Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Motivation to Think

You should start your trainings with an unfreezing exercise. Unfreezing was also the goal of the previous article. By experiencing some of our own biases and learning that we are all in this together, we become curious about what went wrong, why, and what we might be able to do about it. The promise of behavioral design is that it offers an unobtrusive, low-cost way of changing behavior. Once unfrozen, you might want to spend a bit of time on what your organization is currently doing--much like this article invites you to review current approaches and learn how to do better in the future. They also lack empathy. Yet, they do not seem to act like it. However, the truth is that they act on it, usually in ways that most people would not pick up on immediately. You are probably finding it hard to picture a narcissist that is subtle and covert in their approach. Picture this: You have your favorite song, and you are blasting it at the highest volume, compared to playing that same song on the lowest volume. In this example, the song is the same, but the volume at which you are playing it is different. This is the exact case with overt and covert narcissists. It is the same person, but with a different style and approach that is harder to observe. The key difference between overt and covert narcissists is that covert narcissists are usually more introverted. You can easily identify an overt narcissist in the room because they tend to be arrogant, loud, and attention-thirsty. Nowhere is this skill more important than at work. Have you ever received a long and rambling email from a colleague that either hadn't been thought through properly, or was so packed with unnecessary details that you just stopped reading? Instead of helping solve a problem or contributing positively to an issue, these emails tend to cloud matters. Why is the message being sent? What's the underlying message?

Who is supposed to take action when it has been sent to multiple recipients? What should be done in response to this email, and when? Questions, questions, questions. The What, Why, and Now framework helps keep email directives clear and specific. What stands for What's going on? Successful training focuses on how to promote change, understanding that it is far from easy. Our thinking and behaviors are ingrained in personal rituals and organizational practices. Leaving the known, the status quo, for the unknown future bears risk. To make matters worse, a review of the status quo might reveal that past practices were inadequate and possibly counterproductive. Such learning can be painful, even threatening. But you can do it, using the tools outlined in this article. Nobody has to adopt all of my recommendations, but your organization can pick and choose--and learn. Research suggests that people are much more willing to unlearn old procedures and try out new ones when they are involved, so be sure to collaborate with colleagues rather than blindly implement any new procedures. Coworkers are also more likely to accept unfavorable outcomes when they think the process was fair. Once you have agreed on a new procedure, you need to then test how it works. These behaviors are easily observable by anybody in the room. From the word covert, you can easily assume that this means that the narcissist is sneaky, or their behavior is less exaggerated than a covert narcissist. But this is far from the truth; Unlike overt narcissists, who would usually exaggerate their self-importance themselves, a covert narcissist may diminish their accomplishments to get reassurance from the people around them. They use more passive tactics to get attention and admiration from others.

Rather than feed their need for self-importance, covert narcissists go around seeking reassurance about their skills, talents, and accomplishments. Narcissists also like to shame and blame others for retaining that sense of being better than others. The overt narcissist does this by being blatantly rude, putting others down, criticizing maliciously, and acting sarcastically. On the other hand, the covert narcissist makes this less obvious. Rather than act loudly for all to see, they may gently approach you to explain why the blame is on you and not them. Why represents the question Why should you care and pay attention? This framework is so handy and effective for keeping emails on track that I know of large multinational organizations that require all their employees to use this format for outgoing messages. So how can you use this yourself? Let's make it about something fun, such as a colleague's going-away party. She's moving to a different city and you're in charge of getting a group of coworkers together to give her a celebration she won't forget. You quickly type out an email: Hey, everyone, are you free on March 18 for Carmen's send-off celebration? We've been thinking about where to go and haven't decided yet, but we all want to find a great location. Make sure you all clear your calendars for this one, as Carmen has been at the company for 10 years and she's been responsible for lobbying for flexible working, as well as being the best supervisor on the planet and always being there to support us through challenges. I'm not sure what we're going to do without her! And let's gather some funds to buy her a lovely gift she can keep forever that will remind her of working with us. I cannot overstate the importance of testing and measuring what works and what does not. This article purposely is broad, learning from de-biasing techniques targeting gender, race, class, caste, ethnicity, appearance, and age as well as cognitive biases, in very different contexts and countries. These research-based examples should serve as inspiration but not relieve you from your own testing. We have not yet found the one-size-fits-all silver bullet. Perhaps we never will.

Evan Apfelbaum of MIT and colleagues suggest, for example, that the relative share of the underrepresented group might inform which diversity approach to choose: because racial minorities are generally represented in far fewer numbers than White women, focusing on notions of equality and fairness irrespective of social category differences may be particularly well-suited to address concerns among racial minorities, whereas explicitly recognizing differences and their benefits may be particularly well-suited to address concerns among White women. By the end of your program, you should think of ways to refreeze the new insights gained. Reverting to past practices and bad habits is tempting. The final component of your program needs to focus on the organizational changes necessary to make it easier for our biased minds to get things right. Consider the procedure that many hotels have introduced: guests have to insert a room key card to turn on their room's lights, and the lights turn off automatically when people take the card out to leave. They play the victim and make it seem like your behavior has done something greatly hurtful to them. In fact, they may even take it a step further by emotionally abusing you so that you can reassure and praise them and ask for their forgiveness. The end goal of that gentle interaction is to make you feel small compared to them. While covert narcissists are not necessarily sneaky, they sure love to confuse when they interact with others. Rather than blame and shame in some cases, they resort to causing you to question your belief of an event and second-guess yourself. This is just another way they create leverage between themselves and another person. The point of using tactics like this is to be at the top of the power pyramid in their relationships. Once they can get you to question and second-guess yourself, they have leeway to manipulate and exploit you even more. Due to their need to feel more important than others, covert narcissists will do anything to keep the spotlight on themselves. So, in a situation where an overt narcissist will discard you or manipulate you to achieve their goal, a covert narcissist will blatantly disregard you. It's going to be a great celebration, so please tell anyone else you think might like to come along, but don't tell Carmen. It's a surprise! Instead of sending an indigestible block of text like this one, use this simple framework to make your email punchier and easier to absorb. When communicating by email, make it quick and easy for people to know why your message is relevant and what they should do in response. Frameworks and guides like What, Why, and Now make this task easy and take the guesswork out of writing, and are formatted in a way that's simple and effective.

WHAT (WHAT'S THE POINT? Carmen's Going-Away Party: March 18 after work. Save the date! WHY (WHY SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED? The hotels realized that even well-intentioned and environmentally conscious guests often forget to turn off the lights. Hotels could just assume the costs of this, passing them on to guests in higher rates. They could remind guests when they check in to always remember to turn off their lights. They could post signs in rooms. Or they could solve the problem through a bit of technology and some smart design. The refreezing technologies I recommend in this article are based on behavioral design practices and procedures. They rely neither on traditional compliance mechanisms inducing adoption by rewards and coercion nor on people internalizing a new set of values. Instead, as the Rwandan experiment demonstrated, these designs can change behavior even though participants' beliefs remain unchanged. Indeed, this is the very promise of behavioral design; Soon, and I hope that means by the time you finish this article, the question will be not if individuals and organizations interested in diversity and inclusion have tried these designs, but why they haven't. Covert narcissists are grandmasters of not acknowledging a person when they choose. This is why narcissists tend to gravitate toward caring and compassionate individuals, such as codependents, empaths, etc They recognize that people like this are easier to manipulate and exploit. However, the covert narcissist does it in a less obvious way. Rather than tell you straight up that you are of no value to them--as an overt narcissist would--they might leave your texts as unread or wait until the very last minute before they reply. They might also stand you up on a date, show up late for an event you invite them to, or never confirm the plans you make together.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.