Thursday, October 8, 2009
review: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by the Arbinger Insitute
"WHAT?" you say to yourself. WHAT is this fantasy-story-loving girl doing reading a book that demands shelving on the business/psychology shelf? And a valid question it is. I would never in one thousand years have picked it up if my dearly beloved husband hadn't read it first and told me that it changed his life. Changed it to the point where I am SEEING him look at the world in a different way. And when my husband, who has watched me read for 11+ years now and has never once asked me to read something, asks me to read this book, what can I say?
I read it, and I can see why he asked me to. This book will make you feel like a weasel on one hand, recognizing that so much of our interactions with others are the results of our own decisions to do or not do what we know is the "right" thing to do. But on the other hand, you recognize the potential within you to just CHANGE things - change the way you interact with the people you care about the most.
The writing style is readable - it's conversational with lots of real-life examples. Probably for someone used to reading business/self-help books it would be a breeze to read. For inexperienced me, though, it made my brain work hard and I still keep having to ask my husband questions about how to apply the ideas. I think that it will take time (and probably some re-reading) to use the jargon effectively in my mind - phrase like "self-betrayal" and "being in the box" still don't roll off the tongue, if you know what I mean. But I do know what it feels like when I start seeing myself as the "good mom" dealing with my "my crabby kids." And I don't like that me. I want to see myself as I really am and I want to openly see those I love as they really are: as people (not objects) with thoughts and feelings and desires just like I have and which are just as valid as my own.