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Chapter 1. Emotional Intelligence Approa... > Myths Rationalizing Destructive Beha...

Myths Rationalizing Destructive Behavior

People tend to accept rather than confront difficult behavior in others and in themselves. Effecting change is difficult. To avoid the stress of attempting to foster change, people often convince themselves that it is impossible to effect change or that the situation is not that destructive. Both of these beliefs are false (see Table 1-1).

Table 1-1. Myths Versus Reality About Destructive Behavior
I’m/he’s too old to change or can’t change.The most effective managers are not the fast starters but the ones who learn throughout their careers. Old dogs can learn new tricks if they want to.
That’s the culture.The culture is often a reason why people do things as they do. Reasons, however, are not excuses. Those who can rise above a problematic culture and do things the best way are called leaders.
She’s just blowing off steam.Someone blowing off steam is harming others and needs to be contained.
This is the best way to motivate people and get things done.A good manager understands the people she works with and designs her interactions to be most effective with each person. One size does not fit all.
There is one right way to do things.This is the siren song of narcissistic and compulsive managers. It is rarely true.
That is just his style.If someone’s style seriously interferes with the effectiveness of other people and the overall team, he needs to modify his style.
It doesn’t do any harm.Closing our eyes to the harm being done may provide a temporary and uneasy sense of peace, but it doesn’t last and isn’t real.
She deserves it.No one deserves to be screamed at, insulted, or treated badly. They may deserve to be taken aside and told the ways in which they need to change. They may deserve to miss out on a promotion or bonus. You may need to fire them. They do not, however, deserve abuse, particularly because we never know what is going on inside them, what pressures they are under, what good things they are doing, or what trauma they suffered earlier in life.

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