Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0477, February 8, 2011

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Dear Friends,








Distorted thinking can and does impact effective communication and thus should be identified and corrected to improve group process. Albert Ellis identified 15 common modes of distorted thinking in his work with Rational Emotive Thinking. This week's article Recognize and Intervene on Distorted Thinking, Part II is the
second installment continued from last week's list.

The Facilitator's Studio. I'm again working with Barry and friends to deliver a dynamic new three-day facilitator certification workshop based on his new book. We're delivering our second run of this workshop near the end of next month in Denver, Colorado that includes the practice of Facilitation Aikido and many other tools and practices that inform an extraordinary facilitator. Please see complete details here and consider attending and/or sharing this among your friends and colleagues. MFJ subscribers will receive a 10% discount.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you. We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community and please continue to send your wonderful feedback.

Blessings,

Steve Davis

Founder, FacilitatorU.com



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The Point

Recognize and Intervene on Distorted Thinking - Part II
Irrational or distorted thinking blocks authentic communication, the source of cooperation, understanding and effective solutions.

Intervention Skill


Distorted thinking can and does impact effective communication and thus should be identified and corrected to improve group process. Albert Ellis identified 15 common modes of distorted thinking in his work with Rational Emotive Thinking. This is the second installment continued from last week's list.


Application


Here are some examples of opportunities to stop and dig deeper.

Fallacy of Fairness

Two people seldom agree on what's fair, and generally there is no court or final arbitrator to decide. Fairness is subjective and based on subjective assessment. Usually it involves a sense of not achieving what is hoped for or desired and tends to be self serving. Usually there are conditional assumptions, "if he really knew how much I contribute he'd give me that promotion." Unfortunately we all see this differently and as a result, fair is person specific not general.

Emotional Reasoning

What you feel must be true. "If you feel like a loser you must be a loser, if you feel cheated you must have been cheated."

Emotions are treated as if they are fact when in fact they are simply one data point and reflect subjective responses to experience. Always believing your emotions is like believing everything you read.

Fallacy of Change
This assumes that if you pressure people enough they will change to suit you. You tend to focus on other's change as a means of making yourself feel better. We see this in marriage regularly. "If he'd just act this way, I'd be happy." In truth the only person we can change is ourselves. Sometimes this does induce change in others, but don't count on it.

Global labeling

Grains of truth become generalized to a global judgment. "All democrats are liberal imbeciles." Or, "All Republicans are corporate profit taking greedy aristocrats." Stereotypes and one-dimensional thinking polarizes and reduces the ability to work cooperatively.

Blaming

If someone else is responsible then we can all feel a sense of relief. This of course precludes any responsibility for self. Often we combine this with mind-reading and expect others to know what we want or need. I could have said "no" to the additional work rather than blame my boss for putting me into this time crunch.

Should's

This distortion operates from a list of inflexible rules about how you and others should act. The rules are right and indisputable. Any deviation is bad. As a result you are in a position to judge and find fault. Cue words include "should, ought, and must." Should's affect others (whom we judge) as well as ourselves as we feel compelled to act in a certain way as a result. Karen Homey calls this "the tyranny of should's."

Being right

In this distortion you are usually defensive. You must continually prove that you are right or correct. Your assumptions about the world and your actions are always right. This makes it very difficult to hear new or alternative points of view, because you tend to ignore and are busy building your argument to prove your rightness. Besides making you hard of hearing, this distortion tends to make you lonely because being right becomes more important that honest and caring relationships.

Heaven's Reward Fallacy

In this distortion we always do the right thing in hope of reward at a later date. You sacrifice and slave while collecting brownie points that you can cash in some day. Saints are tough to live with.

Add Your Comments


Action


Your assignment this week is to survey this list and select your own most favorite distorted thinking mode. Then brainstorm a new action you can practice to correct it. We'd love to hear your perspective on this important subject. Please click on the Add Your Comments and tell us about it.


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