Go On Then… What Makes a Good
What makes up a good day for anyone might sound like a shit title for a book. It should be simple right, do things you like, speak to cool people, enjoy life. But as it turns out there is some pretty complex stuff that goes into the way we think and perceive the world and Caroline Webb’s effort to explain all that is pretty flipping good. She is quite clearly an expert in the field of behavioural science and what goes into the workings of a good day.
It’s a pretty fascinating read because it’s something I’ve been really intrigued by for the last three years. Can we influence how much we enjoy our jobs, are there some jobs we just absolutely hate and therefore we should focus our efforts on what we like and don’t like or do we change our minds about what we like and don’t like based on how our day is going? It’s all very very fascinating and one of the stories Webb uses sums it up wonderfully. She talks about this kick off meeting her and her work colleague were involved in. The meeting starts and finishes and in walks the colleague to debrief. Caroline talks about how she thinks it went horribly. People didn’t get the concept, they were negative about what was going on, she felt like her opinion wasn’t heard etc. etc. Something we have all experienced I’m sure. This was then contrasted with her colleague’s view. He thought it went really well. He thought people were engaged and inquisitive, they asked questions so they were obviously intrigued by what we were suggesting. They were onboard and vocal about their opinions.
Caroline sat back and thought — how on Earth can we be at the same meeting, for the same amount of time and have such opposing views? Turns out that is all in how we perceive the world and the story we tell ourselves of what reality is.
Caroline talks us through how we can reframe when we’ve experienced something bad, we can be positive and seek positivity through confirmation bias. We can say no in a positive way and we can engage in the world by looking for the good not the bad. We can steer conversation by being open and inquisitive rather than defensive and threatening. We can get more out of interactions by asking about people’s lives because people love to talk about themselves. We can disarm people by collaborating and creating a space where people co-create not go against one another.
It’s actually pretty wonderful this book and it really opens your eyes to the way you perceive the world. We all interpret the world in a number of different ways and understanding that maybe our perception needs a bit of reframing can help you take a shitty day and turn it into a decent one. I’m still none the wiser on what makes something actually rubbish or if it’s just how we perceive everything but nonetheless this book is excellent.
It is well-written, well-evidenced and quite comical in places. Caroline obviously knows her stuff inside out and it was an absolute pleasure to read. It opens your mind to the way we experience the world and your power to change that.
Originally published at https://www.careerhealth.info on March 30, 2020.