Xvii) Some Myths (6)

(as identified by Simon Moss - see Fiona Smith, 2008d)
i) It is better to be an optimist than a pessimist - trying to block out negative thoughts can result in people being more sensitive to those negative thoughts

ii) Rational decisions are better than those made with intuition - research has shown that the conscious mind cannot grapple with the many possibilities that surround making a decision; it can only factor in a few at a time. However, the unconscious mind is like a supercomputer that can quickly prioritize the elements and give you a "gut feeling" about the right decision to make; it is more likely to be accurate than any analytical decision.

iii) Always start with a compliment before criticizing - as expectations are raised with praise, criticism can come as a nasty surprise. For moody people, they become more sensitive to criticism if they are praised first. Many people do not make the link between their good and bad qualities, ie to be effective you need to be organized, etc.

iv) Personality tests will help people change for the better - some believe that once they are characterized and labelled by these tests, they will use them as an excuse not to change, ie that is the way I am. NB This attitude under-estimates how malleable we are.

v) Always present your best side - when concealing your worst qualities, you are less inclined to like other people; by concealing these qualities you tend to focus on them

vi) Teamwork is the best way to get a result concentrating on being part of the team and identifying with a group can suppress individuality and creativity; the whole focus is on maximizing harmony in the group which can lead to "groupthink". Focusing on qualities which define someone as an individual makes them more assertive, ie they are happy to be different, to question the status quo and express their own points of view.


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