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The Jacoby Consulting Group Blog

Welcome to the Jacoby Consulting Group blog.
You will immediately notice that this blog covers a wide range of themes - in fact, whatever takes my fancy or whatever I feel strongly about that is current or topical. Although themes may relate to business, corporate or organisational issues (i.e. the core talents of JCG), they also cover issues on which JCG also feels warranted to comment, such as social issues, my books, other peoples' books and so on. You need to know that comments are moderated - not to stifle disagreement - but rather to eliminate obnoxious or incendiary comments. If a reader wishes to pursue any specific theme in more detail, specifically in relation to corporate, business or organisational issues, or in relation to my books, then the reader is invited to send an off-line email with a request. A prompt response is promised. I hope you enjoy this blog - sometimes informed, sometimes amused and sometimes empassioned. Welcome and enjoy.

09 May 2014

Bias in the workplace

People bring with them to the workplace a range of filters through which they interpret all that is going on. They have a family filter, relationship filter, social filter, a financial filter, a security filter and so on. And they have an ego.

When change occurs, the impacts on people don’t necessarily remain within the organisation's boundaries. People take home with them their stresses, concerns and anxieties that exist at work. Similarly, when 'stuff' is happening to people outside the workplace, then it’s a rare person indeed who can disassociate him/herself at work from all that is happening to them out of work.

As an example, if a person has significant financial commitments and if a change threatens that person's job (i.e. suggests potential redundancy or demotion,) then it should surprise no one if that person experiences some anxiety and stress about the change - certainly until there is more clarity about the specific impacts of the change on that person. When that person goes home, then their home situation is affected by the emotion generated at work.

Similarly, when a sole parent has a small sick child and relies on his/her salary to sustain them both, then they will be under huge stress to tender to their child while earning revenue. Not to notice the impact on the person at work would be unusual. Life changes, births, deaths, marriages, health, economic stress, housing all come with strong emotions that have carry over effects in the workplace.
Being able to avoid stress and anxiety requires suitable timely communications to the people who might suffer from these normal yet difficult emotions.

Yet while good communications can avoid or remedy some emotions, it’s unlikely to be a remedy for all negative emotions - only because those emotions are entirely normal.

Remember, even when good stuff happens it can create an emotional response. For example, a person being promoted may be anxious about their ability to perform in the new role - a positive change certainly, yet a potentially negative emotion.

Sometimes and for some people however, these anxieties act as stimulants for achievement.
The scientific evidence is extensive for the significant effects of emotion on behaviour, on one's mind and on one's body. A strong common thread however, is that emotions have a purpose and help a person cope with situations.

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