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Leadership and Self-Deception

Getting Out of the Box

By The Arbinger Institute
16-minute read
Audio available
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

This book will show you how and why most people are in a state of self-deception where they view their needs as more important than those of people around them. It demonstrates the negative impact this self-deception has on our lives, but also shows a way out of this state, benefiting both our private and professional lives.

  • Anyone who wants his or her company to have a more positive and effective working attitude
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to become an inspiring leader
  • Anyone who feels they sometimes mistreat people who are important to them

The Arbinger Institute is a global consulting company comprising international and multidisciplinary scholars. It is recognized as leader in organizational culture, and its other books include The Anatomy of Peace and The Choice.

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Leadership and Self-Deception

Getting Out of the Box

By The Arbinger Institute
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
Synopsis

This book will show you how and why most people are in a state of self-deception where they view their needs as more important than those of people around them. It demonstrates the negative impact this self-deception has on our lives, but also shows a way out of this state, benefiting both our private and professional lives.

Key idea 1 of 10

We deceive ourselves by seeing other people’s needs as less important, so we treat them like objects.

All people want to be treated with respect and dignity by others. This idea is so fundamental that it is even manifested in our constitutions, laws and philosophies. But when it comes to everyday life, many of us forget this ideal.

In our daily interactions, we often feel that our needs and wishes are more important than those of other people. An example of this would be when we are sitting on a bus or plane, and instead of offering the empty seat next to us to others, we hope no one takes it, so we might enjoy more space. In effect, we value our own comfort above the need of others to find a seat.

Because we judge the needs of others as less real and important than our own, it is easy for us to start to think of them as mere objects. This is because our sense of superiority prevents us from seeing others as equals, so we no longer see a reflection of ourselves in others. In short, we begin to lack empathy, so we no longer see others as “real” people anymore.

This means that as we sit there on the bus or plane, we will probably see the other passengers as mere threats to us and our comfort, rather than as other human beings with their own needs.

This phenomenon is known as self-deception or “being in the box.” In this context, self-deception means that we do not see ourselves and the people around us as they really are. Hence we are deceiving ourselves.

You might say that when we are self-deceived, we are trapped inside a box, the limits of which distort our world view so we see other people as objects of little importance. To break free of self-deception, we must break free of the box.

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