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In other words, to be a good manager remember that most of your natural impulses are completely wrong. I've never heard it put in exactly that way before but this may be the bit we've all been missing.

I don't think that I would say most of our natural impulses are wrong. But this is about an impulse that is I find, in my own experience, by its nature difficult to reflect on, understand and change. Of course, the instinct that you are being threatened is dampened if you have had enough sleep, eat somewhere besides your desk, take breaks from work and all the other things that keep us balanced. The impulse is far more likely to strengthen on those bad, bad (and sometimes confusing) days when caffeine isn't enough to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Thanks Laura!

True, not all natural impulses are bad. But to the extent that workplaces are competitive, your natural impulses are bound to be competitive as well. So there's more going on than just personal impulses, there's the whole company culture backdrop and whether competition or cooperation is rewarded.

Anyway, talking about leadership in terms of instinct and the pitfalls of relying on instinct is an interesting angle. Thanks!

Margaret,important post. The old lesson to "count to 10" is valuable. Of course, 24 hours would be even better but in today's instant gratification, instant access society, I think 10 seconds is even long for most to force themselves to wait to react.

In general, if we could all try to remember this principle and pause before reacting, we'd all be better off.

I'm adding it to my personal practices list right now!

A second misspent in instant reaction can produce days of remedial work. Or sometimes create uncorrectable permanent disasters. Whoops!... I sent this off too fast. Darn. :-(

It's very true that making a rash decision, like sending that snarky email you regret later, can do damage to your effectiveness as a manager. Good reminder, thanks!

Sounds like the research hit a cord for Derek, Jim and Gillian. I was hoping it would. It's a new week, soon to be a new month, time to remind ourselves -- whatever you feel compelled to do, don't.

Thanks for your comments!

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