I read this article “Loss of Control & Burnout” that discusses a study that was done about helplessness. Powerful message to everyone, to those that are in the situation as well as those that see the situation in others. From the article: “Surprisingly, the poor little rich boy’s situation [where Dad enables his son by not letting him receive the consequences of his own personal actions] is similar to the unhappy worker suffering under a hypercritical boss. While the worker is overloaded with criticism and the rich boy has an overabundance of goodies, both lack a sense of control. Neither feel they can influence what happens to them.”
Notice, there are two extremes here: no stress or consequences for poor behaviors by a rich boys dad on one end of the stress continuum and hypercritical behaviors of others on the other end!!
Too little stress on one end, too much on the other: neither helps growth!!
In these days, how many companies plan on implementing similar corporate behaviors as layoffs and downsizings begin? Not only causing the behaviors above for those that are laid off or fired, but also for those that are left behind to take on two and three people’s jobs??!!
Here’s the key: “Even though we tend to think that the cause is punitive circumstances, situations filled with rewards can also lead to the same debilitating learned helplessness and depression when the person does not have to perform to get those rewards. Seligman describes research with rats and pigeons in which they could choose between getting food free and having to make certain responses to get the same food. The rats and pigeons choose to work!”
So, get to work, something has to happen, you make it happen!!
Thanks to Rob McNealy (Twitter.com/RobMcNealy) for the link