Oftentimes, when working in or with a group, a member’s individual needs interfere with the groups’ effectiveness. Whether you are leading the group or you are a member of the group, the groups effectiveness depends on the ability to notice manage and redirect self-defeating behaviors. When personal goals, yours or other members, are too strong, they hamper the ability of the group to reach their common goal.
Below are some examples of different types of self-defeating behaviors:
Dependency/Counter dependency: Unrealistically “leaning on” or resisting anyone in the group who represents authority. (“You’re right, of course; whatever you say I will agree to.” “I’m not sure you’re competent enough to make that judgment.” “Let’s run it by Suzanne. Without her approval we might as well go home.”)
Fighting and Controlling: Asserting personal dominance; attempting to get one’s way regardless of others. (“AI will not stand for that; it is wrong, wrong, wrong!” “No one knows this area like I do.”)
Withdrawing: Trying to remove frustration or uncomfortable feelings by psychologically leaving the group, or by physical departure in rare cases. (Symptoms may be such things as doodling, leaning back in the chair, and staring into the wall and of course, hiding behind technology by texting, emailing or surfing during the meeting.)
Pairing: Seeking out one or two supporters and forming a subgroup; protecting and supporting one another. (Such as: communicating in whispers while the “opponent” is talking; building coalitions by texting during the meeting.)
What self-defeating behaviors have you exhibited? Which are the norm in your organization? Are there things you would do differently in the future?
Back in the 1950’s stealing in the workplace was pretty black and white. If you worked on a production-line creating widgets and you took a widget home – you knew very well that you had stolen this physical property.
Nowadays however, not everything falls neatly into the category of a product or a service.
In the information age – many of our jobs depend on us processing just that – information. And it’s not like companies can simply put up a metal detector the way they could to see if a widget is in our pocket. – Information resides in our minds – invisible to others and not very useful to the organization if we keep it there.
You probably didn’t mean to steal it! – In fact you probably never even thought about it this way. But as technology changes so does our work. Once we understand the true nature of the materials that our jobs involve – be it physical materials, or in this case information – we can then understand our responsibility to help move ALL those materials along.
Think about it this way, when you are paid to gather, assimilate and pass along data, it is the same as if you were paid to gather materials, create a widget and pass that widget to the next person. In an information age, information and data is now the property that companies are processing and profiting from.
So – with new types of work existing, there also needs to be new boundaries to define an employee’s responsibility. Any information that you are paid to earn, gather and process is your responsibility. It’s your job to comment on the data, to give an opinion, to help translate it so it will be valuable to your colleagues and clients…and if you do not help this data or information to progress down the line – it leaves the building in your mind the same way that widget would have left in a pocket
Do you have colleagues who hold onto valuable information without sharing?
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