The Art Of Insubordination: How To Dissent And Defy Effectively, With Todd Kashdan.

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When I first received the book The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively by my guest on today's show, Todd Kashdan, I thought it was going to be some fringe rebel handbook or something like The Alchemist's Cookbook, or a title that was meant to incite riots and violence.

I was dead wrong.

Instead, this book is a research-based toolbox for anyone who wants to create a world with more justice, creativity, and courage.

For ideas to evolve and for societies to progress, we desperately need rebels to challenge conventional wisdom and improve on it. Unfortunately, most of us fear nonconformists, perceiving them as disloyal, reckless, destructive, or just plain weird. Because most would-be rebels lack the strength and skills to overcome hostile audiences, principled insubordination remains an underleveraged asset in the workplace and public square.

Based on cutting-edge research, The Art of Insubordination is the essential guidebook for anyone seeking to be heard, make a change, and rebel against an unhealthy, stagnant status quo. The book also gives the rest of us the evidence-based strategies we need to become better allies of our leaders in change, ensuring that the best ideas, products, and solutions survive and win the day. Inside this book lie answers to several questions, including:

• What are the most effective ways to express unpopular, important ideas?
• How can we help principled rebels be heard and influential?
• How can we better manage the discomfort when trying to rebel or interacting with a rebel?

Filled with fresh and engaging stories about dissenters in the trenches as well as science that will make you see the world in a different way, The Art of Insubordination is for anyone who wants to see more justice, creativity, inclusion, cultural dynamism, and innovation in the world.

As a Professor of Psychology and a leading educator to the public, Todd Kashdan translates state-of-the-art science for practical application to improve our everyday lives. He is well-known for his energetic and disarming communication style. Todd received the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award at George Mason University for his teaching and mentoring. He gave a TEDx talk on psychological flexibility and writes the “Curious?” blog for Psychology Today, which is enjoyed by more than four million readers.

After receiving a Ph.D. in clinical psychology (2004), Todd founded the Well-Being Lab at George Mason University which has produced over 210 peer-reviewed journal articles on well-being and resilience, psychological flexibility, meaning and purpose in life, curiosity, and managing social anxiety.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How to define “insubordination”…05:36

  • Intentionally being provocative by taking a negative (dissent) and turning it into a positive
  • Refusing and resisting the dominant social order
  • Who makes the rules anyway?
  • Questioning social norms, authorities, rules we've accepted as standard

-How Todd became interested in preaching the gospel of insubordination and made him write the book…08:05

-The difference between principled and destructive insubordination…16:46

-Five principles of persuasion when you're in the minority or demographically disadvantaged…20:23

  • The Art of Insubordination
  • The “non-conformist cookbook” section of the book:
    1. Is the minority member part of our “in group”? (Group identity test)
    2. Is your message an opportunity or a threat to the group's health and longevity? (Group viability test)
    3. Identifying where things are objective and subjective
      • Kurt Gray at UNC Chapel Hill: If you give a personal narrative, you should be clarifying the objective harm that you have experienced.
    4. Project personal sacrifices you've made by expressing your message
    5. Concessions with flexible consistency
      • Consistency in statements and actions over time is the number one predictor of success in what makes minority dissent persuasive to other groups
      • Evidence and personal experience should be the cause for you to change your views on an issue, not because of social pressure
  • When you are in the minority and trying to influence the group, you can't expect a full conversion
    • People revolve their lives around the groups that they identify with, the causes that they identify with
  • Ask provocative questions, sparking more curiosity and less fear; provocative questions force people to think

-How a minority that affects change can avoid the mistakes of the preceding majority…54:19

-The three steps to raising principally insubordinate kids…1:03:30

-How to teach kids to view themselves as heroes in waiting…1:15:18

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

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Resources from this episode:

Todd Kashdan:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Todd Kashdan or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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6 thoughts on “The Art Of Insubordination: How To Dissent And Defy Effectively, With Todd Kashdan.

  1. Fatih says:

    I wonder why you stopped posting the podcasts on Spotify.
    My alternative is to go back to the BGFitness app, which is not very comfortable because the playback keeps stopping abrubtly.

    1. My team is working to resolve this ASAP. In the meantime, you can also listen to the episodes on many other podcast apps available such as apple, amazon, etc. Thanks for your patience!

  2. GREAT JOB BEN! Todd is so spot on. I followed through with the links starting with Tucker Max who I am really glad is on board. I feel even better about going the route for my story. Tons of info to digest from this one! We have been diminished by Mass Media, Mass Medicine, Mass Education, and Mass Politics. Parents like yourself are the only salvation for the future of the most important nation on earth. Now if everyone else would understand that raising children is a serious endeavor to not be left to chance…..

    1. Glad you found it useful Roy and thanks for the great feedback! You're right, leaving everything to chance is not a good way to raise our children.

  3. Rick says:

    Excellent information, though the current “wokeism” in academia was rather evident, I was able to sift through that and get some great insight. I’ve tried to live these principles my whole life (not easy) and teach them to my children and grandchildren as well. Great guest.

    1. Hi Rick! Glad you found this discussion insightful . Kuddos to you for not taking the easy road — keep up the good work!

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