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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defence against self deception, 23 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan (Kindle Edition)
If Francesca Gino was a professor at Hogwarts she would surely teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. The dark art she would most warn us of is how we can so easily fool ourselves. I've scored this a 4 star book because I enjoyed it and the advice is useful, evidence based and practical. The ideas are brought to life through novel stories such as the way emotional feedback is used by the Ducati Moto GP team. It's a book worth buying for the 9 key messages alone.

The final star is lost because there was just a little too much overlap with Dan Ariely's excellent `The Honest Truth about Dishonesty' which is no surprise as they worked together on much of the research. I hope that in her future books Francesca will use more of her own story examples.

A quote in the book sums up the key message perfectly:

"Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true." Demosthenes (384- 322 BC),

Sidetracked details this potential for self deception in 3 key areas:

- how our internal world can distract us
- how our social connections impact on us and
- how our external environment can change our behaviour.

This is further broken down into 9 key messages which I've put into my own words below.

Overcoming internal distraction:

- Don't believe your own hype, listen to useful advice from others too
- Check how you feel before making decisions (Emotional Intelligence)
- Step back and see the bigger pattern

Awareness of social influences

- Recognise and value the contribution of others
- Find out how your social network is influencing you
- Question if social comparison is driving your decisions

Maintaining our moral compass

- Look for more evidence to base decisions on
- Ask `why' to understand the context
- Make your values clear and live by them

For me these 9 steps clarify many of the messages in Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking Fast and Slow and offer a practical guide to staying out of the traps our mind can so easily fall into. I've already found the 9 steps a practical way to improve my decision making.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Mark
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Location: Neath, United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 99,651