Quiet Leadership II

More thoughts from the book Quiet Leadership by David Rock


The big question: How do we help people think better?

It helps to understand a little about how the brain 'hardwires' things.

Every day our brain lays down information and makes connections.

It's like building paths. If I think about something once, I might cut a tiny hiking trail through my brain. Think about it ten times and it becomes a footpath. Do something about your thoughts and you'll build a road. Practice doing it for three hours a day and you've built a superhighway that becomes a part of how you automatically think and act.

Once you've built a superhighway and created a habit, it's hard, if not impossible, to undo it. So if you're trying to help people think better, don't try to undo something that already exists.
Instead, build a new superhighway. It's far more effective to lay down new pathways in the brain and start using them than to try hard to get rid of old ones!
Another way of saying this is: help people focus on solutions rather than problems.
In David Rock's words: "We need to give up our desire to find behaviours to fix and become fascinated with identifying and growing people's strengths, [which is] an entirely other discipline."