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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 23

Be Curious

Recognize People

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

Today you’ll tame:

  • Your primitive outlook
Seth, one of the trainees, had been “loudly quiet” all day—apart from a number sharply pointed, negative comments he made about the training materials, which spun off into a diatribe of discontent about the ever-increasing workloads the company expected him to carry.
Three-quarters of the way through the morning, Seth suddenly stood up and approached the whiteboard in a quite aggressive manner. His face red, he hovered menacingly at the front of the class while leaning toward the content on the board.
The training facilitator refrained from assuming that Seth was going blow his top. Instead, he asked Seth, “I notice you have moved in closer. What is going on for you?”
“This is great stuff!” Seth effused to the whole group. “We all need to pay attention to this. It can really help us.”
For the rest of the session, Seth actively supported the content the trainer was delivering, and even helped others to understand it by the comments he made.

As we discussed in the previous chapter, every examination we make of anything or anyone is based on and contextualized within a theory we hold; that theory is our viewpoint. So every time we see someone we work with, we are seeing him from our viewpoint—not his own or anyone else’s. But when we look again, through new eyes—say, for example, from our coworker’s ...

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