Articles about Clear Thinking

What Kind of Game is This?

We often find ourselves in the midst of a conflict without realizing how we got there and without really thinking about how we can find our way out. Or, since there are three instinctual ways of reacting to conflict (fight,

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Being Mindful

Flipping through a recent issue of a prominent business magazine, I came across yet another article on how organizations are flocking to “mindfulness” training based on traditional Eastern practices. In fact, according to the article some 22% of companies offer

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Argument Amongst Friends

The tone was pleasant enough, but the words fascinated me: “I started reading your Enneagram Journal article today but became so frustrated after a few pages that I tossed it on the bed and had to go out for a

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A Skeptic Grapples With the Enneagram

Yes, I am the skeptic in the title, which, in fact, is a bit misleading; I’m not grappling with “the Enneagram,” I’m grappling with the sloppy philosophy and new age bunk often associated with it. I’m grappling with some of

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Hard and Soft, Objective and Subjective

This blog is a response to an email about my recent article in The Enneagram Monthly.  Here is an excerpt from the email: “I would have loved to hear more specifics on what your ideas on what you’d like to

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“Discoveries”: Some Thoughts on Language

Before we begin–please forgive my churlishness. Like Melville’s Ishmael, on occasion I need to drive off the spleen and regulate the circulation. The temptation Ishmael feels to step into the street and methodically knock people’s hats off is all too

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Keep it Simple

During her keynote address at the International Enneagram Association conference in Long Beach last week, zen teacher Cheri Huber talked about simplicity and what she thought would be the eventual single biggest idea in self-growth–simply deciding who one wants to

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Incompetent but Confident: The Dunning Kruger Effect

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” Charles Darwin We’ve all heard of the Peter Principle, the idea that people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. Few are aware of an even more dangerous phenomenon,

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Motivated Reasoning

One of an ongoing series on traps of the mind. I never watched the show “The X Files,” nor did I see either of the movies, but the tag line for the second movie caught my attention: “I want to

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Further Thoughts on Steve Jobs’ Ennea-type

     I received an interesting response to my blog on Steve Jobs’ Ennea-type on a Facebook group page, so I thought I’d share my response to it here (see my original blog here). The writer asserted that my assessment

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Videos on Critical Thinking

Check out this great set of videos on critical-thinking skills. They are designed to be useful to children, but they make a great introduction for adults as well.

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Traps of the Mind (Part 2)

In the last article, I talked about how the brain has evolved for survival rather than accuracy. Now we’ll look at some specific biases or shortcomings of the way the mind interprets our inner and outer experience. Cognitive Dissonance The test

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Traps of the Mind (Part 1)

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman (American theoretical physicist, 1918–1988) We like to think we see the world clearly, that our perceptions are reliable, that our thinking is

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Thinking Like a Leader

Like many symbols, the Enneagram makes convenient scaffolding for intellectual constructs. Attempts to create memorable and useful maps and models are often enhanced by a visual pattern. They help the learning process because easily remembered logical patterns help the concepts

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Recommended Books

I just posted a list of recommended books. The list will be added to over time, so check back from time to time.

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Keep it Simple

A bit over 5 years ago, I wrote a series of articles for the Enneagram Monthly on a pragmatic approach to the Enneagram, titled “The Notes and the Melody.” My ideas have evolved slightly since then, though I still hold

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Hold the Map Lightly

A friend once told me a story–apocryphal, I’m sure–about someone following their GPS so literally that they drove off the road and into a small stream. I was reminded of this story the other day while talking to another coach

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