No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson

We seldom are perceived the way we see ourselves or the way we want to be perceived.

Contrary to popular belief, our facial expressions are not always readable, our emotions are not that obvious and we don’t communicate as much as we think we do.

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson #books #bookreviews #communication #skills #communicationskills #selfimprovement #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Guided Perceptions

There are many heuristics and assumptions that guide our perceptions and create inaccurate interpretations of people.

Assumption #1: The confirmation bias

Some people look at you and see what they expect to see, taking into account the stereotypes of the groups to which you belong, your culture and their past experiences with you.

Assumption #2: The primary effect

Other people forme their perceptions of you using their initial impression of you.

With this assumption, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Assumption #3: Stereotypes

Stereotypes are the beliefs about categories of people to “better understand” them.

Assumption #4: The halo effect

The halo effect is the belief that someone, with one powerful positive trait, has a lot more positive traits.

Assumption #5: The false-consensus effect

The false-consensus effect is the belief that others think and feel the same way that we do.

The Two Phases of Perception

There are two phases of perception that exist in every interactions: Phase 1 or System 1 and Phase 2 or System 2.

Phase 1 or System 1 is the automatic and effortless ability to recognize strong emotions in someone’s facial expression and voice, to identify, categorize and interpret a given behavior, to attach that given behavior to “some aspect of your personality, character or abilities”.

First impressions are made in Phase 1.

Perception often stops at Phase 1 and people, being busy, tend to rely heavily on heuristics and assumptions.

Phase 2 or System 2 is the ability, through complex and effortful mental operations to get a complete and accurate understanding of someone, by taking into account additional factors about yourself.

This effort has to purposefully be motivated by an attention-grabbing circumstance.

Distortion of The Phases of Perception

The level of trust, the possession of power and the size of the ego tend have an impact on these phases of perception.

However, these distortions can be averted by understanding the circumstances and the wanted results of each interaction.

The level of trust

Most of the time, people are not just trying to make assumptions about you but are trying to find out unconsciously if they can trust you, especially in the workplace: are you a friend or a foe?

The decision to trust is made unconsciously in Phase 1 of perception and depends on the way that you project warmth and competence.

To increase trust to the people around you:

  • Convey warmth indirectly by giving subtle but genuine complements, by providing assistance whenever you can, by showing interest in others feelings and thoughts.
  • Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging someone else’s perspective.
  • Manifest your trust in people first by being cooperative, talking about your vulnerabilities and challenges.
  • Transmit competence by making eye contact while speaking.
  • Show will power by showing self-control.
  • Avoid overconfidence by showing modesty and restraint.
  • Adopt a power pose in order to take up most of the space, to signal your competence.
  • Emphasize your potential for greatness and for success.

The possession of power

Having more or less power changes the impressions that we form about one another.

Powerful people tend to be overwhelmed with responsibilities and have no time to spare, to be focused on their goals, rely heavily on stereotypes to categorize people, stay stuck in Phase 1 of perception.

Furthermore, the sad truth is that powerful people don’t pay much attention to less powerful people.

To get noticed by powerful people and to increase your influence:

  • Be instrumental to their success.
  • Find out how you can align your. objectives with those of the powerful.
  • Ease their burden.
  • Anticipate their needs and challenges.
  • Avoid complementing them because they don’t care.

The size of the ego

Perception is distorted by the size of the ego in such ways that you must come out on top, feeling good about yourself.

Your ego has the purpose of protecting and enhancing your self-esteem.

To control the way people perceive you through their ego, you will need to:

  • Help people enhance their self-esteem.
  • Evaluate the threat that you and your abilities pose to your colleagues.
  • Be humble about your accomplishments, past and current difficulties. Avoid tooting your own horn, playing dumb or acting like someone else.
  • Affirm other people by praising them and their achievements.
  • Avoid stereotyping other people.

The eager reward seekers and the vigilant risk mitigators

The safety and security of our personal situations also poses a threat to our perceptions of people, of our colleagues and of our career.

On one hand, the eager reward seeker looks for opportunities everywhere, are effective, risk takers, rule breakers, adventurers, optimistic, motivated, innovative and often creative.

Unfortunately, eager reward seekers are prone to fail and to underestimate problems.

On the other, the vigilant risk mitigators see danger everywhere they go, are vigilant, risk averse, reliable, thorough and deliberate, prone to analytical thinking and self-doubt.

To get the best of both types of people, simply adapt your language to each of them by making one see a potential for gain and the other a cautionary plan.

The clingy, anxious and the aloof, avoidant

The need for closeness shapes our relationship with others.

The clingy and anxious people tend to have low self-esteem, need validation, constantly seek closeness and are worried that the people that they have built a relationship with will leave them, see injuries and slights where there aren’t, fear rejection.

To accommodate them, practise empathy, don’t take it personally, clarify your speech, stay reliable to this person.

The aloof and avoidant people don’t foster close relationships but instead maintain emotional distance.

To accommodate them, don’t take their behaviour personally, restraint your own warmth, give them time to open up.

Correcting bad impressions and fighting misunderstandings

Finally, to correct bad impressions and start over on the right track, you can exhibit attention-getting evidence of the contrary evidence of you so they can notice and cannot deny reality.

You can also force people to revisit their opinion of you by making them feel that their judgement is unfair or unequal.

Finally, you can make people depend on you and need you to reach their goals.

Review

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson is a great self-development book that explores the prominent reasons why we are often misunderstood and gives useful advice on how to clean up our reputation, to clarify a difficult situation.

Every single conclusion that Halvorson draws is scientifically researched and illustrated with probing examples.

This book is intended for people who have made past mistakes with people and want to correct them.

It was absolutely hard to read because Halvorson revealed hard truths, reminded me of the stereotypes that pursue me on a daily basis and that keep interfering with my goals, forces me to question myself and my behavior.

In addition, this book made me more self-conscious about my presentation to the world and my decisions, more aware that first impressions are critical, that most people don’t think the same way I do, react the same I do, or perceive me the same way I do.

Furthermore, No One Understands You and What To Do About It was also cathartic and purging, helped me become a better judge of others, understand that the way people treated me in the past was not my full responsibility.

In No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson explains how perceptions are born, describes a set of stereotypes and assumptions that affect how people perceive you, the different ways for correcting bad impressions and for overcoming misunderstandings.

Favorite quote(s)

Studies show that while very strong, basic emotions—surprise, fear, disgust, and anger—are fairly easy to read, the more subtle emotions we experience on a daily basis are not.
You are never really starting from scratch with another person, even when you are meeting him or her for the first time. The perceiver’s brain is rapidly filling in details about you—many before you have even spoken a word. Knowing this gives you a sense of what you’ve got going for you and what you might be up against. And the more you can know in advance about your perceiver’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, the better equipped you will be to anticipate what’s being projected onto you.

The benefits of projecting trustworthiness (and the costs of failing to do so) are Enormous, particularly in the workplace. Studies show, for instance, that the willingness to share knowledge with colleagues—a sticking point in most large organizations—is strongly predicted by feelings of trust among employees.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Heidi Grant Halvorson

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8 Self-Limiting Beliefs Hindering Your Personal Success

Everybody has their own definition of success.

At some point, we all want to be that definition of success.

Yet, most of the time, we don’t get to hit our deadlines and achieve our goals.

Even though we put our best foot forward, we just seem to be stuck, blocked at a particular stage in life and limited by specific beliefs.

Wondering what are the self-limiting beliefs that are hindering personal success?

8 Self-Limiting Beliefs Hindering Your Personal Success #success #goals #purpose #beliefs #mindset #successmindset #selfawareness #selfimprovement #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. You don’t know who you are

When you don’t know who you are, it’s difficult to know where you are going and why you are going.

You tend to focus on everyone else and monitor what they are doing.

When you don’t who you are, you are easily threatened by others.

You may easily be jealous or constantly compete and compare yourself with others.

You may project on other people to avoid having to deal with yourself or get to know yourself.

2. You don’t think that you can do it

You may think that you’re not enough, that you don’t have the proper skills, or that you don’t have what it takes.

If you believe that you can’t, then won’t.

If you believe that you can, then you will.

3. You don’t take responsibility your life

Now, that’s a hard one.

Some people go through life blaming others for their shortcomings or for their failures.

However, blaming others is short-lived and doesn’t get anything done.

Taking responsibility for your life means taking control of your life.

It means managing your decisions, your actions, your thoughts and the people you allow in your space.

Taking responsibility for your life is difficult at first but gratifying in the long run.

4. You don’t care to learn

Learning helps your mind evolve and see new perspectives.

If you stop learning, you stop growing.

There isn’t just one way to learn.

You can search the internet, watch movies, listen to audio books.

However, reading is the quickest way to acquire the most knowledge in a short period of time.

5. You favor your comfort zones

Maybe you don’t like to try new things…

Maybe you just like the company of your 3 friends or 3 cats or your parents…

Maybe you just don’t like being bothered…

Nothing wrong with that but by doing that you don’t evolve, you stay in the same frame of mind, within the same circle, acting out the same behaviour, living out the same patterns that have kept you in the same spot.

6. You lack vision or an objective

Without a solid vision or objective, there is no plan.

Without a plan, there is no action.

Without action, you will unfortunately end up in the same place.

7. You procrastinate

Procrastinating is different from taking a break or going on a holiday.

Procrastinating can go from doing nothing to keeping busy in one area to avoid getting to the important goals.

Working on your goals is a choice.

8. You give up when you are closer to success

People often quitting sound like something only losers do.

But winners quit too: they quit things that are unhealthy for them, that aren’t improving their lifestyle and that are diverting them from their goals.

However, if what you’ve been doing isn’t degrading your lifestyle and is perfectly aligned with your goals, you might be giving up too soon.

You are always closer than you think to reaching your goals.

Last Words Of Advice

Just remember, success is available to everyone and great things take time!


Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

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So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner

Credibility, the quality or power to inspire trust and belief, is essential and strategic to career evolution.

Credibility is so difficult to acquire and to maintain but so quick and easy to lose.

So Smart But...: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility - And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner #books #bookreviews #success #successmindset #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Credibility is 45% how you look, 45% how you sound and 10% what you say.

credibility2

In agreement with McCroskey, scholar in West Virginia University, there are five factors of credibility:

1. Competence

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to champion the company’s vision, engage in innovation, focus on performance and results, and to build a high performance organization.

With competence, an employee is able to explain concept with the appropriate message and to calibrate a message to a specific listener.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is not understanding or is reacting inappropriately to an issue at hand.
  • Is lacking better judgement in order to make the right decisions.
  • Reflects too long before making a decision.

2. Character

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to foster a climate of innovation, to foster and model the company’s values.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is lacking passion and drive for their work
  • Is arrogant. This character flaw can be corrected by changing your words when addressing your colleagues, expressing interest in them, asking for advice, listening more in conversations and sharing your personal weaknesses.
  • Cannot manage emotions very well.
  • Has it out for some people in their organization.

3. Composure

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to manage workforce performance and delegate appropriately.

credibilitylost

Credibility is easily lost if someone:

  • Is not timely (not punctual with deliveries, appears frantic and rushing,…).
  • Cannot manage emotions very well.
  • Maneuver their body language to manifest their belonging.
  • Decorate and manage their personal space.
  • Does not look the part by not applying the company’s dress code, by not grooming oneself when coming to work or even by not working out.

4. Sociability

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to demonstrate interpersonal skills.

5. Extroversion

Extroversion as defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to passionately drive the company’s strategy.

Review

So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner is a self-development book is very relatable, accurate and was very difficult to read since I have met up with most of the scenarios and possess some of the corporate personality flaws discussed in this book.

Allen N. Weiner, in So Smart But…, provides tips on how to preserve and enhance your credibility in the workplace.

Furthermore, every argument is properly illustrated with realistic workplace scenario and is not gender biased.

According to Allen N. Weiner, to climb the social ladder, it seems that one needs to :

  • comply to too many non written rules, indicative of a rigid and intolerant society that is the corporate world. Is it possible to apply every single one of these rules to the cost of spreading oneself very thinly?
  • be likeable to succeed when, in my opinion, likeability can only take you so far. Indeed, in my experience, it is preferable and more effective to be respected in corporate culture because being liked puts you on equal footing with your pairs, constitutes additional emotional work and subjects you to fluctuating and random external opinion. Nevertheless, according to Allen N. Weiner, people who are not liked are trying to find excuses instead of trying to be liked.
  • adapt, be accepted by your pairs or fitting in. Fitting in is very hard to do but not impossible to do. Check out the article Signs that You are a good fit for your new job.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Ratings 4/5

About the author

Allen N. Weiner

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5 Essential Skills For Building A Shared Purpose

Most Millennials and Gen Z require more out of the companies they are affiliated with.

They demand a healthy relationship with their work.

They pay closely attention to their purpose within their role, to their leadership, to what their organization does and most importantly why they do it.

What is Shared Purpose?

Shared purpose is the reason why a company, leaders, teams matter and should bond together.

Shared purpose relates to a personal mission statement, to core values, to personal motivation, to a given motivation.

Shared purpose allows for deeper understanding of overall objectives, clearer expectations of performance and code of conduct, stronger resilience in the face of adversity, job satisfaction on all levels, and better team engagement and alignment.

5 Essential Skills For Building A Shared Purpose #purpose #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #leadership #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Need support or want to land a leadership position? Check out our website or join our weekly training program!
We host training programs all year round in Paris, France.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

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5 Essential Skills For Rewarding Networking

Depending on your communication style, networking can be entertaining or draining…

Some enjoy being the center of attention and others laying low in the back.

Either way, there are a few tips you can use to reap the most rewards of any networking event.

5 Essential Skills For Rewarding Networking #networking #rewards #sucess #communicationstyle #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Need support or want to land a leadership position? Check out our website or join our weekly training program!

We host training programs all year round in Paris, France.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

In Daring Greatly, Brené Brown explains the reasons why we are afraid of being vulnerable, the different ways we protect ourselves from vulnerability, and how to become more vulnerable in our society.

Daring Greatly means being vulnerable, being engaged, being exposed and avoiding being perfect.

Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

A Narcissistic Society

Many researchers have shown that the American culture has turned into a narcissistic influenced culture, a culture of scarcity, a culture where people put themselves first, think that they are special, are always connected to social media, go after money and power, chase beauty and other vanity, compare themselves, are disengaged and concerned with the idea of lacking.

Instead of putting sown narcissistic people and showing them that they are not special, it is better to seek understanding and find the root of the problem.

Being narcissistic stems from a feeling of not being enough and of being ordinary.

Vulnerability & The Feeling Of Not Being Enough

The feeling of not being enough brings about shame and stops us from being vulnerable. Shame is a universal emotion, is corrosive, “keeps us small, resentful and afraid”.

Furthermore, we become disengaged when we are too afraid to be vulnerable, when we are ashamed, when we lack purpose, when a social contract is not met.

It is critical to speak out on your shame, to be self-aware, to know your self-worth, to ask and receive feedback because knowing your worth will help you become more vulnerable.

To eradicate the feeling of shame:

  • Identify your shame triggers.
  • Observe your self talk.
  • Practice authenticity.
  • Accept your experiences.
  • Share your experience, be vulnerable with someone who genuinely cares about you.

Common Misconceptions About Vulnerability

We are thought not to be vulnerable, not to show our emotions, to look down on those who do. There are several misconceptions when it comes to vulnerability.

Misconception #1: “Vulnerability is weakness”

The reality is vulnerability is not a weakness, is not good or bad. Vulnerable is the origin of all emotions.

It therefore becomes important to acknowledge your vulnerability.

Besides, the people who think that they are impenetrable are in fact the most vulnerable.

Misconception #2: “I don’t do vulnerability”

Vulnerability is unavoidable. When we try to avoid it, we often exhibit unusual inconsistent behaviors.

Misconception #3: Vulnerability is letting it all hang out”

You cannot be vulnerable with everyone. It is important to build trust and boundaries before being vulnerable.

Otherwise, more times than ever, you will end up getting betrayed and hurt.

Misconception #4: “We can go it alone”

Individualism and going it alone are highly regarded in American culture.

In this case, it is essential to construct a support system, to ask for and receive help

Shame As A Management Tool

Most of the time, shame and the blame game are used as management tool, yet is ineffective.

Subsequently, the situations that we face on a daily basis, in the education system, in the workplace, force us to keep our head down and our mouth shut which doesn’t encourage innovation, creativity or the learning process.

Vulnerability & Protective Mechanism

Our protective mechanisms are survival strategies, used to shield our vulnerability. Those shields can go from foreboding joy, to perfectionism to numbing down your emotions.

To avoid shielding vulnerability, it is critical to:

  • Practice gratitude.
  • Appreciate your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Confront your emotions.
  • Live a more fulfilling life and feed your spirit.
  • Focus your time and energy on the essentials.
  • Consider how your behavior affect those around you.

Shield #1: Victim mentality

Some people go through life with a victim or perpetrator, win or lose mentally and subsequently fall into one of these categories.

Surprisingly, the people who have been through the most trauma, demonstrate the most resilience. And, people who don’t feel like victims or perpetrators, see themselves as thrivers.

Shield #2: “Floodlighting”

Floodlighting is essentially oversharing and stems from a need for confirmation and validation.

We have to be careful not to share vulnerable stories too soon with people who have not earned the right to hear them.

The people on the receiving end often shut down, lack empathy or feel disconnected.

Shield #3: “The smash and grab”

With this shield, some people use vulnerability as a manipulation, sensationalizing tactic that is common in celebrity culture, as an attention seeking tool.

Shield #4: “Serpentining”

Serpentining is a draining and an avoidance behavior.

It happens when people are not facing a situation head on for fear of being vulnerable, of not being present.

Shield #5: Mean-spiritedness

In this case, people use criticism, cynicism and mean-spiritedness to protect themselves.

They are mean to people who dare demonstrate vulnerability.

Review

Daring Greatly is essential to leadership, parenting, relationships, finding your purpose and your passion.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown gives insight into the corporate and the western culture where being vulnerable equals being weak and lets you open to different attacks.

Through Daring Greatly, Brown has gathered data from people from different walks of life so we can somewhat self diagnose and become more aware of some of our toxic behavior.

Brené Brown makes some pertinent point and writes exactly like she speaks. Furthermore, Brown is very open and authentic, shares her anecdotes, fears and doubt.

For example, she is vulnerable with us, mindful of the stories to share, lets us into her conversations with her therapist.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Favorite quote(s)

Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all—there are no data to support that shame is a helpful compass for good behavior. In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and
hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.

Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Brené Brown

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5 Inpiring Quotes For Leadership Development

Leadership development aims to provide leaders with the hard and soft skills needed to execute their job within their capacity and within their organization.

Usually, leadership development boosts employee morale, engagement, alignment and productivity.

5 Inpiring Quotes For Leadership Development

1. Leaders demonstrate integrity and instill trust

“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.” – SETH GODIN

2. Leaders learn continuously

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

3. Leaders maintain strong communication skills

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

4. Leaders possess good decision-making skills

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leaders build healthy relationships

A leader’s attitude is caught by his or her followers more quickly than his or her actions. – John C. Maxwell

Last Words Of Advice

There are several leadership programs out there.

It is important that you find the right one for you to gain the ability to inspire, influence, improve your performance and cope with challenges.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing By Matthew Allen

Smart Thinking is a skill and an attitude.

Smart Thinking is effective reasoning that requires the filtering of information.

Needless to say, Smart Thinking helps you become successful at work and in your everyday life.

What is Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking combines the way:

  • You reason and comprehend the complex world that you live in.
  • You access information, process information, analyze and express your ideas and critical thoughts.
  • You clearly communicate, present, classify and structure these ideas.
  • You illustrate these ideas.
  • You adapt your ideas to your audience and persuade them.
  • You understand someone else’s idea.
  • You discern useful information, sort out and understand general information.
  • You assess, make decisions, solve issues and predict the future based on your experiences, assumptions and biases.

What is required in Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking requires information and the proper use of claims

A claim is a written or spoken statement, true or false, that expresses the view of the world.

Therefore, claims are descriptive, reserve positive and negative value judgement.

To properly reason, claims are linked together and must be carefully structured.

How to reason effectively?

Reasoning effectively means avoiding errors, internally evaluating arguments and thoughts before expressing them.

In effective reasoning, clear, well-formed, well-founded and truthful claims are welcomed and are easily accepted by an audience.

To reason effectively, you must start with claims that are more acceptable and end with those that are less acceptable to an audience.

“Reasoning is not about answers […], but about the process of making answers more acceptable by giving appropriate reasons for them.”

Furthermore, using expertise, accurate examples or authoritative sources is a way to solidify a claim and make it more acceptable.

Another way to reason effectively would be to remain in control of your claim, aware of the context of the claim and believe that your claim is true before sharing it with an audience.

The different types of reasoning

There are five types of reasoning.

1. Causal reasoning

Causal reasoning employs common sense and allows reasoning from cause to effect.

2. Reasoning from generalization

Reasoning from generalization explains how a general event impacting general population leads to another event.

3. Reasoning from specific cases

Reasoning from specific cases takes specific events and provides a conclusion.

4. Reasoning from analogy

Reasoning from analogy uses an analogy to a given case to draw conclusions about that case.

5. Reasoning from terms

Reasoning from terms used the meaning of words from a given context.

Review

Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is a roadmap to critical thinking and analytical skills which are heavily required leadership.

Taken from practical experiences and Australian History, Matthew Allen explores the philosophical concept behind language, the importance of words, critical thinking and the reasoning process.

Matthew Allen teaches us ways to make our reasoning strong and effective. He shares the analytical structure of reasoning and consolidates every single one of his theories with exercises and comprehension tests in every chapter.

In addition, his book and examples are socially conscious when it comes to the treatment of Aborigines in Australian History.

Furthermore, Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is not the type of book that I’m used to reviewing. However, I recommend it for leaders seeking to build remarkable leadership and critical thinking skills.

After reading this book, you will want to consider issues in depth and within context, be smarter about the messages you convey, avoid making assumptions and make well-founded claims.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Reasoning is something we already do: all of us have be learnt, in one way or another, to think and to reason, to make connections and see relationships between various events and attitudes in our world. So, being a smart thinker is not about becoming a different sort of person, but about improving skills that you already have.

It is our responsibility to understand what is happening in society and to act where necessary to conserve or change, to get involved, to make things better, and to fight injustice. We can only pick our way through the complex tangle of opinions, assertions, ideas, and assumptions that make up the dominant social world in which we live.

We should never assume that there can be only one right view; we should not, in turn, presume that all views are right.

What makes assumptions dangerous is not their content […] but, rather, that they are not consciously considered and tested to see if they are correct.

What any one individual knows about world is extremely limited. People tend to be experts in certain small areas and ignorant in many others; their detailed knowledge is often applicable only in limited situations.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Matthew Allen

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The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

Self-Disciplined LeaderAs a leader and as someone always searching for innovative ideas, I have to say that I have been struggling with staying focused on one topic at a time, controlling my train of thoughts and filtering negative emotions.

Although I come from a very disciplined home, my mind is sometimes undisciplined: tens of thousands of ideas flash through my mind in a second, which makes it difficult for my team to follow me.

 

By taking time out in the day solely for the thinking process, I have allowed myself to successfully manage my thoughts and become a self-disciplined leader.

Wondering how to acquire self-discipline or how self-discipline can successfully grow your career?

What is self-discipline?

Firstly, self-discipline is one of the most important component of leadership. Self-discipline develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits. Self-discipline means doing what needs to be done when you don’t feel like doing it.

In addition, it means that you accept your responsibilities and accomplish your goals because they are the best profitable option but not because you want to.

Self-discipline implies self-management or self-control, self-motivation, self-reliance, self-confidence and self-awareness and eventually, remains the basis for trust.

Secondly, self-discipline is an acquired skill, has several degrees to it and is not achieved overnight. It has to be practiced to become easier, to create routine and structure.

Lastly, early responsibilities in life, small tasks and assignments, given by parents or managers, allow people to gain discipline from a young age and shape their character.

Characteristics of self-disciplined leaders

Self-disciplined leaders are successful and ultimately become better at what they do. They are active, self-controlled, organized, are able to censor themselves and to build great relationships.

Leaders use self-discipline to sharpen their willpower and decisions making skills, to command respect from others and to lead by example, to achieve their goals regardless of their feelings, to gain profit and to look beyond hard work, to stick to their decisions, to evaluate themselves and place boundaries, to compartmentalize their emotions.

Furthermore, self-disciplined leaders have no fear of the future, are respected and dependable.

Self-disciplined leaders practice thoughts management, emotional intelligence, time management, character building, self-awareness and team building until they turn those soft skills into habits.

HABIT #1: MIND MANAGEMENT

Your thoughts, negative or positive, become your reality whether you want it or not. Self-disciplined leaders have peace of mind, no matter the situation.

For self-disciplined leaders, controlling your emotions is barely about becoming stoic, but about acknowledging your emotions, understanding them and keeping them in check before acting on them.

In order to control your thoughts:

  1. Nurture your mind with the right stimuli, with empowering thoughts and success stories. Remove distractions from your workspace. Block social media sites during working hours.
  2. Train your brain to handle different situations, and to prepare for both positive and negative outcomes.
  3. Meditate or turn to religion. Meditation brings a sense of contentment and allows you to accept and deal with your thoughts. In religion, controlling your thoughts is more about admitting God’s control over us and relinquishing our problems and emotions to Him. Which is why you need to keep your eyes on God and your focus on your purpose.
  4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, let go of grudges and regrets,  and keep moving forward.

HABIT #2: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Self disciplined leaders don’t allow their choices and decisions to be dictated by their impulses or feelings. Instead, they:

  • enhance their logical and emotional skills to be able to make sound decisions,
  • control their facial expressions,
  • resist and reject negative feelings,
  • handle stressful situations, conflicts and toxic individuals in a healthy manner,
  • adopt positive attitudes and behaviors.

To discipline your emotions:

  1. Control your thoughts and don’t leave them on autopilot. Pay close attention to your habits, especially in negative situations. Identify which behaviors you consider undisciplined and those that reflect your values ans goals.
  2. Change your self talk.
  3. Meditate on a daily basis, a least 10 minutes a day, to quiet the mind, gain serenity and suppress regrets.
  4. Cultivate gratitude. This will help you transform negative circumstances into positives.
  5. Change your sources of data that you intake and abstain from vain entertainment.
  6. Change or increase your social circle to individuals who possess the qualities and skills that you wish to acquire.
  7. Manage your health by taking care of the essentials. Your mind and body are interconnected and the health of the one impacts the other.
    • Sleep healthy hours and develop a steady night routine. Set an alarm at the same time everyday, put your phone in an unreachable area, don’t hit the snooze button.
    • Acquire a healthy diet.
    • Exercise regularly instead of procrastinating and drown your negative thoughts with dopamine.

HABIT #3: SELF-AWARENESS

Self-discipline allows leader to monitor their behavior in various situations and to assess their strengths and weaknesses, to find their purpose.

Without being aware of your strengths, you are unable to lead effectively. Trying to emulate another leader’s style, strengths destroys your natural talent, your uniqueness, your personality and your therefore your chances for success.

Furthermore, most leaders are blind to their own strengths and weaknesses. Some lead thinking that they possess a particular set of strengths and others lead blind to their own weaknesses.

Get to know yourself at a deeper level, increase your confidence, become more self-aware and quiet your ego:

  1. Renew your thought pattern, invest in your personal growth and don’t allow setbacks to mentally set you back.
  2. Reverting back to the memories of your childhood and recalling what you did well and with pleasure.
  3. Look for a common thread in the things that immediately and sustainably attract your attention throughout your life experiences.
  4. Read books and gain knowledge.
  5. Hire a professional to help identify your strengths and how to employ them.
  6. Take well-known online tests, such as StrenghtsFinder2.0 and StandOut, and cross-reference them.
  7. Asking the people closest to you.
  8. Surround yourself with supporting people. Stay away from yes men, undermining people or groups.
  9. Seek the truth about yourself and be unafraid of failure or the said truth.

HABIT #4: TIME MANAGEMENT

Successful individuals manage their time effectively to ensure that they accomplish their goals, allocate and maximize their time.

In the workplace, missing deadlines irritates and disrupts everyone on the team and makes you appear non accountable. So, to manage your time effectively:

  1. Define an achievable specific goal and apply timelines to it to create overviews of the milestones you wish to achieve. If you don’t have deadlines, create some for yourself.
  2. Make time to achieve your personal goals, follow-up on schedule and meet deadlines. Do not procrastinate, find excuses to postpone your work or allow anyone to distract you and squander your time. Instead, stay busy and focused, and put in the hours required to accomplish your goals.
  3. Prioritize your personal goals and accomplish the most important ones before hand.
  4. Implement a routine and stay focused on the prize.
  5. Make time to be proactive. With an increase in leadership responsibilities, people start pulling the leader in different directions, and the leader ends up doing more of what people desire than what is necessary to be done. Carve out an hour in the day or choose a day in the week to isolate or insulate yourself and execute your tasks that matter.
  6. Make time for yourself. Carve out another hour in your day to recharge your batteries to be more productive and efficient as a leader for your team. You may have to arrive earlier to work.
  7. Respect other people time.

HABIT #5: CHARACTER BUILDING

Not all hardworking and talented beings are disciplined. Therefore, not all hardworking and talented beings are successful.

On one hand, self-discipline helps in creating routine and structure, holding yourself and others to a high standard ( integrity and respect), remaining accountable for your actions on your job, executing your job in detail and delivering on time. Self-discipline also increases maturity and builds stamina and resistance to walk down the leader’s path. That means that you can take a licking and keep on ticking.

On the other hand, self-discipline makes you resilient. You are empowered to stick to your decision, are able to get up when you are knocked down and to keep going when you hear “no”. Building character is a gradual process:

  1. Be consistent with your values (integrity)
  2. Tenacity is also key. Don’t be discouraged or perturbed by obstacles, by failures, by the illusion that your goals are unreachable. Instead, resist the urges of giving in or giving up.
  3. Read, listen, watch motivational elements. For faithful people, turning to your belief system is a great way to stay on track.
  4. Draw lessons from your mistakes.
  5. Monitor what you say. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.

HABIT #6: RELATIONSHIP & TEAM BUILDING

Being disciplined allows leaders to command respect from others, to work well with their team members, to handle interactions with employees or customers judiciously.

In order to minimize supervisors intervention:

  1. Define your responsibilities or tasks, avoid stepping on anybody’s toes, delegate tasks appropriately,
  2. Play by the rules, treat your team members as adults and with respect,
  3. Look out for the best interests of the company and your team members,
  4. Coach your team, promote self-discipline amongst them, encourage innovative ideas without even if they fail,
  5. Share your performance expectations with your employees and help them direct their focus towards achieving their goals
  6. Address unacceptable behaviors immediately without punishing or humiliating the perpetrators,
  7. Model yourself as the best leader, avoid taking your job for granting or taking credit for team success or outstanding performance, and stay humble and .

HABIT #7: EXECUTION, MOTIVATION & STRUCTURE

Self-discipline brings predictability, consistency and order to the leader. Self-discipline captures the meaning of the word expectancy and provides the leader with latitude for risk assessment and management. To create structure and improve task execution:

  1. If you are somehow already disciplined in executing task, share your timeline and your attention to detail with others and help them pick up the slack without micro managing.
  2. Clearly, your order brings a sense of control to the team. However, don’t impose your discipline to anyone else.
  3. Focus on starting tasks rather than completing them.
  4. Follow through on your ideas and finish what you have started. Also, track your progress: record the starting time and the end time of your tasks.
  5. Execute your plan in silence, and respect yourself enough to put your money where your mouth is and to come through on your promises.

The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

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The Importance Of Forgiveness In Leadership

When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.

Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.

Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.

Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.

Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?

The Importance Of Forgiveness In Leadership #leader #leadership #forgiveness #peaceofmind #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment #selfawareness #serenity #JourneyToLeadership

The benefits of forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.

Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.

It allows you to reach a state of inner calm to put negative memories at rest and get rid of negative emotions. Indeed, after forgiving, you feel re-energized, empowered, free and present.

In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.

Forgiving leaders encourage risk taking, authenticity, collaboration and dissenting voices in the workplace.

Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.

How to forgive?

People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:

  • Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.

  • Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
  • Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
  •  Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
  • In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.

  • See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.

  • Understand that all situations can be resolvedDo what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.

  • Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
  • As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.

  • Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
  • Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.

  • Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
  • Be grateful for that experience.

Last Words Of Advice!

The hardest thing is self forgiveness. Our inner voice is most critical of our decisions, actions and thoughts.

If you are the one who has hurt someone else:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Remember that what goes around comes around.
  • Think of how you would want to be treated in that moment and if you would have wanted a second chance.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

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