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Ways To Heal Employees Caught In The Shame Blame Game
Posted by Insightlink on 11/29/16
As humans when someone accuses, blames or shames us most of us react in one of six ways. We will either withdraw, become defensive, lash out in a counter attack, beat ourselves up internally, be a people-pleaser in order to counter the inner feelings of never being good enough or, we look for a solution to the problem that results in positive change (which we all recognize is the healthiest response but not the easiest to do).
At work employees respond to blame and shame, criticism, judgment or threats by withdrawing which ends up translating into a lack of engagement, low morale and motivation.
We all know people who react defensively or try to justify their actions; they come across as whining, argumentative, and sometimes hostile, none of which anyone enjoys. Unfortunately, the response could also be a counter attack, which would sound like a verbal attack…the situation could get ugly and extremely uncomfortable. The ripple effect of all this negative energy affects co-workers (consciously and subconsciously) causing apathy and bad feelings to flow. This is what drives engagement levels down and costs people and organizations their emotional and financial health.
Blame and shame don’t work for anyone but it takes knowledge and understanding and leadership to get a grip on the problem and turn it around.
For example, do you ever feel like you are walking on eggshells at work?
According to shame researcher Brene Brown that is what it feels like when someone you work with avoids dealing with problems. Instead of dealing with the feeling it gets pushed way, way down and then some little innocuous event triggers it and out of nowhere you have a raging bull on your hands. The consequences of holding it in can also impact our physical selves. When we keep swallowing the pain our bodies reach a point where they can’t do it anymore. Brown says ‘the body keeps score and it always wins’ so the outcomes translate into not being able to sleep at night, anxiety, and depression which are absolutely going to impact an employee’s productivity at work. Brown explains what she means in this short video interview with Oprah Winfrey.
AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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