Self-deception can quickly lead to organizational-deception when the patterns are pointed out. Our brains want to make sense of things and believe. We want to believe that we are not being fooled and are right. Individual / Team / Folkloric Constructs repeating patterns can lead to success loops or doom spirals.

Kirkpatrick has written all we can show is a preponderance of evidence. That must be sufficient to show that training, team building, facilitation, development, etc… has had an impact on the organization, team, and person. Whether exploring quantitative or qualitative results to show definitive cause and effect is not possible. Contingent patterns can be assumed and we can work on those.

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things — from alien abductions to dowsing rods — boils down to two of the brain’s most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.


  • How comfortable are you with your beliefs?
  • What examples of false beliefs did you once hold and now don’t?
  • Can this be extrapolated to organizations & teams, self-deception to team-deception?
  • In what ways could you critically explore your beliefs?
  • What is the role of leadership in self-deception?


michael cardus is create-learning