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

Cross-Cultural Transformational Leadership

In an increasingly interdependent world, global leadership understanding for international collaboration [1] is vital for the development of cross-cultural leadership [2]. This essay provides some hints on what might be determining leadership prototype’s effectiveness from different global perspectives [3]. Universal and culture-specific features of transformational leadership Transformational leadership facilitates change through shared vision, intellectual stimulation, and support of individual’s aspirations [4] and is therefore essential for solving contemporary threats that … 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

Circular Causality of Global and State Self-Esteem

The traditional self-esteem paradigm does not take into account sufficiently the idea of bottom-up causality from state self-esteem (e.g., contextual academic achievement, social status, and appearance) to trait self-esteem (i.e., global self-esteem; e.g., a relatively stable personality characteristic, such as narcissism). This is problematic as it cannot explain, and is contradicted by, many studies showing that development throughout the lifespan is influenced by state self-esteem and self-experiences.

Cross-Cultural Psychology: Beyond the Dichotomy of Individualism – Collectivism

Content: 1. There is more than East and West in cross-cultural psychology, 2. Need for internationalization of developmental psychology, 3. Integration of indigenous psychology, 4. Addressing country, individual, and situational levels

Attachment and Moral Development Theory

Summary This essay evaluates whether “the fundamental problem of social psychology is the moralization of the individual by the society” (McDougall, 1908 as cited in [1], p.8). Also, how does attachment theory permeate aspects of human (and ecological) relationships [2], and how are emotional, moral, and identity development and personality theory aspects intertwined? Finally, implications are suggested regarding factors that have the potential to influence attachment style throughout the lifespan … Continue reading

Boosting Self-esteem to Help Trusting Others Too

Attachment theory is critical in analyzing personal characteristics and relational behaviors across the lifespan [1] (see also article “Different Types of Attachment and Socio-emotional Development Throughout the Lifespan“). Bowlby’s findings that individuals construct internal representations of the self and others that serve as guidelines on how to behave in social interactions [2] might indeed have an association with self-esteem as self-esteem is integral to how somebody feels about oneself [3]. … Continue reading

Nature v. Nurture in the Lifespan Development of People with Down Syndrome

In this article, passive and active genotype -> environment effects in general and related to the cognitive development of people with Down syndrome (DS) are discussed. An emphasis is put on the high variability in profiles of DS, as well as on the existence of multiple intelligences such as musical, spatial, interpersonal, and naturalist abilities, although these are not included in traditional IQ tests that measure mainly linguistic and logical-mathematical … Continue reading

What made Rosa Parks stand up for her rights? Continuity/discontinuity and nature/nurture aspects of psychological development

Rosa Parks is called a “civil rights pioneer” [1], an Alabama seamstress who was “sparking the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s” [2, p. 184], and a ‘one hit wonder’ who refused in 1955 to give up her seat just because of being tired from shopping [11]. Activists’ security it is essential to declare their protests as rather casual than strategic [3]. Some quote her with … Continue reading

Moral Development

Definitions of morality Societal and ecological problems are considered to be a result of moral deficits, and in various scientific disciplines morality is an important subject [1]. In developmental psychology, the notion of ‘development’ generally relates to permanent positive progress across the whole lifespan [2]. Macklin (as cited in [2]) provides the principles of humaneness and humanity for a definition of morality. Rationalistic proponents of morality theories such as Kohlberg … Continue reading

Approaches to Lifespan Development and Cultural Considerations

Developmental Psychology and Lifespan Development Developmental psychology comprises the research of children’s cognitive, societal, and emotive development, and is especially interested in studying how children learn [1]. During the last decades, lifespan developmental psychology became an “independent, interdisciplinary specialization of life sciences” [2, p. 25] that is embracing the developmental stages over a whole lifespan [3]. Lifespan development research seeks insight into the determinants of individuals’ well-being, e.g., ‘successful aging,’ … Continue reading