Distorted Thinking Patterns in Tilt


The term distorted thinking pattern is not anything new in psychology. But it is not something most people know and may be one of the most important concepts to grasp in order to exercise good judgment in life and business. One of the biggest cognitive mistakes we see in coaching executives is the faulty thinking that occurs because of this phenomenon. It happens that our brain is such a miraculous instrument of creativity, that it likes to learn swiftly and efficiently. Because of this, it will take in sensory perceptions and record the negative or positive impact on our survival in our memory. This makes it a fast learning machine that can process huge amounts of perceptive data and record preferred ways to react to them that is stored in our automatic memory when repeated.


The Trouble with Distorted Thinking


The trouble is, that we can experience something similar three times and our brain will have decided that the response should always be the same. The is great if your environment and relationship stay the same forever. Fortunately, our environment and the people in our environment are changing more and more every day. This means the quick rules of thumb are not always right, so our brain could trigger the wrong response to a new situation that "looks like" another older memory. These rules of thumb, or heuristics, can often be distorted by particularly emotional experiences. When this happens our automatic response from our long term memory will also be distorted by emotion and will often be an irrational decision. In organizational life one of the most common distorted patterns is to make assumptions about others that are steriotypes based on a few experiences with similar people (people of style types, personality types, cultural differences, preference differences, etc.). We may, for example, decide that a person is a micromanager because they inquire about the details of two situations that are particularly challenging. Because it happens twice, we over-genereralize that pattern to the person as a rule of thumb and now we judge them as a micromanager of everything. Whenever extreme statements like always, never are used, this is a clue that the situation has been distorted beyond the more likely truth that is more complex. For example, this same person may attend more carefully to details when they feel that the situation calls for it, and be very empowering on many other occasions. But we forget to give them credit for how they are being when everything is okay. It's when we're most upset and emotional that we can tend to distort the truth about others.

Cognitive Distortions are Rampant


Another cognitive error or distortion we often see in organizations is the error of attribution. We often see companies placing too much credit or too much blame for results on one person when the truth is that there are many variable leading to the performance of an individual working in a system that is dynamic. So the salesperson gets credit for the region results, when other variables were at play in the situation. For example, they have a better product than the competition or they have been placed in a better market and therefore have better market share. Or the salesperson who is fired because they didn't get results when their product or marketing budget is inferior to the competition. Failure to understand the complexity of variables in these kinds of situations leads to poor decision-making every day. Everyone in a leadership role should understand basic logic versus distorted thinking in order to avoid such mistaken judgments.

Distorted Patterns in Tilt


The Tilt 365 web app is designed to isolate and bring awareness to our distorted thinking. The design of Tilt is based on having balanced reasoning that avoids making these errors in thinking. All 48 of the Tilt traits are balanced and all of the extremes on either side of the traits are ways we distort our thinking. One of the easiest ways to identify a distortion is by noticing extremes. When something is characterized as extreme in our behavior, it usually stems from emotional distortions that betray the fear that lies beneath the behavior.

Fear vs. Strength: The primary distinction of Tilt 365.


The Tilt system tells you when you are operating from FEAR instead of STRENGTH. That is it's single-most important distinction and the one thing everyone using the Tilt system will learn over time. It will identify where your brain has had negative emotional experiences and has imprinted a negative bias in your thinking patterns. All of us need fear to deal with risk and dangerous situations. But unfortunately our brain doesn't have the conscious awareness that our real self can have when faced with new experiences and new data. Learning when we are operating from fear results in extremes in our personality traits and this causes dissonance with others, so it may unwittingly protect us from the very thing we need most.

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Authored by Pam Boney
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The TiltologyWiki Team