Leadership and Self-Deception is a book I'm reading for management training at work. The last book we read was ok. So I wasn't especially geared up for this one. But last night, I was flying back from Minneapolis with a couple hours on my hands, and nothing else to read. Before we landed, I had finished the book.
I would try to explain it, but it's too easy to butcher. Basically, though, there is a philosophical theory of self-deception, which says that we often deceive ourselves into a way of thinking about and treating other people because of refusing to do what we know we should. This creates a cycle in which people push back, and we cannot resolve the relationships. It's a cycle that prevents us from focusing on results - professional and personal - because we are focusing on ourselves and how others treat us.
From an editorial review on Amazon.com:
The authors use examples from the characters' private as well as professional lives to show how self-deception skews our view of ourselves and the world and ruins our interactions with people, despite what we sincerely believe are our best intentions.
The theory (?) is told as a story, and is very easy to read. Sometimes it's pretty clear that they're simplifying the content to get across to a mass audience, but still good. It's not so easy to get the whole thing right up front though, so I'll probably read it again to get clarity on a couple of questions I still have. I'm excited for the discussion to begin at work. (what a geek)
I haven't done this book justice, though. Go out and get it. Read it. It will make a huge difference in how you think about and react to everyone around you.