The Super Fantastic Leadership Show: Thinking Traps


Podcast 051: Are You Stuck In a Thinking Trap?


If you like to read as much as listen, you can get a transcript of the show right here.

This week Katie and I explore a topic that really impacts our actions and behaviors at work; our own thinking! Yes, the way we think about and interpret events impacts us sometimes more than we really are able to recognize in the moment. So what is a thinking trap? Well, it is basically a pattern of thinking that causes us to miss critical information and blocks us from seeing the full situation. It is a bit different from the heuristics we use to get through the day. For example, I know how to tie my shoes so I don’t have to think about it every time I do it anymore which allows me to save time and when I see a red hot burner, I have a shortcut in my thinking that says, “don’t touch that”. But thinking traps are different. Thinking traps allow us to do things like jump to conclusions or sometimes, we even personalize an event and think that it is all about us. Psychologists have identified some of the most basic thinking traps that we can fall into and this is what we discuss more specifically in today’s show and also, what to do about them.

The most common thinking traps are jumping to conclusions, overgeneralizing or character assassination, magnifying and minimizing, personalizing, externalizing, and mind reading. Now we give the specific definitions to each one of these in the show and you can listen in for those but the other important piece to understand about thinking traps is that they mostly show up when we are in situations that are somewhat ambiguous. Our mind attempts to fill in the gaps to make sense of the event. As well, we can also have deep rooted beliefs that we may not at first be aware of that can cause us to fall into a thinking trap too. Share your favorite thinking trap with us in the comments below.

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