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A Specific Example

The layers beneath the surface of the iceberg illustrate a significant feature of the anatomy of problems. Typically, people try to fix the superficial symptoms instead of the root cause.

FOR EXAMPLE: a worker hears a rumor from an inside source about plant closings and assumes the worst—“I’m going to lose my job.” Even though the rumor isn’t true, it creates insecurity, so the worker puts out feelers for a new job. A supervisor hears about it and starts giving the “cold shoulder” treatment to the seemingly disloyal employee. If job offers fall through, the worker is now stuck with bad working conditions.


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