The Importance of Rational Thinking in Business

Some businesses have way too much drama going on. I’ve seen some interesting examples of it lately in a few different workplaces…misunderstandings, hurt feelings, fights, gossip, crying jags, clenched fists, slammed doors, even lawsuits. Childish behaviour is not limited to the shop floor – I see it in the C-suite practically every day.

Well, guess what? When drama goes up…income goes down. Irrational thinking and behaviour in the workplace can be deadly for business.

Change is difficult. It’s best to start with ourselves and be the change we want to see. Here is a list of the most common irrational beliefs. Of course you’ll probably see them more easily in your colleague, partner, or friend! But check off the ones that apply to you. Then turn each statement into its opposite, and notice the difference.

____1. I must be unfailingly competent and perfect in all I undertake.
(Nobody’s perfect. What makes me think I have to be?)

____2. It is absolutely necessary that I have the love and approval of most people.
(I am valuable whether or not others approve of me.)

____3. It is terrible or catastrophic when things do not go the way I want them to go.
(Hey, I can handle this.)

____4. If something seems dangerous, fearsome, or annoying, I must become preoccupied and upset about it.
(I can have difficult feelings…and keep moving).

____5. People who harm me or commit misdeeds are wicked individuals, and I should severely blame, damn, punish, or fear them.
(Even if other people pose a problem, I always have choices about how I respond.)

____6. External events cause most human misery, and I have little ability to control my feelings or to rid myself of difficult feelings.
(I always have choices about how to manage my feelings and decisions).

____7. I will find it easier to avoid facing many of life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to undertake some rewarding form of self-discipline.
(The best things in life usually involve overcoming obstacles).

____8. The past is all-important and must continue to determine my feelings and behavior.
(Better to focus on what I actually have some control over the present and future).

____9. It is catastrophic and completely unfair if I do not quickly find effective solutions to this problem.
(I should expect good solutions to take time and effort).

____10. It is unbearable to realize that I have been wrong about something important, especially if I have been wrong for a very long time.
(There's no time like the present to start thinking and doing something different).

____11. If I feel it, it must be true. The more strongly I feel about it, the more true it must be.
(Strong feelings are not a guarantee of truth in any situation).

____12. It doesn’t matter what six billion idiots think. By a special act of Divine Providence, I am immune to fallacies like theseā€¦
(Time for a reality check!)

I hope you’ve found this little thinking tool useful. Feel free to pass it on!

Yours in growth & learning,

Lois

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