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Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours Hardcover – April 1, 2012
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—James D. White, Chairman and CEO, Jamba Juice
“Positive Intelligence ranks in the top three most influential business books I have ever read. If I could give only one book to the thousands of team members in my organization to enhance their performance, it would be this book.”
—Lisa Stevens, Region President, Wells Fargo Bank
“I’ve worked closely with Shirzad and experienced him walking the PQ walk. Most change initiatives fizzle because of our mental “Saboteurs.” Shirzad gives us the tools to conquer them and create positive change that lasts. This is a must-read for any individual or team serious about unleashing peak performance.”
---Dean Morton, former COO, Hewlett-Packard (HP)
“Shirzad delivers a simple, doable, groundbreaking set of exercises that can help you develop your ‘performance’ muscles, increase your PQ score, and gain access to previously untapped mental resources. Working out was never so rewarding or so much fun! So if you’re ready to get even better, get this book—today.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author, Mojo and What Got You Here Won't Get You There
“Developing a personal leadership model is one of the most practical, energy-saving, and stress-reducing things that anyone can do for themselves. Leaders at every level can use the PQ approach to get, and stay, on a more ‘winning’ trajectory. This is such a usable, lively, and compelling book.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former CEO, Campbell Soup Company, and New York Times bestselling author
“ I have worked with Shirzad personally and seen him work with many other Presidents and CEOs. His impact is often game-changing for a team and life-changing for the individuals. Positive Intelligence is a must-have for anyone who leads or coaches a team.”
—Jed York, President and CEO, San Francisco 49ers
“The PQ model provides a solid basis for bringing meaning and significant change to one's life. If you want to create major positive change in yourself, your team, or loved ones, read this book.”
—Crittenden E. Brookes, MD, PhD, Stanford University, and Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
"Working with Shirzad has had a profound impact on me. The tools and techniques to raise PQ are simple, concrete and pragmatic, yet incredibly effective. They help me remain focused on what truly matters and grounded amidst the swirl of daily life. This book is a gift. Make sure you share it.
--Jim Lanzone, President, CBS Interactive (CBS Corporation)
About the Author
- ASIN : 1608322785
- Publisher : Greenleaf Book Group Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781608322787
- ISBN-13 : 978-1608322787
- Item Weight : 1.07 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The very first presentation was a hard pressure sell that felt very.. slimy. This program is being presented as working for everyone - but if you look at any study of any mental health program, no program works for 100% of the population.
The red flag was when Shirzad said "You do not need a therapist to cure you!"
In the mind of the public, they associate therapy with Psychodynamic therapy, which was probably still being taught when Shirzad was getting his BA in Psychology. However, that doesn't reflect the reality of mental health research or treatment in the past 20 years. Now, Cognitive Restructuring is fundamental to every mental health program. No therapist can 'cure' any patient, and that's not reflective of mental health programs today.
And - this book uses Cognitive Restructuring too!
The more common term is "CBT" or "Cognitive Behavior Therapy". It is the idea that our brains learn patterns, and those patterns can be detrimental to us rather than helpful. CBT is a short term therapy to teach someone to identify thought patterns that lead to destructive (or self sabotaging) behaviors. It's all about learning to identify thought patterns, then change those patterns of though.
Sound familiar? That is what this book is teaching you too, just with a different set of terminology. It gives you a list of Saboteurs (or thought patterns) to notice and identify.
Can you do this as self help? Yes you can - but be aware that working with a therapist is more effective then doing self help, but self help is better than no treatment.
However - remember that adversity to therapy? I can't help but feel this is a Marketing tactic to get a better piece of the "Market Share" of self help - by not exposing you to the real science that is on CBT programs. CBT is probably one of the most studied mental health treatments in existence, but it's not perfect and doesn't work for everyone. (Some people especially can't separate the 'having a bad mental pattern' from 'being a bad person').
It also bothers me that I can't actually find any scientific studies of THIS program and it's effectiveness. Because no program works for everyone.
These are some specific critiques:
- "Think of something bad that happened. Now, label it a gift".
This is one of the "hurtful" parts of this program. There are some things in life that are "bad" - death, natural disasters, abuse - and labeling these as a "gift" is just out-right denial.
Learning to not to let past experiences continue to hurt you, learning to see the silver lining in them, and learning that good things can follow bad experiences - all of these are legitimate techniques taught to help people cope.
It may seem like a fine line, but it's an important one. There is a difference between learning to look at a past experience as a fact of life, something that can't be changed, and accepting it as a part of your past (moving it from a traumatic memory to just a fact of life) and denying it's a bad experience all together.
We've argued this with the Author and he says that you are "being a victim" if you choose to view it this way. And that leads me to my second criticism.
- The harmful use of "Victim" to mean someone who avoids responsibility for their actions.
Imagine this scenario: Woman, walking alone at night through a not-so-great neighborhood. She's talking on her phone when someone taps her shoulder. Who proceeds to rob her.
If your first thought is "why wasn't she paying attention to her surroundings!" - don't feel bad. Because that's a normal human response. But - that robber would have just found another victim if it hadn't been her. Maybe they would have approached her even if she wasn't talking on her phone. We can't know, and it's not helpful to tell her she should have behaved differently.
The robber is where the responsibility should lie, but that's not where we place it. Victims almost always blame themselves. Part of recovery is letting go of the self-blame.
Pushing the idea that a victim is someone who wears a Teflon shield and refuses to take responsibility for their action flies right in the face of what we know about victimization - it's wrong, it's hurtful, it's harmful.
- Last, the personification.
Have you ever met someone who thinks their interior inner dialogue is... not their internal dialogue? I have. I've met people who honestly believe that they don't write stories, their "characters" - voices in there head - write their stories. And they buy dolls to "house their characters". I didn't think they actually believed this until I met them in person and they were angry I didn't believe them.
I've also met people who said they were raised to believe (and used to believe) that their inner dialogue was God speaking to them and guiding them.
So - by talking about how your "Saboteurs Hijack you" - I worry that anyone who is not strongly connected to reality could take this literally and run with it.
If you have a patient in this program through, I'd recommend reading the book and helping them decide if it's the right time for them to try this. The PQ exercises are mindfulness under another name (even if he says it isn't - he uses the exact method I was taught to use - when dealing with a stressful situation, focus on one of your sense - sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell). So those can still be valuable even if someone isn't ready for the later weeks - 'identifying your saboteurs' and 'activating your sages'.
If you are in this program and it's not working for you, I'd suggest reading up "Radical Acceptance" instead. It's an approach that says that sometimes, when we have a problem we can't solve, the only thing we're capable of doing is feeling miserable. This isn't you being a victim, this isn't your fault, it's all you can do. But - all emotions pass. They come on like waves in the oceans, but they will pass. And over time, you can learn acceptance. Non-judgmental acceptance. In some cases, you may be able to see the silver lining, or learn to see things a different way.
I'm going to stick with Radical Acceptance, because there are some things I will never label as "gifts" - but they don't hurt me either. Instead, they are just facts of life that shaped who I am today.
One of the primary stumbling blocks is our belief that additional knowledge will allow or help us to change our behavior. It won’t.
Even when some books and courses provide great insights, they fail to provide the specific, actionable steps we need to take to bring about the results.
Shirzad Chamine, author of Positive Intelligence – Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours, addresses this problem head on. Perhaps his most important observation is that behavior change is 20% knowledge and 80% effort. We will never use passive learning to change our behavior.
His book combines the concepts of positive psychology, the latest brain science and the strength of building on small, daily habits to bring about positive change.
We know that our mindset, ego and early childhood development contribute to our behavior patterns. Those concepts are high level and challenging to understand. Mr. Chamine has broken them down into their basic foundation. Our inner critic, he labels as the Judge and under the Judge are 10 subcategories of saboteurs. The Judge and our saboteurs are what get in our way, hold us back. To combat these we need to enlist the power of our Sage – the offset to the Judge – our rational being and the five sage powers.
This book offers insight into what is holding us back and gives us a structure for decreasing the Judge and empowering the Sage. Understanding the concepts is not enough. You need to put in the 80% work effort.
Interesting and insightful. A proven way to change, if you do the work.
I’ve been a regular meditator so, in the beginning, I thought this is just another approach to mindfulness. But it goes way beyond that. What Shirzad calls PQ Reps are these cool 10-second exercises that help you to change your brain activation in the middle of meeting life’s challenges. This has helped me to bring that same calmness and clarity that I feel in the middle of my meditation into the way I handle work and life’s challenges.
The Saboteur concept is also very powerful. The ability to label these destructive voices in the head with Saboteur names like the Judge makes it easier to weaken them and know that you’re not stuck with them and don’t have to follow their advice.
The App and the six-week program bring a huge added value of helping me focus on just one practice per day. Like the focus on just intercepting the Judge Saboteur today. I found it very motivating to keep going until those new ways became automatic habits. I highly recommend both the book and the program. Well done!
I highly and truly recommend this book!