Self-Deception: Feeling Right and Being Wrong
You can feel completely right and be absolutely wrong. Unnerving isn’t it?
Self-deception is most likely when:
#1. Entrenched ideas are challenged.
Your mind is closed about things you’re certain about.
Imagine the first time someone suggested the earth was round.
By the way, Christopher Columbus wasn’t worried about sailing off the edge of the earth. Long before he sailed for China, Greek scholars like Pythagoras and Aristotle had determined the Earth was round.”
Learning is discovering you don’t know.
#2. Hot emotion or offense is involved.
An offended person can’t see clearly.
It’s easier to defend feeling offended than let it go. Once you take up an offense, it takes humility to put it down.
Offended people aren’t humble.
#3. People disappoint you.
When someone disappoints you, it’s easy to know what THEY did wrong and what THEY should do. But managers and leaders contribute to the poor performance of others, even if it’s hard to own.
#4. Decisions have been made.
We naturally seek out information or evidence that confirms our beliefs, values, or decisions.
A firm decision creates confirmation bias.
Knowing what others should do:
It’s fun learning how others should change.
One of my biggest self-deceptions is knowing what others should do – long before considering what I should do. This is especially true when it comes to reading.
Have you ever read a book with someone else in mind? Boy! “She could really use this.”
It’s easier to apply a new idea to someone else than to correct your own habits.
The possibility of self-deception calls for humility.
Today’s challenge is saying to yourself, “I could be wrong.”
When are people most likely to be self-deceived?
What helps us overcome self-deception?
I first explored self-deception when I read, “Leadership and Self-Deception.” Yesterday, I had a conversation with Nate Regier about self-deception; it’s a chapter in his new book, “Seeing People Through.”
Absolute home run today, Dan! This is SO GOOD! Thanks for doing what you do.
Blind Spots! We all have them.
Force yourself to reconsider. “Maybe, I am wrong on this. Maybe, I am missing something here.”
Sometimes it takes a SIGNIFICANT EMOTIONAL EVENT to wake us up.
Dan–I like your statement.— “But managers and leaders contribute to the poor performance of others, even if it’s hard to own.
Theory X Managers say–the person is lazy, irresponsible and unmotivated.
Theory Y Managers say –what can I do differently to help improve that employee’s performance.
Dan, I think #1 is intended to be “not challenged”—right? Missing “not”.
Love this post!!
A great read for me in the times we are living in. Working hard on overcoming the entrenched ideas and avoiding the hot emotion and offense. “Learning is discovering you don’t know” – I’m on a continual learning journey lately. Thanks for the post.
Thank you for the “THEY”s in your third point — I can be so 20/20 at seeing others, less so myself.. The Biblical admonishment of removing the pole in our own eye (prior to the spec in others0 comes to mind.
…Lots to chew on here – thank you Dan,
Been reading your blog for 9+ years.
Really never paid attention to your bolded questions at the end until the last couple of years…yep, I thought I knew, until I didn’t.
Thank you again Dan for your concise forward driving style.
Very relevant to what we hear and see in current times. Thanks for this. And, the older I get, the more I realize that there is much I don’t know (more than what I do know) and that is GOOD!!! Continuous learning….
What helps us overcome self-deception? I am going to say hard work by me. The harder and smarter I work the more I destroy any self-deception whether it was something I might have caused or the shortcomings of others. #3. People disappoint you. This one hits me hard. It’s difficult to “train” into some people attributes that I grew up with; hard work, thorough work, working outside the box, thinking around roadblocks, passion for what you do. This tells me that family upbringing and influence are so meaningful for an individual to develop attributes that lead to success.
“managers and leaders contribute to the poor performance of others”… an eye opener for me…
Thanks Kaushal. One example might be lack of clarity. When managers aren’t clear with direction performance goes down. Another example might be a leader who can’t make a decision. Cheers
…another would be managers who don’t give precise feedback or for that matter they don’t give any feedback.