Multitasking is about switching focus between one task to another. It then requires the person who is multitasking to regain focus, which could take between ten or fifteen minutes. As can been seen, while multitasking causes the person to refocus, it also causes a loss in performance. For example, Buser and Peter (2012) examined the performance level of males and females ability to multitask. Another study examined judges who worked on many cases at once. Those who worked on many cases at a time, performed worse as they took more time to complete their work compared to judges who scheduled their cases and worked sequentially. One possible cause to decreased performance due to multitasking is the “task carryover account” meaning that there is a carryover effect when you switch tasks. The carryover effect is a cost from the person needing to inhibit the previous information in order to complete the new task. However, if the person had instead scheduled his or her task to be completed sequentially then the carryover effect would be eliminated causing an increase in productivity.
To put this in another way, when a person starts one task and then switches over to the next, while the first task is not fully completed then the activation of attention necessary to complete the second task takes longer as the first task is not fully uninhibited from the person’s attention span, producing a carryover effect. Moreover, the mind of the person is still learning from the previous task and needs to prepare for the next task causing a cost (time) from switching from one task to the other. In the Buser and Peter (2012) study, researchers found that the more people switched from one task to the other, the more performance suffered.
It is important to mention that the studies discussed in this article investigated mental tasks, not physical tasks such as housecleaning. Therefore a drop in performance may also have been caused by less mental processing as the ability to multitask requires bottom up processing (taking in information from the senses which has not yet come into full awareness) and scheduling requires top down processing (driven by cognition), which is stepwise and requires thoughtful analysis to complete the processing.
The Buser and Peter (2012) study, which examined gender differences in multitasking, found that both genders (males and females) do not perform better when multitasking. It was previously suggested that males, hunters, perform sequentially and therefore cannot multitask effectively while females who are known to be gathers can do many tasks at the same time well. However, when this suggestion is investigated it was found that females prefer not to multitask and their performance suffers just as much as males.
In summary, scheduling is better than multitasking. This means it is best to complete one activity at a time, rather than many at once for your performance to be at its best.
Systems theory suggests that every person lives in a system which cannot be considered linear as many different situations causes an effect. Therefore when one person is treated badly, there will be various circumstances that can explain the outcome. The circumstance may be that the person causing the treatment may be feeling bad themselves but need to see it in someone else, which was caused by their own past. It could also be that the person who feels that they are treated badly lacks assertive skills and is not sure how to manage the interaction. Therefore you would have to look at the needs of the system itself (such as system at the workplace or family structure, which is also known as second-order) and the needs of the individual (which is also known as first order) and create a balance.
Using systems theory is also helpful in the workplace, as interactions and behaviour is caused by the system in the workplace. Therefore considering one particular situation may not be as helpful as considering various aspects. As example, suggested by Ms Smith-Acuna, an employee was having trouble with a colleague and felt anxious, unsupported and was too apologetic, however her own way of conducting the meeting (fitting in the with system) needed improvement and she needed to improve her assertive skills (changing the individual) to improve how the meetings functioned, while her colleague needed to change her behaviour as she was critical and impatient. If the change-agent was to only look at the two people, then important details would have been missed. Details of how the meetings were run (system of the organisation) and how the individual fit within the system (second-order system).
Another example is family therapy using systems therapy. A teenager was always angry, but when he was able to manage his anger, another teenager in the family started playing up. It was discovered that the children were expressing the anger that the parent needed to express (of the marriage). However, once the parent realised what was really going on (a system that may have lasted generations and can be resistant to change), the dynamics of the whole family started to change. Systems theory can also help understand that change in behaviour can cause change in systems, however systems need to be considered in two parts - the rules, roles and boundaries that support the system which always works toward maintaining homeostasis and the structure of the system. It is also important to remember that systems also has sub-systems (e.g., department in the workplace) which need to be considered.
In summary, behaviour is often reinforced by the system the person is in as it is providing feedback. You will need to ask is the system causing me to behave, feel or think in this way or do I need to change to fit in the system. What needs to change to create a balance? Often, in the workplace it is usually the latter as some people may fit in the system and some may not and either need to change or move out. You would have to look at the whole picture, and its different parts, to understand the causes.
Source: Systems Theory in Action - Application to individual, couples and family therapy by Shelly Smith-Acuna.
The conundrum of human behaviour. It can be playful, rewarding, hurtful, encouraging, and comforting. Can it be judged by what you see at first sight? I don't think so. Sometimes you need to interact for a while to find out the truth. Sometimes, people will use their social skills to manipulate or use desirable or undesirable qualities to achieve a conscious or unconscious goal that may be hurtful or helpful to others. Moreover, others will seek out vulnerable qualities to take advantage of another person to achieve their own goal. Do you remain on guard or trust completely. Do you work with your head or your heart only. I'd say both.
If you have a mind that looks for patterns and consistencies, sometimes a person will thwart what you assumed. They will do something completely the opposite to what you expected. The evidence before you suddenly changed. Or is it what you only wanted to see, and the evidence before you no longer supports what you perceived? Remember, that perception is filtered from your belief system. What about if you are value driven, do you change your values or change what is around you or just accept without judgement? It's a conundrum, surely.
Carl Rogers used person centred therapy on a client who he found out told a lie the whole time because the client realised he could get away with it. He took advantage of the situation. The therapy was to provide unconditional positive regard conditions in the treatment room. To accept fully what the client had said, without judgement. Whereas in contemporary counselling, the therapist will look for inconsistencies to challenge the client so they will be aware of their words and actions. The strategy is to help them grow out of a dysfunctional pattern and create conditions for change. Carl Rogers' technique is today mainly used to build a rapport with the client and as part of the treatment, not the treatment itself.
In the end, every day is a learning experience. The test is to use each experience as a chance to grow yourself. To realise that you cannot change others and that if they did indeed choose to use your vulnerabilities as a chance to manipulate you, that you have learned from the experience and to grow from it. It is also a chance to realise that yesterday no longer exists, but was part of your wonderful experience. Today is a gift and to be open enough to learn from what you have been presented with and tomorrow is a day you will never know, as they say a mystery.
Therefore human behaviour is a conundrum, but I'm guessing that it is meant to be. That it enables life to be a classroom, where we learn from each other. To accept others fully, to not be so judgemental but to learn that there is the good, the bad, and that each will bring out what we need to be challenged in order to grow into a better person.
I just want to add, that for those who have Autism, ADHD or are highly intelligent that human behaviour is more of a challenge because you find shifting perspective a challenge, you continually look for patterns and that you think more with your head than emotionally. You also notice detail more, highly sensitive and the outside world can be exhausting. But if you learn the skills, learn more about yourself and how to manage what you find too difficult sometimes, such as change, you can become a master at learning about differences and that when something unexpected thwarts you that feeling completely uncomfortable is part of the growth process. Just be okay with it and continue to grow. It would be easier living in a bubble and to only use your mind, but life experience will teach you more than a book, a classroom or the internet. Sometimes it will hurt, sometimes it will be joyful, but staying the same won't help either.
"I have the right to be me
You the the right to be you
I have the right to be listened to
You have the right to be listened to
I have the right to be treated as an equal
You have the right to be treated as an equal"
You always have choices in life, including the way you communicate.
What decreases motivation? Did you know that if you start your career without pay (volunteer) you will most likely dislike your work once you get paid?
What increases motivation? Continuous feedback as it improves competence and relatedness. The three innate needs that improves motivation is relatedness, autonomy and competence.
What motivates new solutions? If the old strategies that you use fail, then you will start to work on new solutions. But if you are stubborn, this may take some time!
Did you know that extrinsic rewards such as an increase in salary can stifle intrinsic motivation as it can compromise the innate needs (as mentioned above)?
Extrinsic rewards such as an increase in salary will only improve motivation for the short term, but if you make the person feel competent then their motivation will continue.
To improve motivation, both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards should be used.
Emphasis on intrinsic goals such as life goals and personal and professional development is associated with "greater health, well-being and performance" (Deci & Ryan, 2008, p. 183).
Reference: Deci, E., L., & Ryan, R., M. (2008). Self-Determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology, 49, 3, 182-185.
The Federal Government has changed the Fair Work Act 2009 laws that will allow employees to seamlessly complain about workplace bullying in their workplace. They will be able to complain directly to the Fair Work Commission without consulting management in their workplace.
Workplace bullying has serious consequences to organisations that can lead to emotional and financial loss. Emotional consequences includes absenteeism, presenteenism, making mistakes due to stress and lack of motivation, and losing quality staff. Financial consequences can include the staff member making multiple claims because their workplace provided ineffective preventative care. The researchers from Queensland's Griffith University stated that the annual cost that has resulted form workplace bullying is between $6 billion and $13 billion per year. The annual cost is likely to rise with the new Fair Work Act 2009 laws.
The WorkSafe laws also require workplace to provide preventative care for their staff. If the workplace is deemed non-compliant then this can also lead to further claims and damage to the reputation of the brand. Contact Josie from JB Consulting and Psychology on 0410 534 489 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to avoid multiple claims and provide a safe workplace for your valuable staff.
Have you ever felt that you don't think much of yourself and that you have trouble understanding how you feel emotionally?
Has anybody ever condemned you about the way you have felt, think, or wanted?
Has anybody ever shut you down when you talked about a topic you are interested in to the point where you have decided to not talk about anything you cared about?
Has anybody made you feel that you were insignificant, a slave and/or just around to please them?
These are some of the symptoms of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is difficult to understand because nobody can see the scars and victims have most likely switched off their capacity to feel so they can't understand what is going on, even though they know something is not right.
Victims usually like to think that the emotionally abusive partner doesn't understand what he/she is doing and it isn't their fault. But, they do know exactly what they are doing. People who bully have a very sound cognition so they are aware of what they are doing and the consequences. Their threats are designed to shut you down, so you are under them. Their aim is to feel better about themselves by making you feel worse.
The partner of the emotionally abusive person will also find it hard to talk to anybody about the situation because usually the perpetrator seems like a wonderful, helpful person outside of the family home but has a completely different character inside the home.
Victims who are in emotionally abusive relationships also think that their partners love them deeply. They also feel that no body else will ever love them the same. So they stay in the situation, because that is all they know.
If you are in this situation, learn to love yourself like nobody has ever loved you before. Learn to feel again, learn to get to know yourself (probably for the first time) and learn to discern.
I say discernment, because victims will most likely become naturally submissive and it will take effort to discern fact from fiction. If the victim gets out of an abusive relationship and finds another before they learn to discern then they will most likely be another candidate for an emotionally abusive person.
If you are the emotionally abusive partner, then learn to love yourself also. Learn to feel on the inside so you will understand what your partner is feeling. People who become abusive are usually lacking self-esteem, although very smart, and has not yet had the chance to understand who they are. Therefore they spend their years criticizing other people so they feel the same way as the perpetrator.
Adverse life events can have negative consequences on the mental health and wellbeing, although it can increase strength of the person, meaning that adversity can have benefits (Seery, 2011). Some adversity is better than too much or none at all (Seery, 2011).
The Seery (2011) study examined why some people were able to bounce back through adversity and why some were not. It was found that catastrophising was a cause for maintaining a negative outlook on the event (Seery, 2011). Catastrophising occurs when a person exaggerates an experience or its outcome through negative cognitive processing and not being able to stop thinking about it (Seery, 2011).
Benefits of cognitive processing includes having a positive attitude and seeing the learning experiences through adversity.
Also the Seery (2011) study found that practicing coping resources built resiliency. Coping resources may include meditation, talking to people who have a positive and empathetic nature, and exercise.
Therefore, exposure to stress is more likely to build control and mastery within yourself (Seery, 2011). Resiliency is about learning to be in control of a stressful situation or getting back in control. Learning to build control and mastery after adversity doesn't take away the bad experience, it just means that there is potential to find your strength through it. There is also the potential to learn more about yourself.
5 Ways to Build Resilience:
Bag of coping Skills - Go through your bag of coping skills or if you don't have any explore which ones suit you. Your coping skills may include going for a walk in nature to clean your energy, meditating, talking to positive and empathetic people, or writing in your journal.
Problem-focused coping - It may be your environment that may be causing the adversity which needs to be changed. Therefore problem-focused coping includes fixing the problem that is causing the adversity.
Emotion-focused coping - If you can't change your environment then you may decide to manage your emotions to cope. This may include staying positive, or going for a walk to take a break and feel better. Although emotion-focused coping may be an avoidant strategy that won't take the problem away, but give you space to consider using problem-focused coping.
Have a positive attitude - Attitude is about what you like or don't like. If you don't like your environment, think broadly and examine if your are either catastrophising, thinking negatively, or need to move on as you have outgrown your environment. Having a positive attitude may also include thinking about what is working in your life or writing it down in a gratitude diary to change your negative schema that may have formed from the adversity. Although awareness is the key, as you will have to be aware of what you need to work on.
Stay motivated - Firstly, there usually is a goal that you want to achieve, secondly work out how the stress/adversity you are experiencing is getting in the way. For instance, if it is your work that is suffering as a result from the stress/adversity, then spending time managing/resolving it will help you achieve your goal which therefore enables you to put more energy and enthusiasm in your work. The stress/adversity may also get in the way of your relationships, so your goal may be to learn from the experience to have better relationships. Keeping your goal in mind will encourage you to build resiliency and stay motivated.
Reference: Seery, M. (2011). Resilience: A silver lining to experiencing adverse life events? Current Directions in Psychological Science. Sage, 20(6), 390-394.
Playing Games is a part of Transactional Analysis where the people communicating either become the victim, persecutor or Rescuer. The victim is the person that always communicates with a "poor me" style, the persecutor will make everyone feel bad and the rescuer will be the person who always wants to help people. If the person does not have a "poor me" style and feels capable then the rescuer may then play the persecutor role and make the person feel guilty. Therefore they are playing a game, but it is up to all the people involved if they choose to play. Usually people don't realise there is a game involved and will unconsciously play it anyway, leaving each party feeling either tired, guilty or unloved, etc.
I always look for the games people play during consultation as the awareness of the game will allow the people involved to realise what is going on and then give them a chance to learn how to change it. I would also offer an alternative so the client will learn that there are better options.
Other considerations, which I prefer, are the ego states. There are three that are involved when playing games -
Child ego state - again similar to the victim and playful
Parent ego state - controlling, critical, etc.
Adult ego state - objective, energetic and lives in the now rather than acting as their parents or as when they were a child. Although you can become too righteous when communicating in the Adult Ego State.
We all communicate in a different state every day but it is important to become aware of when you are using either as we usually use one more than the others. For example do you want to be too controlling or helpful? Do you want to become too playful and not responsible enough? Communicating in the child ego state all the time can become too exhausting and it also means you have not had the chance to know yourself through growing. Communicating in the parent ego state can destroy relationships as you will become too critical rather than understanding and flexible.
Remember that you are in control, therefore it is up to you to either play the game, ignore or offer an alternative. Although you would only ignore the game to build rapport and offer an alternative once the rapport has been built.
We can learn to manage our emotions but putting ourselves in situations that trigger them doesn’t help. Therefore if you wake up late, go to work late and arrive in a bad mood or worried, then the lateness was the trigger. Therefore to manage your emotions consider what the trigger was so you can avoid it next time.
Also consider what you are communicating when going into to work late. Usually you are suggesting a statement and it is a nonverbal action. Are you stating an attachment style or are you saying that you don’t like your job anymore. Are you sabotaging a possibility of a promotion because you doubt your abilities? These statements can be subconscious acts that you don’t even realise, but to everybody else they seem loud.
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