Failing to succeed – how psychological distance enables success

location iconLondon | location icon Thu. 4th October 2018 | Time icon 8:30am-5:00pm
location icon

We all react all the time: most of the time our reactions are instantaneous, unconscious and based on our survival needs. We are quick at taking things at face value.

These powerful first impressions can lead us to react in ways that can be unhelpful – Making decisions about others, about the situations we find ourselves in, and indeed about ourselves. We can become led by emotions rather than guided by facts. In this masterclass, you’ll learn why your first reaction will always be an emotional-thinking one, and how to react better by asking questions of yourself and others that put things into perspective.

Why attend?

Self-Awareness: How we can’t help thinking emotionally / Perceptual processes and decision-making:
• Taking things ‘at face value’
• Two ‘thinking brains’ (brief overview of 5 models of thinking – Goleman’s emotional intelligence, Kahneman’s 2 systems, Mischel’s hot and cool thinking, Rolls’ Implicit Thinking and Peters’ Chimp Model).
• What is an emotion and why do we have them?
• Why are emotions so strong and why do we sometimes do things we later regret?
• What are the consequences of emotional thinking? Anxiety and stress and the impact on decision making.

Activity: Your own needs and values in focus: what frustrates you and what makes you happy? Sharing raised awareness of triggers with others in the session. [A speed-dating activity to encourage members to share their findings. I call this ‘Chimp Speed Dating’ as it’s deliberately intended to allow members to realise that self-acceptance is important. Without it, we cannot be truly good as leaders.]

Understanding how values influence our motivation; how to manage those motivations; motivation and gratification – instant and delayed. Individual motivation in groups: our basic needs for acceptance,
understanding and autonomy. How a threat to these needs can lead to anxiety and a drop in performance.

Activity: Your hierarchy of values: what’s most important and what is less so? What do you compromise on now in order to achieve the bigger reward at a later stage?

Thinking Errors
Reflection: what were you thinking? What were you expecting: consequences and control?
Thinking errors (14 of them) and how our language distorts our thinking.

• Individual activity: reading through examples of thinking errors and identifying the ones we typically fall victim to – 5 mins
• Paired discussion: sharing individual findings – 5 mins each way (10 mins).

• Identifying and removing unhelpful thoughts. Reflect on a recent incident and question the accuracy of beliefs (control), recognise values involved, and identify thinking errors – paired activity.

Gaining perspective: using coaching to see the wood for the trees
Psychological distance and how perspective (of time, space, social involvement and probability) can reduce emotional sensitivity.

Activity: in pairs/threes, discuss a recent challenging event and use questions to put it into perspective. What would you do differently next time?

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This event is led by

Glenn Mead

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