I once witnessed a sergeant, who worked with me at the county jail, flip out in the break room tossing a plastic chair across the room. I’m sure we have all been in a job where we saw someone loose it. Something or someone had pushed him to his breaking point. Jarred from our egocentric awareness, we cleared the room and all wide-eyed left in a daze; “what the heck is his problem?” We muttered under our breaths. Truth be told, we don’t often put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes. Doing this would save us a lot of workplace tension, frustration, lost productivity declining morale and in this case seemingly unpredictable behavior.
Inadvertently contributing to the breakdown of the workplace or any community is the last thing most of us want to do, so I am here to help. All human beings have strong emotions to the following eight stimuli and when one or more of these is attacked or lost, anger, depression or acting out can result.
- We seek a connection with others
- We are saddened by loss and try to avoid it
- We dislike rejection
- We like recognition and attention
- We dislike ridicule and embarrassment
- We care what other think of us
- We will do more to avoid pain that new will do to seek pleasure
- We seek a degree of control over our lives.
When we cannot get a connection with co-workers, we lose our job, we get rejected, we get ridiculed for not fitting in, and it creates embarrassment. It bothers us when other people think poorly of us, so we avoid painful situations to our detriment and then all the contributing factors have resulted in us losing control. The tactical advantage is understanding that when an individual is hit with the loss or attack of one or more of these essential eight and unable to re balance themselves,quickly enough before more stress comes, an outburst is likely to occur. Managers, employees, parents, teachers, cops, all are in positions of authority over others. Take the tactical advantage and think about these eight the next time you wonder why productivity is down, profits are low, a child does not respond or someone is yelling at you. You just might avoid being hit by a flying chair!