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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Mindwise by Nicholas Epley - 2 minute read

Date read: 2020-08-20. How strongly I recommend it: 8/10

How we understand what others think, believe, feel, want.

This book shares some fascinating facts about how we think our brain works vs. reality. Do you really have a sixth sense? And why you maybe shouldn't always try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Get the book here.

My notes and thoughts:

  • Page 54-Smarter leaders, Most people's incentives are driven by their feeling of the importance of the work vs. the paycheck. Surveys among managers indicate that most think that their direct reports are guided by the money, not the pleasure of accomplishing something worthwhile, learning new things, and developing new skills. That is clearly a big mistake.

  • Page 59-Would your life be more pleasant if you waved more often, trusting that people would wave back? Would you be happier if you engaged the minds of others more routinely instead of treating nearby neighbors as mindless objects?

  • Page 75-It's no wonder that 60 percent of people who own a Roomba, the vacuum cleaner that drives itself randomly around a room, reports giving it a name. Ever name your upright vacuum cleaner, which does absolutely does nothing on its own? I hope not.

  • Page 78-Think about how you try to relate to another person. Think about your first date; you are extremely sensitive to how you are coming across to the other person. You carefully track the other person's likes and dislikes, doing your best to keep him or her suitably impressed. Trying to connect with another person requires engaging your sixth sense. This also happens with non-humans. Think of musicians who name their instruments Lucille, Lenny, Blackie, etc.

  • Page 87-Getting over yourself. When small children play hide-and-seek, they are terrible at it. The favorite hiding place can be facing the corner or sitting on the couch with a pillow in front of their face. If they can not see you, they assume you can't see them. As they grow up, they learn, sometimes painfully, that your own perspective on the world may be unique.

  • Page 98-"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

  • Page 133-When groups are defined by their differences; people think they have less in common with people of other races or faiths or genders than they actually do and, as a result, avoid even talking with them. When groups are defined by their differences, the minds we imagine in others may be more extreme than the minds that actually encounter.

  • Page 143 -Out of sight, out of mind, When an Olympic gold medalist sprints across the finish line, we see the triumph of the individual's talent, skill, desire, and will to win. Invisible are the thousands of hours spend in practice, the time and money shelled out by parents and sponsors for support, the lick of finding just the right couch at the right time.

  • Page 183-Companies genuinely understand their customers better when they get their perspective directly through conversation, surveys, or face-to-face interaction, not when executives guess about them in the boardroom. Managers know what their employees think when they are open to answers, and employees believe they are safe from retaliation.

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