Monday, August 31, 2009

Conviction and Getting Out of the Box

Have you ever been hit by something that was so simple it figuratively knocked you off your feet?

For my Leading Organizations (LO) class, we had to read a book called "Leadership and Self Deception." While it is hard to get into the specifics of the book, the basic premise is that when we are "in the box," we see other people as objects. When we are "out of the box," we see other people as people. Our behaviours can be the same whether we are in or out of the box, but our attitudes (whether we are in or out of the box) affect how we see others and how they see us.

At first, I thought this whole box thinking was as simple as Philippians 2, which states that we should look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. But as I read further, I realized the strong implications of being in the box. Being in the box means that we elevate our own needs and self-perceptions and project negative intentions on others. We consider their perspectives and needs as less important than our own. Even as I write this, I can think of some major issues that I have that have stemmed from me being unwilling to get out of the box.

Fortunately, getting out of the box is quite simple. All you really have to do is recognize that you are in and get out. It means choosing to view others as people, with their own unique needs that are just as important as our own.

Anyway, while I have tried mightily to explain this whole box concept, if you are at all intrigued or confused by what I have written, I do encourage you to check out the book on your own. It is a quick easy read!

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