Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Talk Nice to Yourself

Being yelled at can hurt your creativity.

University of Florida researchers did some workplace observation and concluded that bosses who are verbally abusive are doing harm rather than good. Both problem-solving skills and imagination take a hit when voices are raised.

The underlying principle appears to be: when you're the target of a harangue, that's all you're thinking about. And that's true even when the rudeness is fairly mild.

This would seem a no-brainer, but a lot of yelling and threatening does occur. And it's generally because somebody wants something done or done better. I think most of us could say that it doesn't work. I have an idea that it's also meant to be punitive; but whatever satisfaction might be gained by the name-caller/accuser is surely no compensation for what's lost in productivity.

I think this may also be true when we're verbally abusing ourselves. So cut out the self-berating and free your imagination.

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Anonymous said...

I have a theory, Peggy...that when we yell at others or harangue them, we are really looking in the mirror talking to ourselves. So double the torture when we're self critical, yes?

Nagging. Criticizing. Berating. Projected, but self directed ultimately.

I am teaching my son (so of course I have to learn this over and over) to talk about the impact of another's actions on you. Like "I feel like a worm when you yell at me. Can you say that another way?"

He's very good at it now. He's my teacher. :-)


Peggy Payne said...

I agree with your theory. I think I get mad at academics speaking their private language because I can be a little obtuse myself.

But I'm working on changing that.

Just this morning a form asked me about my religious preference/affiliation. First I wrote "synchretist." Then I deleted that and wrote "all-embracing."