Krista approached her new job full of courage and commitment. She was still young, recently graduated and was very idealistic and driven. Her task, together with a student from the Social College, was to start providing a social service in an assisted-living project for people with a mental disability. Unfortunately, there was a negative climate in the company where Krista worked: There was never a word of thanks, there was always criticism and nothing was ever good enough. There was simply no balance between positive and negative feedback. This meant a lot of stress for this young team.
Krista had learned at home that it was not ok to make mistakes. As a result, she was very sensitive to criticism and quickly exhibited Adapted Child* behaviour or even Rebellious Child behaviour. Her colleague also became unhappy about the atmosphere in the company. They were both so scared that they were doing it wrong, that they constantly second-guessed themselves. It took a lot of energy. They worked hard, but not efficiently.
* Adapted Child is one of the ego states from the Ego-state model that we use in TA. If you want to read more about it, you can do so in this blog: How do you find the Pippi Longstocking in yourself?
Impact of managers
When a child is born, it is by definition confused and looks at its father and mother to get direction. Fathers and mothers have a big influence on how the patterns develop in such a child.
Young employees actually look at their managers in the same way. Managers must be aware of this role. Whether they want it or not, they have a Parental role. It really matters how you give out criticism and compliments. If you do this the wrong way, you put your employees under constant pressure, and they make more mistakes.
Stress does not help you think straight
If you work under stress, your body will go into survival mode. This is what we call the Fight, Flight or Freeze reaction. The part of our nervous system that is focused on survival works very well. Your body reacts as if there is real danger, for example, as if a tiger is walking around your department. In reality it is ‘only’ your manager who’s coming along.
During such a Fight, Flight or Freeze reaction, our neocortex, the part of your brain with which you think and make logical decisions, no longer functions well. As a result, you simply can’t think straight, so that you make more and more mistakes and the ’tiger’ gets bigger and bigger. The supervisor also gets stressed and becomes impatient.
Young employees perform better if they receive appreciation, structure and growth opportunities. It is precisely at that point that creative ideas can emerge. Putting too much pressure on young workers is actually counter-productive to this goal. Do you want to know more about how TA can also help you lead in an inspiring way? Do you want to understand how your communication patterns work, how you can adjust them and how you can influence how others react to you? Then I have an interesting offer for you: My online Introduction to TA. Through seven video lessons I explain all the basic principles of TA and I teach you how to apply them in practice.
You’re welcome.Yes, I want to know more about the online TA introduction