Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Pink

Not good enough claiming: “I think that I can do this…”

By Dan Rockwell?

Traditional wisdom says self-affirmation builds optimism and confidence.

Dispel doubt, discouragement, and fear by repeating things like: “I’m awesome.” “I can do this.”

What if the Little Engine that Could – “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” – was wrong?

Self-question rather than self-affirm:

Best selling author, Daniel Pink undermines traditional, “I think I can,” philosophy in his new book, “To Sell is Human.”

Traditional wisdom suggests, “Declaring an unshakable belief in your inherent awesomeness inflates a sturdy raft that can keep you bobbing in an ocean of rejection.

Alas, the social science shows something different…” Daniel Pink.

Children’s author, Shel Silverstein agrees when he says, “thinking you can just ain’t enough.”

Can I?

Pink explains that asking, “Can I do this?” is more powerful than repeating, “I can do this.” (Apologies to positive self-talkers –supportive research)

“Declarative self-talk risks bypassing one’s motivations. Questioning self-talk elicits the reasons for doing something and reminds people that many of those reasons come from within.” Daniel Pink.

Ask, “Can I do this?” before facing your next challenge and jot down the reasons you can.

Stop repeating, “I’m confident,” when you’re not. There’s something better than, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Pink says Bob the Builder nails it when he asks, “Can we fix this?

One more step – Developing others:

Spend more time asking, “How can you do this?” and less on, “I believe in you.”

It’s true that believing in others enhances their confidence.

Believing in others (asking questions) more than they believe in themselves is part of leadership. Pink suggests that asking rather than telling enhances confidence.

Buy: “To Sell is Human.”

How might self-questioning result in confidence?

How might asking, “How can you do this?” apply to parenting, dealing with colleagues, young leaders, or employees?

to try; afraid to try guarantees failure.

The fear of failure prevents success.

Stunning success stands atop many stunning failures. Edison said, “I’ve failed my way to success.” (And ignoring the achievement of others employees and collaborators in Not giving them their due contributions?)

10 Ways to Fail Well:

  1. Pursue next time more than last time.
  2. Reject finger pointing. Blame gets you off the hook but never produces success.
  3. Respond with optimism, not anger. Confidence answers anger; inadequacy fuels it.
  4. “Forgive and remember,” Bob Sutton in, Good Boss Bad Boss.
  5. Share lessons learned from failure. Leadership’s greatest influence occurs through failures. Frailty enhances your influence as long as it’s not an excuse.

. Leadership’s greatest influence occurs through failures. Frailty enhances your influence as long as it’s not an excuse.

  • Seek clarity. Resist urges to close your eyes. Open them instead.
  • Call “failure meetings” and ask, “What isn’t working?” Make talking about failure normal not taboo.
  • Celebrate adaption, if you can’t celebrate failure directly. “We changed.”
  • Fail small in order to succeed large. Try, test, improve, (redesign) and move forward. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Dig into ways that failure makes you better. “Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.” Seneca

One cause:

Often I fail because I don’t listen. I know too much. I’ve learned confidence becomes over-confidence when it closes my ears. True confidence listens.

What’s at the root of many of your failures?

How can you or organizations fail well?

Should Small talk be banned?

How small should be these talks?

What is your relationship with God? (That’s a characteristic example of futile small talk to me). What is something you fear in life?

These may be great topics for conversations, but we rarely tackle such meaty topics at social gatherings.

Instead, our discussions usually centre around summer travel plans, the latest home repair horror story and, of course, the weather. (What’s wrong with these topics?)

This is a shame, because research has confirmed what most people know but don’t practise: surface level small talk does not build relationships and it is not great for our happiness levels. (I beg to differ)

The obvious question: if it’s not that good for us, why does it prevail?

The sad answer is that we actively seek the lowest common denominator. When left to our own devices, we have the freedom to discuss what we want, but we also feel the pressure to pick a topic that will be socially acceptable and easy for anyone to participate in – the uninteresting hallmarks of small talk. (Do you discuss that freely within your tribe?)

To better understand this problem of social co-ordination and what we can do about it, we arranged a dinner party.

Usually dinner parties involve two social co-ordination problems.

The first is arrival times: if everyone arrives at different times, the party always seems to be in flux – “getting going” or “dying down”. (Do everyone knows that this dinner is meant for heavy discussion topics?)

The second is one of conversation topics: no single person will take the social risk of talking about complex personal issues with mere acquaintances. ( Au contraire: they are more open with strangers)

The alternative is surface chat that makes no lasting impression on anyone.

Daniel Pink shared this link. Yesterday at 12:59am ·

Hate small talk? Dan Ariely has a solution: A dinner party where guests must talk about only big, meaty issues.|By Kristen Berman  21 Sep 2016

According to a 2010 study by social anthropologist Kate Fox, in Britain, more than nine in ten people admit to having talked about the weather in the last six hours. Around 38 per cent say they’ve talked about it in the past hour.

And when was the last time you heard someone say, “I wish we had another 45 minutes to get into the weather in more depth”?

To help combat the problem of co-ordination, we added one simple variable to this dinner party – rules.

1) Show up between 7:30-8pm. If you can’t make 8pm, don’t come.

2) Absolutely no small talk. Only meaningful conversation is allowed. (They all will skip the 8 pm deadline)

These rules eliminated some individual freedoms in favour of better outcomes for everyone. Ninety per cent of invitees RSVPed within the day, many asking for clarification on the rules: “What exactly is small talk? Sports? Travel? My job?”

Not only were they curious about the rules, they liked having them – and nobody wanted to break them.

At 7:30pm, the night of the dinner party, we were sitting and waiting for the guests to arrive. At 7:45pm, we were nervous. No one had arrived. Guests had only 15 more minutes.

At 7:46pm, the doorbell rang. It did not stop until 7:54pm. 25 guests had arrived. The last two guests arrived at 8:05pm and, after some internal debate, we allowed them in. The benefit of having the whole group together from the start amplified the experience for everyone. (internal debate must be forbidden)

Next, the second rule was triggered. To help co-ordinate the conversation, we provided big index cards (now the fun can begin?) with examples of meaningful conversation starters.

The 27 gender-mixed guests discussed if and how to hold public officials accountable for their actions. We found out who (besides our significant other) would give up a kidney if we needed one. (To be meaningful, someone in the group must be needing a kidney)

We debated the theory of suicide prevention. We talked about the art of the dominatrix. (dominatrix? should every term be explained in the discussion?)

Midway, something interesting happened.

We hear: “Hey! Is that small talk?” The guests not only abided by the rules, but they also enforced them. Instead of decreasing freedom, people appeared freer to talk about the things they really wanted to talk about.

By establishing a common rule for behaviour we created an environment with a new set of social norms that redefined peoples’ best interests.

And everyone was happier. (Questionnaires were distributed?)

As added proof, two dates came out of the evening. Perhaps meaningful conversation also makes us more attractive?

The basic idea is that if every individual is free to act as they please, the combination of these individual behaviours might be sub-optimal for the group. (sub-optimal? Are we optimizing a production?)

This problem is clear in social gatherings, but it has other applications, such as for email.

Email is turned on 24-7. If we want to email a question on Saturday morning from the coffee shop, we have the freedom to hit send.

Even though our ability to get our question answered quickly benefits us in the short term, it is easy to see how this snowballs into a culture of compulsively checking email.

Outside of personal sacrifices made to stay on top of the continuous stream of email, this behaviour is detrimental – it distracts workers from their top priorities and could make the entire workplace move slower, not faster.

So what should we do? We could add co-ordination and create a new set of social norms. (Keep adding norms to reach the level of vomiting)

What if companies told people that email will only be delivered during just three pre-specified times? This would set the expectations of the senders, and reduce the need of the recipient to continuously monitor their email.

In situations where individuals normally have freedom, social co-ordination in some areas is likely to have surprising benefits. So at your next dinner party, remember the wine, the music and the rules.

Dan Ariely is James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University and Kristen Berman founded Irrational Labs, a non-profit behavioural consulting company, with Ariely.




September 2021

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