s time for a tough conversation with Fred. Say, “I’d like to run something by you.” Pretend you’re having the conversation with Fred.
- Don’t violate privacy by talking about Fred with his colleagues.
- Find someone on the leadership team who knows Fred, if possible.
- Use fellow leaders who have emotional intelligence.
- Approach someone who handles tough conversations well.
- Step outside your organization, when necessary, but protect privacy by changing names.
- Begin with the end in mine. Always explain the goal of the conversation, first. Describe how you want Fred to feel and behave after the conversation?
- Invite immediate feedback during practice. Ask, “How did it feel when I said …?”
- Try several approaches. Adapt your approach to Fred. What works for him?
- Seek alternatives from your partner. Ask, “How would you handle this situation?”
- Visualize positive results but practice the process.
Repeating, “I think I can,” while sitting in your office, won’t change a thing.
You tell yourself you can because you fear you can’t.
“I think I can,” adds stress when you fear you can’t. On the other hand, pretending builds confidence and develops skills.
When I pretend, I often ask someone, “How does it feel when I say…?”
How has pretending helped your leadership?
How can leaders use pretending to develop leadership in others?
Well actually the way one convinced themselves they can’t is they told themselves over and over they can’t.
Thoughts repeated over and over creates beliefs. We are not created with beliefs we create them for ourselves.
So in reality the only way to create a new belief is the exact process that created the other belief. In reality it cannot be done any other way.
I once read The Greatest Miracle in the World. It has something called The God Memorandum at the end. I did not believe any of it when I started reading it.
The directions say read it every night for 100 nights. I did. Only person I ever met who did.
By the time the 100 nights were over I BELIEVED every word. Reading at night the repeated message got programmed into my subconscious. What we think about last sticks so be careful what you think about last everyday.
Earl Nightingale Strangest Secret in The World…..we become what we think about all day long.
Not rocket science just understanding how the human mind works. Simple
Now just my opinion, period based on my experience. Doesn’t mean I am right and you are wrong if our opinions differ.
Just means this is how I understand my experiences and backed up with a huge amount of information if one is willing to investigate. I do not create or make up anything.
I study people who have studied what makes people do what they do and share that with others.
Hope it helps and if not just ignore it and do what feels most comfortable to you. Fair enough?
Take care have a great day!!!! I am!! Can’t do anything but!!!
Telling yourself something that’s true when it isn’t is dangerous and delusional.I’ll stick with practice.
You are 100% right Dan. What we choose to put in our minds comes with great responsibility. The reason is the machine, our subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and dilusional.
And it is not ME saying that. It is the scientists who study human behavior. Just feel it is important to make that clear. The research is all there not just opinion by me.
We choose what we program in our minds. We choose what we repeat over and over that turns info beliefs.
And what I am hoping to share with you is when you are practicing you are doing exactly what I am saying.
You are choosing what you are going to practice and that all starts with what you are choosing to practice.
I sincerely hope you know I clearly understand how important what people choose to program if you will their minds that turn info thoughts beliefs actions ect ect ect. I get it.
I am just hoping to explain how the mind works whatever information is fed into it.
And like I said I am not making this up, neurolinguistic programming is not anything I made up.
This is an opinion of people who dedicate their lives to understanding how the human mind works. One can agree or disagree with it but that does not change if these scientists are right.
Hope that clarifys what I was sharing.
I think Scott is right on with the findings. As for being able to self determine when you’re thoughts are “dangerous and delusional”, that would appear difficult. Replace pretending with positive thinking. Nobody likes pretending or even the word pretending.
This is interesting but outside my personal comfort zone. I might (would) play out the conversation in my own head and think through responses. For me the “tough conversations” always demanded me being fully convinced (including reminding myself that comforting is not helping) and bringing forward a well defined remedial plan.
Thanks Ken. I like the idea of thinking through things in your own head. The trouble is, it’s hard to think yourself out of your own head. That’s where others help me. Always appreciate your participation.
I agree talking over a tough conversation helps define the message. The issue is not what you say, but what they “hear”
This is great advice, Dan. During my commutes to college, I had about an hour and a half to myself in a car each day. During these drives, I often would leave the radio off and think through conflicts that I had experienced or was preparing to experience. It sounds pretty corny, but I used that time to develop my position on several issues and prepare myself for scenarios and contingencies. I would say some of these out loud. Before a conflict or difficult conversation, I would write or work out the top two or three things I wanted to convey. When I got to campus, I would sometimes run an idea by a friend to get an outside opinion. My line of questioning usually included: “Am I wrong to think/feel…?”, “Is it worth confronting…?” I like your idea of including “How does it feel when I say…?”
Another area pretending can help is when you’re mitigating the anxiety of a big presentation or even polishing your speaking/interacting style. During those car rides, there wasn’t always a conflict to work through. Talking to myself made me comfortable with the use of words and phrases; I tried out a lot of “value phrases”. People often say that I always seem to be ready when it’s time to speak or interact at any level. I’m just glad (or I hope) they don’t see me talking to myself rolling down the highway.
I LOVE that. I DO that, (pretend scenario) and developed the practice with another co-leader years ago. We both work with young children and ‘model’ conflict management language with children involved in various altercations, then we may walk through it with the child prior to them then taking the lead to interact and communicate with the others involved. My colleague and I began to ‘pretend’ the difficult conversations with each others to work through the kinks and reflect on the stumbling blocks or what ifs. I also have had some of these conversations with my young adult children who are in an emotionally blinding situation with college roommate or co-worker, etc.
Love seeing someone describe this strategy so succinctly. Thank you!
Dan, Thanks for the reminder.
Great athletes practice. Star entertainers rehearse. They don’t just play things out in their heads, they go through the motions: they throw the balls, hit the shots, sing the songs, tell the jokes, etc.
Practice or rehearsal with immediate feedback may be one of the very best ways to develop and expand skills.
Great athletes do what before they practice? They think, they decide then they take action.
Muhammad Ali thought he was the greatest before he ever said it out loud!
You gonna tell me you don’t think Money Mayweather is not talking to himself all day long about how great he is? Bottom line till somebody whips him, he is!!!
Tiger Woods sees himself as the greatest golfer ever ? Ask him.
Gretzky, Lawrence Taylor on and on.
Now once you declare your intent yes you got to practice Allen iverson!!!! Hehe
Gladwell Outliers says elite practice their thing 10,000 times till they get there.
None of these achievers started anywhere than at the beginning and they decided how it was gonna be and they went out and proved it. Think first, pretty dog-gone simple.
And ridiculous scoffing at believing when it is not there yet, actually ridiculous. Henry Fords motor….was it there when he wanted it? Nope and according to his engineers could not be built. Jobs inventions at Apple. When he dreamed them up the technology at the time could not build them.
You know what Jobs did? He went and found people who said we believe and we will find the way to create the stuff you are dreaming up. They did, right!!!!! Duh!!!
Just saying everything STARTS with thoughts. Not saying it ends there just saying ANYTHING and EVERYTHING starts there.
And another hope to end ridiculous idea about not repeating to yourself something you do not believe. Everyday in AA we tell people fake it till you make it. Act as if cause where they are at, the complete defeat they feel do not believe one word we share with them. That HAVE to fake what we share with them and say it to themselves long enough for them to be able to begin to believe it.
We love them till they can begin to love themselves but they got to start telling themselves they are ok before they actually believe it.
Just for me I would love to see commenting with no frame of reference to be considered not being done as a good rule of thumb followed by all on this blog! Who agrees?
Somebody starts talking about ways to style your hair, I got almost none so what can I really add to the discussion?
If someone asks about Moscow’s restaurants? Never been there so how do I come up with an opinion I know nothing about?
Anyway hope that simplifies where I am coming from.
Fantastic conversation and responses! I’m a designer and I can share with you that personally and professionally the ability to ‘pretend’ is very important. There is a ‘pretend’ element to restating my daily measurable goals as if they have already happened. Perhaps what we are discovering here too, is that like the word, “Yes” or “No” or “truth” there are several layers and distinctions that can be made. This is a wonderful opportunity to think bigger and expand upon ideas that I previously thought were not available to me. I say we ALL pretend, at least for 2 minutes! 🙂
I hear ya!!!
One thing that intrigues me daily is our conscious mind only operates at about 7% of its potential!!! That means 93% left to find out about!!!!! Wow how exciting is THAT??
Imagine we only knew about 7% of America? The south lets say! Pretty cool places and nc mountains are SWEET!!
Just think though we still would know no Grand Canyon, no Washington state, no Oregon, no Pebble Beach!!! Ya feeling me?
Walking around with thinking you know something with 7%? Lol
Discovering the 93% is where it’s at for me!!!
Have a great weekend!
I’ve pretended before. But more in the form of faith. Like in way to build confidence when I am afraid of failure (and success). I call myself what I desire to be and seek the education while “pretending” on the way to the reality. I hope that made since. I couldn’t figure out how to word it. lol! Great post! I am posting today something similar that’s why this caught my attention. But I am writing about how David “pretended” to be crazy and mad when Saul was chasing him was not considered being a hypocrite and contrasting that with the hypocrite who pretends.
Fake it ’till you make it! Often nobody notices the difference.
Fully with Dan on this one… sorry Scott… In almost every other performative (yep, I said it) area of life, rehearsal is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity. Those of you who are expressing your discomfort with the notion are doing it a service. Discomfort is where real learning happens. So, try what Dan is recommending; really try it, for a while. Then jump back and analyze it. I have done it for years and I will tell you, when I left one organization where the practice was common for another where it became impossible, I felt the difference immediately, and still feel it over 5 years later.