Hope, Living with Uncertainties, and Tolerance for Ambiguity

Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are … Continue reading

Tolerance for Ambiguity as a Gateway to Leadership Opportunity

The necessity for tolerance of ambiguity Today’s professionals need to succeed in technology-rich environments [1]. Information age organizations are characterized by rapid change and uncertainty [2]. Progressing globalization poses challenges through ambiguities that are caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and workforce factors [3]. The ability to tolerate ambiguity, therefore, is increasingly vital for successful leaders and employees alike [1]. Definition “The tolerance for ambiguity (or … Continue reading

The Benefits of an Internal Locus of Control Personality

Summery benefits of an internal locus of control Belief in one’s control over their life Improved information acquisition Better decision-making processes Self-efficacy, job effectiveness, and higher achievement Less risk of burnout Generally increased happiness Increase leadership adaptability   Rapidly changing leadership challenges Leadership education has undergone a substantial shift. Life and working world seem to have become more complex with competing urgencies and over-dynamic developments of issues that challenge the … Continue reading

Why People Justify Social Systems That Disadvantage Them

The paradox of the disadvantaged justifying authoritarian systems It can seem paradoxical that people often justify the existing social system even when this comes at personal and collective costs [1]. System Justification Theory (SJT) provides a framework to understand what the motives and contexts behind this phenomenon are [2]. SJT posits that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious … Continue reading

Positive Change Through Rewarding Virtue vs. Punishing Non-Compliance

Men have made millions of laws to punish crimes, and they have not established even one to reward virtue; Virtue being a product not of the command of law, but of our own free will, society has no right whatsoever over it. Virtue on no account enters into the social contract; and if it remains without reward, society commits an injustice similar to that of one who defrauds another of … Continue reading

Leading the Threat of Change

Change: Improvement or loss? Choosing not to change risks failing if change is understood as improvement [1]. In organizations, mainly the investors, but also drivers like competition, globalization, technology, and employees require change [2]. Change always signifies loss that prompts threatening emotions, which cause resistance. Therefore, resistance to change needs to be understood from an individual’s emotional perspective [3]. For example, people mostly don’t alter their change decisions related to … Continue reading

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer: Inspiration for the Leader in All of Us

Father of Motivation and Sage of Maui The life and work of author and speaker Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who died at the age of seventy-five in 2015, provides the opportunity to reflect on leadership from a holistic perspective beyond a specific organizational setting or national politics. Dyer’s many best-selling books on the practical psychology of personal development towards a positive transformation for all of humanity [1] brought him the … Continue reading

Self-Leadership and ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’

Content Self-leadership process and the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ Emotional self-leadership and authenticity Educational, physical, health, stress, and coping benefits of self-leadership Self-leadership competences in leadership development, recruitment, and work performance Self-leadership process and the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ Modern leadership at increasingly challenging workplaces tends to move away from the mere function of supervising employees but aims to empower the workforce to improve organizational effectiveness, … Continue reading

The Benefits of “Sharedness” in Leadership

Summary. Shared leadership as part of modern transformational leadership style has proven to favorably influence team effectiveness and the achievement of an organizational balance between opportunity-seeking and advantage-seeking innovation, which positively impacts company performance. Mastery goal orientation (i.e., learning and development) rather than performance goal orientation (i.e., competition and social comparison) results in better group performance as required to solve complex problems. Therefore, questioning hierarchy and leadership is critically important … Continue reading

Humor as an Effective Leadership Strategy

Transformational leaders who are utilizing humor are more effective in winning trust and affective commitment from their followers. However, not every leadership style is similarly suited to employ humor as a co-existing leadership characteristic. Several types of humor have to be differentiated, such as, for example, constructive and aggressive humor. Shared laughter avoids conflict, creates teams and sparks innovation. Despite cultural specifics in how followers appreciate leaders’ humor, effective leaders … Continue reading

Leadership Philosophy Illustrated by the Example of Robert Owen, Pioneer of the Cooperative Movement

What are your beliefs and perspectives regarding leadership? What do you think makes an effective leader? Illustrated by the example of Robert Owen, the acknowledged pioneer of the cooperative movement, a leader’s goal, effectiveness, and fellowship is assessed. The brief analysis bases on evidence from research in relevant leadership theories. General Definition of Leadership Many of the greatest villains in history were, in some way, successful leaders when the definition … Continue reading

Escaping (Psycho-)Logic Traps for Better Solutions

Summary. Social traps are situations in which individuals take rational (and often egoist) short-term decisions that, however, lead to negative collective results in the long-term. Some psycho-(logic) traps involve an isolating and limiting view on available behavioral choices. Because everyone needs to feel competent to take future action, the failure trap lets people deny their potential for further learning and engage in task-irrelevant actionism. The sunk cost fallacy is such … Continue reading

Rage Against the Externalized Self

Summary. Inabilities to accept (and therefore recognize) our dark feelings are leading us to externalize our shadow (as Jungians would say) to others, for example to a therefor loved partner. Especially vulnerable narcissists defend themselves against shameful helplessness in cases of separation with a partner (and therefore with a part of themselves) by negating their helplessness. To avoid frustration, rage, and violent defenses in case of uncontrollable separation it is, … Continue reading

The Psychology of Political Helplessness

Summary. Even small daily exposures to oppressive structures of economic and political/social environments influence people’s psychological internalization of observed superiority and inferiority. Conforming behavior provides the necessary practice to develop the tendency to obey the “unavoidable” orders of oppressors in a learned “helpless” manner. The more hierarchical a political system, the more is helplessness learned with the result of uncritical and fearful behavior that is undermining democratic processes. The creation of awareness … Continue reading

Learned Helplessness (LH) and the Need to Promote Hope

mathias-sager-hope

Learned helplessness and some psychological disorders Dogs who experienced repeatedly unavoidable electro shocks learned that they have no control over escaping from such painful events [1], and henceforth developed a cognitive deficit in the form of generalizing the helplessness expectation to other situations [2]. This phenomenon is also considered reduced incentive motivation [3]. Mental patterns of learned helplessness (LH) resemble those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which associate with depression … Continue reading

Learning from differences and collaborating in diversity according to Lev Vygotsky

mathias-sager-global-learning

Content. (1) Individual embodiment of increasingly global social contexts, (2) Globally influenced mediation of learning, (3) Extension of the proximate to a collaborative zone of development, (4) Integrating differences for rich and demanding learning opportunities

Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

Human interactions don’t lack technical but rather cooperative communication skills. The good news is that pro-social behavior can be learned. Collective argumentation is one means to scaffold learners’ engagement in group work. Also, the negotiation of values is vital for achieving a shared sense of agency and accountability between teachers and students. In computer-enabled learning, consequential engagement in the form of enabling equitability and showing the benefits beyond single contributions, … Continue reading

Individual and Collective Products and Producers of Society

Content 1. Development of agentic power, 2. Forethought, intentionality, reactiveness, and self-reflection, 3. Collective efficacy: shared belief in agency, 4. Applied collective agency

Egocentrism: Who can take whose empathic perspective?

Egocentrism occurs as part of preschoolers’ development in the so-called pre-operational stage and means the inability of a child to differentiate between its own and other people’s thoughts [1]. In other words, children would not realize the suffering of others as such at all [2]. This poses a quite depressive outlook and may not correspond to own experience and observations. Aren’t there more empathy-promising possibilities than such a radical and … Continue reading

How poorly do we understand animal-human (dis-)similarity?

The question of animal-human similarity is essential to decide whether animals should be treated alike [1] and whether animals possess rights [2]. What characteristic determines a human being as distinct from animals? What about people with genetic anomalies or other disabilities on the one hand side, and, for example, especially well trained chimpanzees on the other [3]? Proponents of animals’ legal status as private property that can be exploited by … Continue reading