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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00438-071609.mp3

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Leaders Must Control This Emotion

angryBigg success is life on your own terms. Growth, one of the five elements of bigg success, is our focus today.

If we’re going to succeed bigg, we must learn to control our emotions. Otherwise, they will control us. This is particularly true for leaders. One of the emotions leaders must control is their anger.

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Anger works against communication

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george I know from first-hand experience because I used to have a temper. Over time, I learned to control it because I realized it was counter-productive. People don’t respond well to it.

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marylynnThat’s the point. It seems that, in most cases, people either withdraw or they get defensive. Neither one is conducive to productive communication.

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Getting it under control

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george What helped me the most in controlling my anger was taking a step back – not necessarily physically, but mentally. Although, I have physically taken a step back when someone got too aggressive. It kept the situation from escalating.

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marylynnOf course, sometimes it pays to remove yourself from the environment altogether. Literally move to another space and relax for awhile before you respond.

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Responding like Goldilocks

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george I’ve coached a lot of people on just that issue. This is another Goldilocks principle. You want to get your response just right. There’s a tendency to respond too quickly – on the spot – and with anger.

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marylynnYou may win the battle but lose the war. The person retreats but the relationship is damaged. Or the other person comes right back and the conversation escalates to an even higher level of anger.

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george Exactly. The other side of it is leaders who don’t respond quickly enough. You have to get back to the person in a timely manner or you’re essentially rubber stamping their behavior. As a young manager, I probably responded too quickly. As I got older, I may have been too slow at times. Hopefully, in my advanced years, I’m getting closer to a good balance.

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How you say it

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marylynnKnow the purpose of your follow-up communication. Understand that how you say it is just as important as what you say. If you want to build the relationship, talk in the third person as much as possible. This is not the time for you-view. Try to frame the discussion like a reporter. Remove the personalities to diffuse the situation.

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Controlled anger can be a tool if brought out under the right circumstances:

Focus on the situation

When you express controlled anger, your people know you’re serious. You have to be careful with this one, but it’s okay to express anger about a situation.

This is an important distinction – be angry about the situation, not the person. You will keep things moving in the right direction with this mental shift.

Use it infrequently

This tool isn’t productive is used regularly. It has to be the exception. Otherwise, you’re the boy who cried wolf! If you only pull it out once in a while, it can serve a useful purpose.

The bottom line is to be yourself. It’s okay to let your anger show now and then. Just keep it under control and keep your purpose in mind when you respond.

Then you’ll build relationships rather than tear them apart. You’ll build your people up rather than bring them down. That’s bigg success!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for checking in with us today. Please join us next time when we discuss reasons why you should keep your day job. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00433-070909.mp3

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