How the Use of Absolutes Reveal Your Beliefs

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Awareness Advantage Podcast
Dealing with Teflon People

Kevin McCarthy, and Likky Lavji


The following is a summary of this episode of the Awareness Advantage podcast. Each week bestselling Blind Spots authors, Kevin McCarthy and Likky Lavji and a studio audience of managers and senior leaders throughout North America discuss overcoming blind spots to develop and lead high-functioning, high-trust teams and organizational cultures. If you would like to be invited to join the live virtual studio audience, click here 

Be Careful When Using Absolutes

If we choose to utilize absolutes too frequently, our integrity will be questioned. After all, very little can ALWAYS be some way. Life does not give many absolutes. Most situations are a shades of grey, and not black and white. Be careful to acknowledge that things could fall into one of these categories before declaring someone "never" does the right thing or "always" forgets a step. 

Besides affecting our credibility, the use of absolutes can make us sound condescending and negative. Great leaders do not demean others and the use of absolutes indicate that you feel you are "always" right, the other person is "always" wrong and that there is not room for compromise, or discussion. Relationships, partnerships and even friendships cannot survive in that type of environment.

Most importantly, the use of absolutes can give off an air of uncaring. You should want the people in your life to think--and know--that you care about them. This is what builds the type of trust environment that is needed for a healthy and successful team, or partnership, or family. So when you are using absolutes, you are leaving no room or other points of view, or solutions, or explanations!

So, next time you find yourself using an absolute, stop, think, and re-phrase. It could be the start of something really great!



Raising your self-awareness and emotional intelligence will make you a better leader. High self-awareness equips you to identify and conquer the blind spots that lead to poor decisions, strained relationships and high levels of stress. Awareness is the leader’s superpower that drives engagement, inspires retention and shifts culture. Awareness gives you the advantage you need to influence and inspire the people you lead.


If you would like to know more about how self-awareness makes a better leader, download our latest podcast.


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