When we were young

04242012semana_de_la_cultura086As the facilitator circled the table asking the typical questions, such as “Where are you from?” and “What do you do?” I felt like I was being a bit oppositional. If I admitted to being born in Indiana, anyone who had even visited the state would ask me about it, and as my parents moved to another state when I was six weeks old and never returned, I was basically clueless about life in Indiana. So I answered “I’m from nowhere,” and explained my dilemma.

Unfazed he asked, “Where did you grow up?”

“Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, three different times… Mississippi. We moved every few years.”

“Okay, where did you graduate from high school?” He was being cautious, as some of the attendees were older than me and never found a need to go beyond high school to find a decent job.

“I didn’t.” I replied, “But I have a Master’s degree.” That was a bit of story to explain, too. My family moved to Mississippi at the end of my junior year during the factious days of public school integration. The Deep South high schools were far behind the ones I had attended in Illinois and Ohio. So, on the recommendation of a local professor, I applied for college, and got accepted, even receiving a small scholarship. They did not see me as any different than students coming from unaccredited private high schools.

“And what do you do?”

My identity is supposed to be all about work. But I’ve changed careers multiple times. Currently, I work in a field born about the same time as I was and still have to explain what an instructional designer does to ninety-nine percent of the people I meet.

As he questioned the younger people in the room, I realized that my path of growing up – living multiple places, changing careers, working in a new field and returning to college for more education – was the path more likely to be taken by millennials than baby boomers.  I did lack the opportunity to teeth on technology growing up. The first computer I glimpsed at age six contained banks of reel-to-reel tapes with blinking lights and filled a bedroom sized area. But I didn’t get my hands on a computer until high school. It was the only one in the entire high school, and it had its own closet, a much tinier room than that filled by the first computer I saw. One had to create programs in Basic on punch cards and wait until the teacher tested them to see if they actually worked on the computer.

However, my generation was marked by events as impactful as growing up with computers and the internet as part of daily life. These included the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, which resulted in a distrust of authority and an attempt to make a complete break with life style of the older generation by many. This may seem ironic to those who now see baby boomers as conventional and bound to their jobs as proof of self-worth. Sometimes I suspect the grumbling about this young “Millennial” generation is just a projection of our own thoughts. We expect the following generation to make a break with the previous one, because that’s exactly what we did. Why should they be any different than us, when we were young?

photo By Angélica Martínez – Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25543037


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Why leaders aren’t self-aware

stephs (6)Karl Jung noted that the trait of extroversion was marked by focused on externals without a great deal of introspection. If carried to an “ideal” or completely extroverted state this trait would result in lack of self-awareness.[1] Perhaps the last century’s swing towards the outgoing, outspoken, in charge leader, who always exuded confidence (whether there was a cause for this or not) has created the increasing need for cultivating self-aware leaders. Research by the Hay Group that compared individuals’ concept of themselves against that held by their peers, and their self-perceived abilities against actual abilities has indicated that self-awareness is dismally low (under 20%) among managers. Knowing your own abilities, shortcomings, and impact on others is assumed to be essential for leadership.[2]

Research on self-awareness has shown that an increase in self-awareness can be related to a decrease other “desirable” traits such as self-acceptance and self-esteem. Recent research conducted on university campuses has come up with some intriguing results when self-awareness is increased in students. When students became aware of themselves while filling out a self-esteem survey, their assessment of themselves started a noticeable drift downwards.[3] There was also a significant negative relationship between self-awareness and self-acceptance. Students who were higher in neuroticism were less self-aware and also less self-accepting. While at the college level there appeared to be no significant difference in self-awareness among extroverts and introverts (the percentage of introverts in college is significantly higher than general population), the more self-aware introverts showed lower self-acceptance.[4]

We expect leaders to like themselves and are reluctant to follow someone who admits to weaknesses and expresses doubts. However, if people are actually honest they would have to admit that they are not thrilled by the results when they examine their own internal emotions, motivations and how their actions affect other people. Therefore some willingly avoid looking two deeply into these things.This partial blindness does actually seem to provide a benefit to those seeking leadership positions. Research has shown that individuals who are self-deceptive when it comes to assessing themselves, are more optimistic and also better at convincing others to trust in an unrealistically optimistic outcome.[5]

So will the quest to improve self-awareness result in diminishing other traits that we have come to accept as synonymous with leadership?


[1] Rudd, Anthony. Self, Value, and Narrative: A Kierkegaardian Approach, OUP Oxford, Oct 25, 2012
[2] Baldoni, John. Few Executives are Self-aware, But Women Have the Edge. May 09, 2016
[3] John Ickes, William. Wicklund, Robert A. and Ferris C. Brian. Self awareness leads to lower self esteem. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Volume 9, Issue 3, May 1973, Pages 202–219
[4] Vingoe, Frank J Rogers’ self theory and Eysenck’s extraversion and neuroticism. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 32(5, Pt.1), Oct 1968, 618-620.
[5] Nauert, Rick. Overconfident People Likely to be Overrated. PsychCentral.com


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The price of self-awareness

Investing_money (1)Much of what I’ve perused recently on self-awareness tout the benefit of meditation in increasing self-awareness. This has led to a boom in meditation instructors providing both classes and retreats for mastering the techniques. Search for meditation on the internet and you will find hundreds, perhaps thousands of instructors willing to teach this skill for a fee. Many practitioners insist that you cannot learn to meditate properly without this kind of guidance and support, warning that students will not learn to overcome initial pitfalls and move on to a higher level of awareness.

I wondered how hard could it be to sit erect and still, eyes closed, palms up, chanting the same word over and controlling your breath, listening to your heartbeat, and continually emptying your mind? Now, I think about it, this could be a difficult feat to persist in an activity that is so boring. Indeed, one of the mistakes that some mediation teachers mentioned was people falling asleep during meditation (But  isn’t it supposed to be relaxing?). Another one was that people simply didn’t see what they were accomplishing through mediation and would give up. They needed encouragement to work hard if they wanted to improve at it. People do not just pay for an instructor, they pay for a coach to bolster their confidence, to keep selling them the product they have bought, to convince them they are accomplishing something when they do not see the advertised results (e.g. relief of stress, better concentration).

Claims are made that meditation relieves stress, improves ability to concentrate and generally increases sense of happiness and well-being. But, then people would not pay fees varying from a few hundred to over a thousand 1000.00 U.S. dollars to learn a skill that made no claims. The newest claims that attract CEOs and business owners is that meditation increases awareness and ability to concentrate, improving their business acumen and making it possible to grow their business in stress ridden economy.

This has left me wondering if meditation, which was originally a tenet of Buddhism, has become the newest “investment.” People invest in it making others wealthy and expecting that it improves their own ability to make money.

Photo –Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

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Learning not to be self-aware

dec steph 199Recently I was reading research about grammar police, the kind of people who notice every little misspelling in your writing and assume that you are ignorant based on these errors. Evidently they are disagreeable – certifiably disagreeable. One of the factors in the Five Factor Personality Analysis (often called the Big Five) is Agreeableness. In a research projects, subjects read e-mails both with and without spelling and grammar errors, and then estimated how well they would like the person. Those that downgraded their estimation of the person the most showed a correspondingly low score on Agreeableness on the Big Five. No big deal, you probably expected that to be true.

One of the other factors of the Big Five is Extraversion. Introverts who indicated that good grammar was important to them, were more sensitive to these errors and downgraded the likability of the author of the e-mail much more severely than did introverts who didn’t care about grammar. Overall introverts where not as generous with their estimation of this unknown person as the extroverts. However, there was a definite correlation between how much (or how little) they cared about grammar and how much they expected to like the e-mail correspondent.

Results for extroverts were a little perplexing, “Surprisingly, extraverts who reported grammar as more important were less sensitive to typos than extroverts who felt good grammar was less important.”[1] Some extroverts said grammar was more important, but behaved as it was not.  Why were they not noticing the typos? Did they over-estimate their ability at spelling and grammar? Or was this lack of self-awareness intentional?

This research may have provided a serendipitous insight into self-awareness and why it is rising on the list of desired traits of business leaders. Past researchers have found that the managers and executives are predominantly extroverts. Self-aware people are introspective and think about their own values and motives compared to their actions. But as hard as they try they soon come to realize that they are not capable of behaving consistently according to their own values. There are different ways to respond to this realization: change values to match actions, give up being self-aware because “Nobody is perfect” or intently focus on every error and spiral into depression.

Extroverts tend to avoid this last option. Evidently, simply avoiding reflecting on the effects of their actions is their preferred way of dealing with internal conflict. However, this lower self-awareness has some negative side effects when leaders fail to accurately estimate their own skill or understand their own motivation. We have yet to see whether self-awareness can be taught, or if it is as difficult as teaching extroverted people not to behave like extroverts.

Photo by Dave Cachero
[1] Boland JE, Queen R (2016) If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0149885. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149885


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Self awareness and masking emotions

Eggs_Expressions_Happy_Sad1According to its original meaning, over 99.9 % of humans are self-aware, which of course is not enough to be considered special. But now it has been chosen as the word to express the next, new, promising quality that distinguishes leaders from others. According to Daniel Goleman’s description of emotional intelligence, the meaning of self-awareness has expanded in multiple directions. It includes recognizing and regulating your own emotion, understanding your motivations, and being aware of the impact that you have on others. In addition it has a cognitive side, knowing your strengths and limits.[1]

Let’s start with the idea of recognizing and regulating your emotions. In other words, you realize that you are becoming increasingly irritated another employee who chatters constantly with minimal output. But you decide to be self-aware and not speak your mind because that employee will become astonished that you would hurt them by uttering words, such critical words. Even young children learn to mask disappointment, anger, and fear, so it would seem this skill is widespread. However, unless you have figured out how to change the way you feel when things irritate you, concealing your emotions comes at the cost of consuming energy.

People often see that the polite route is not the best way to get other people moving. An angry tone is a good motivator so people use it; they use it too much. The cost is that those around you become disengaged and demotivated. They get skilled at avoiding you. After the initial rush to get complete a task is over; they tend to find a corner to hide in, or get very good at looking busy.

The delicate balance between expressing feelings that are “negative” so people know they have fallen short of expectations or overstepped their boundaries, and saying words that are openly critical may be an nearly impossible balance. You may learn to regulate the expression of emotions, but you cannot regulate how sensitive or oblivious people are to what you express. People who are sensitive may take offense to a statement that is not even noticed by others. However, you should be aware that a heightened sense of response may be their way of manipulating others. People that are oblivious to your feelings may seem to lack empathy, but they are also harder to manipulate  emotionally, which is not a bad thing.

This all leads to the conclusion you can be too self-aware, paying constant attention to how other respond to you and burning out through attempts to regulate how you appear, based on their responses. This cost of self-awareness may be one of the reasons why Daniel Goleman finds most leaders are low in self awareness.[2]

Photo from  http://pdpics.com/

[1] Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books
[2]  Goleman, D. Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent Than Men? Psychology Today, Posted Apr 29, 2011.1.
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Solving the problem of being finite

Co-Counselling_listenWhenever I see “problem solving” listed as a component of emotional intelligence, I tend to regard the rest of what the author says on that subject with skepticism. Typically problem solving is considered a combination of creativity and logic to generate an innovative idea and put it to practical use. Creativity hardly seems like it is related to emotional intelligence, judging by the character of creative people. In fact researchers have found that one recurring trait of this group is a lack of regard for social skills. They tend to be less considerate, more likely to find fault with others, less agreeable and more rebellious than the average person.[1] [2]

However, research is keeps popping up which shows a connection between emotional intelligence and problem solving.  Some of these studies deal with problem solving by teams in which correlation is found between teams with higher totals on tests of emotional intelligence and their ability  to complete problem solving tasks.[3] It makes sense that team members who stubbornly try to hog all the attention or refuse to cooperate are going to impede the work of others. But there is also research that indicates that emotional intelligence gives individuals the edge in problem solving. [4]

The emotional facilitation of thinking and problem solving is included in Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso’s Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale Test (MEIS), a common tests used to assess emotional intelligence. This group of researches has conceived of “emotional intelligence” as a cognitive ability, and the test is composed of written and visual questions as opposed to putting individuals into situations in which observers rate their emotional intelligence. [5]

Research has shown that people who score high on both cognitive tests and the MEIS exhibit the best skills in problem solving.[6] However, some researchers have found that higher cognitive skills are an even better predictor than high emotional intelligence for problem-solving skills, and other “life skills” such as lowering anxiety, increasing perception, and coping.[7]

So what is going on here? You have to look carefully at research on “EQ” and problem solving to see if IQ was accounted for, or even determined. There is a likelihood that emotional intelligence is similar to creativity in that it tends to increase with intelligence until it reaches a cap. People with IQ’s above 120 (considered the top end of the average range) do not show greater creativity  than people with IQ’s at that point. In fact people with IQ’s at the high end have a correlating  decrease in creativity. Emotional intelligence also seems to improve with cognitive intelligence up to a point and then apparently decreases. This seems to be particularly noticeable with people that have higher mathematical/logical skills. However, research has yet to determine what that cap point is.

So no matter how much you want to increase cognitive ability, creativity and emotional intelligence to be above average  in all areas, you will have to settle for something less. As much as we would like ignore the fact, human intelligence is very finite.

[1] BI Norwegian Business School (2013, April 2). The hunt for the creative individual. Science Daily. Retrieved January 11, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2013/04/130402091133.htm
[2] King, L.A. Walker, L.M. Broyles, S.J. Creativity and the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 189-203 (2013)
[3] Peter J. Jordan & Ashlea C. Troth, Managing Emotions During Team Problem Solving: Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Resolution, Human Performance, Volume 17, Issue 2, 2004,pages 195-218
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940005/
[5] Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R. (2004). Emotional intelligence and the construction and regulation of feelings . Applied & Preventive Psychology 4:197-208 (1995)
[6] Laura Thi Lam & Susan L. Kirby, Is Emotional Intelligence an Advantage? An Exploration of the Impact of Emotional and General Intelligence on Individual Performance. The Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 142, Issue 1, 2002, pages 133-143
[7] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886905001534
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Reading emotions

fear06 047bImagine that you are sitting down to holiday dinner at which a number of friends and family have gathered. The host, Micaela is young, a bit nervous, rushing about trying to please the guests. Timidly she offers a plate of brown patties, with a fine grain in plate of broth. When asked “What is it?” she responds smiling, “Pate foie gras… goose liver paste.” Sandy, sitting across the table momentarily curls up the side of her mouth in an sign of contempt.

Thoughts go rushing through your head. Did Micaela not see Sandy’s expression? Is she insulted by that look of disgust? Perhaps you should comment about what delicacy pate foie gras is to show your empathy for Micaela. But then, maybe Sandy finds force feeding geese a type of animal cruelty, and the expression of disgust was an automatic gut response. Perhaps you should encourage Sandy to speak up by reminding your host that some people may have ethical reasons not to eat this dish.

Part of emotional intelligence is the ability to read others emotions. However, most instruction in emotional intelligence does not tell you what to do with the skill of quickly detecting emotions. Basically it informs you that emotional intelligence will be a benefit if you learn it. So, now you have honed your skill to the point of recognizing a momentary micro-expression. But empathizing with a person requires a demonstration that you are taking their side.  Do you choose based on which person can benefit you the most?

This same interaction that occurred at the dinner table is repeated ad infinitum around the conference table in businesses. Emotional intelligence can be welded as a weapon to point out rivals’ doubt that they thought they were concealing. It can be used to find the secret to persuading others to join your camp, when there aren’t enough facts to support your ideas. Research on emotion recognition has shown that people who are skilled in reading feelings have often gained that ability to serve themselves, rather than others.

University of Michigan research has found that people who exhibit the personality trait, exploitativeness, (part of the scale to measure narcissism) are as good at reading expressions or emotion as empathetic people are. Two studies, one with 100 college students and another with 88 adults both resulted in this same conclusion. The major difference between subjects that scored higher in dispositional empathy and those that had narcissistic tendencies of a similar magnitude, is that the exploitative people could recognize negative emotions better. Researcher Sara Konath theorizes that this enables them to detect vulnerability in others. [1]

However, you may be aware that people tend not to hide “positive” affects like happiness, or contentment as much as they do anger, fear, disgust, etc. So in the practical everyday realm the narcissists are better at reading hidden emotions. Back to the dinner table… have you decided to empathize with the nervous host or disgusted guest? Perhaps considering the kind of person who can read negative emotions the best, you should just be quiet and not say anything at all.

[1] Konrath, S., Corneille, O., Bushman, B.J., and Luminet, O. The Relationship Between Narcissistic Exploitativeness, Dispositional Empathy, and Emotion Recognition Abilities Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, March 2014, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 129-143
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When Emotional Intelligence is a liability

breaking game (3).jpgOne of the four major branches of emotional intelligence (according to John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey) is the ability to reflectively regulate or manage emotions. This applies to managing your own emotions rather than those of other people. According to research by this team, people who understand their own emotions and “are confident about their abilities to regulate their affect, seem to be able to repair their moods more quickly and effectively following failure.” [1]

There are two things about this finding that piqued by interest. As regulating one’s own emotions and repairing one’s own mood are basically the same ability. These two skills should definitely be found in the same people. However, they only “seem” to do this. The person who manages their own emotions may only appear to be minimizing disappointment, frustration and anger. They may be just as disturbed as the person who frets, sulks and rants after their plans bite the dust. However, the first group is definitely more pleasant to be around.

People who are able to mold their own emotions to create favorable impressions of themselves must work at this. You do not remain calm and collected when others panic if you don’t’ put effort into learning how to do this. At least most people don’t. But just maybe you are one of those people who can because you never exhibit much emotion. Maybe you’ve been told to be more open and expressive, because people cannot read you. Of course if a person is really able to manipulate their own affect, others are not really reading them either.

However, there is an advantage to emotional intelligence that is rated fair to middling. Controlling expressiveness come at a price, and one of the costs seems to be less expertise in skills that require logic. Psychologists Dana Joseph (University of Central Florida) and Daniel Newman (University of Illinois) analyzed every study they could find on the connection between job performance and emotional intelligence. Interestingly. certain types of jobs are performed better by people who don’t read others emotions and regulate their own. In these positions, such as mechanic, scientist or accountant, people with higher emotional intelligence typically exhibited poorer performance.[2]

While it is a good idea to learn how to control exhibits of anger and disgust. It is not necessarily a bad thing to show a lack of enthusiasm or empathy. In learning the emotional expressiveness that enables you to persuade others, you may be sacrificing just as important skills that are part of very necessary professions.

[1] Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1993 (http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints…Mood%20Meas%20and%20Mood%20Cong/CA1995SaloveyMayer.pdf)
[2] https://news.cos.ucf.edu/the-dark-side-of-emotional-intelligence/



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Pinning down emotional intelligence

Picture 057If you do any research on testing for Emotional Intelligence, you are likely to run into a couple of names repeatedly. One is Howard Gardner who came up with the idea that there are several types or modalities of intelligence. Two of these, interpersonal and intrapersonal, have to do with comprehending feelings, moods and motivations.  Interpersonal is the detection of these in others, and intrapersonal is ability to perceive and understand these inside of oneself. Gardner does not illuminate how people gain these two types of intelligences. His idea is to test yourself to uncover the areas of your intelligence, as an alternate to being tested for IQ. This will help you choose a direction to develop yourself through education, and also to select a career that suits you. As these tests are mainly for individual use, and not used by schools to place students or companies to determine who gets the promotion, there has been no real attempt to validate them.[1]

Another pair of names you will hear is John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey.  They define emotionally intelligent people as those “who regulate their emotions according to a logically consistent model.”[2]  This is an interesting twist. Many of us look at emotions and logic as being diametrically opposed. However, an emotional view of emotional intelligence makes it impossible to pin down.

When people say things such as “it is not how much you know but how passionate you are,” they are often pitting logical thinking against the ability to appeal to emotions. The preference for an enthusiastic person as opposed to a thoroughly competent person is based on the idea that a person can always be taught the necessary content. But pleasingly enthusiastic person in one culture may be overly dramatic in another. And lacking the competence to perform the task makes the over the top personality even more irritating.

Mayer, Salovey and Caruso have worked on creating tests for Emotional Intelligence based on their definition. However, the ability to regulate emotions in logical manner is not the only ability tested.  In fact, the actual constructs of the test have been changing. The first version of the Emotional Intelligence test measured emotional creativity, social intelligence and ability to perceive non-verbal cues. However, the more recent Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) has shifted to a more intellectual measurement of emotions. It measures perception of emotion; emotional facilitation of thinking; Understanding/analyzing emotions; and reflective regulations of emotions.[3]

These “emotional” skills are assessed through answering multiple choice scenario questions that are validated by the choice that academics in the field of emotional intelligence would choose. But the answer selection is still extremely subjective. The best answer for people living in the United States that are upper middle class with college education would likely match the choice of the experts. But it may not be the best answer for other classes of people in the United States, or even wealthy and educated people living in Mexico. The best answers need to be validated for the each group being tested.

Emotional intelligence is hard to pin down, even when you look at it logically.

[1] Gardner, Howard (1999), Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-02611-1
[2] Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R. (2004). Emotional intelligence and the construction and regulation of feelings . Applied & Preventive Psychology 4:197-208 (1995)
[3] Pérez , J.C. , Petrides, K.V. & Furnham, A. Measuring Trait Emotional Intelligence. Chapter 9
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How to be less confident

Joos_de_Momper_IcarusSearch on Google for information on how to be less confident, and over 90% of the hits will actually be explaining ways to increase your confidence. This does have its perks. According to research from Washington University overconfident managers are more likely to get promoted. Then, they are also more like to make investment decisions that hurt their companies.[1]

Interestingly, research from the business psychology department at the University College London found that males often compensate for lack of competence by showing more confident behavior.[2] Eventually people are going to catch on to this trend. For those of you that already see the handwriting on the wall, you should study how to become less confident.

The ancient Greeks called overconfidence hubris. Hubris had a connotation of harm to it that is not found in current ideas about overconfidence, which we tend to view  as a type of naiveté. But according to laws in ancient Athens, the intent of hubris was to humiliate another to exalt oneself. Hubris was not cured, it was punished. The Greeks had caught onto the idea that overconfidence is harmful. Understanding this is the first step in diminishing it.

Avoid the temptation to blame failure on circumstances, and then turn and around chalk up success to your own ability. Actually realizing the limited amount of control you do have over your environs should put a huge dent in your overconfidence. If you succeed, is not any more likely a result of your own ability than if you fail.

You can begin to determine your actual impact if you are as willing to listen to criticism as you are to praise. Even if you feel the comments are unkind, you may be able to learn something from them. Research from John Hopkins University indicates that for creative people innovative ideas are often spurred on by criticism from others.[3]

Honestly question yourself and be willing to listen to others who do the same. This is not being negative but rather avoiding the “confirm bias.” Confirm bias is another way of saying that people are will listen to facts that back up what they currently believe and ignore facts that are counter indications.[4] Both should be given equal weight.

Finally, let go of the illusion that the perception of success is more important than actually performing well. Perceptions are based on what others say about you. However, this may not reflect what they actually think. I recall a colleague who always responded to the manager’s requests with an assurance of what excellent work he could expect. But it became evident after a while that actually getting these request done in an excellent manner was not a priority. The colleague actually admitted to me that his enthusiasm was just play acting. But I didn’t have to tell the manager this, he already knew it. Beware, when people know you are faking it, they have less compunction about treating you poorly.

When any leader climbs beyond their ability on claims that they cannot fulfill, people are not as likely to give them a second chance. People become increasingly disgruntled because they feel their trust has been violated. Just as praise was higher for the confident leader, the fall is father. And hitting the ground hurts.

Artwork: Detail from Icarus by Joos de Momper
[1] Goel AM, Thakor AV. Overconfidence, CEO selection, and corporate governance. J Finance. 2008; 63: 2737–2784. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2008.01412.x
[2] Chamorro-Premuzic, T. “Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Doubt,”
[3] Johns Hopkins University news release, August 21, 2012, Don’t Get Mad, Get Creative: Social Rejection Can Fuel Imagination, JHU Carey Researcher Finds
[4] Russo, JE. Schoemaker, PJH. and Russo, EJ.  Decision traps: Ten barriers to brilliant decision-making and how to overcome them, 1990


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