“When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi.
If you swap the word “life” for –
or “performance appraisal rating”
or “hierarchical position
or “share of the budget”
or “pay rise”…..
you have some of the threats our minds perceive all the time at work.
These modern day threats generate fight or flight responses – at different levels depending on the threat and on the person.
The fight or flight can cause us to feel fear and we shrink away, or anger and we become defensive. Even if we believe we respond well to pressure, our perspective on a situation will have narrowed and our ability to think laterally or creatively will have dropped.
And, as Yann’s quote so accurately says, we will lose our ability to empathise with others.
Less empathy means less trust.
Without trust we don’t communicate well, and our’s and others’ work is affected because people aren’t getting the full story.
Not a great place to be.
And yet this happens in workplaces across the globe every single day.
On the bright side, this story can be flipped on its head. We can choose to be different. We can choose to create organisations where threats are minimised, or people are enabled to handle them better, or ideally both.
And to be most effective, belief in such a workplace comes from the top and filters through everything.
What goes on where you are that causes threats to egos, self esteem, safety….?
How do you want it to be?
How can you develop self awareness to enable more helpful responses to threats?
What can be changed?
I believe in people being the key to success in a business and that success is unlocked by great bosses. I’m an Executive Coach for SME leaders to help create success for you, for your team, for your business.
Get in touch for a chat if you believe in this stuff too and you want your business to be even better – firstname.lastname@example.org
or take a look at my website to find out more http://www.wildfigsolutions.co.uk