World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 95

additional content mind-set, then neither all-or-nothing perfectionism nor “ticking the box” makes sense; instead, you regard human activity as an investment worth making if it will lead to genuine learning and consistently improved results. 3. Misperceptions of Proficiency How capable are you and your company of influencing others and getting things done? Your answer reveals an attitude that psychologist Albert Bandura termed self-efficacy, that is, confidence in one’s own ability to succeed. People with unrealistically high self-efficacy assume they will prevail at difficult tasks, even if they lack the proficiency to do so. People with excessively low self- efficacy are likely to give up, even when they could actually succeed. Deceptive organizational messages can carry either misperception. In organizations, low self-efficacy is manifested as entrenched insecurity. Entire groups internalize the idea We are not effective now, and we never will be. This misperception often involves the cognitive distortion called “discounting the positive.” Any good attributed to your company or your work must be false. Consider the story of Lauren and Majid, two regional managers at an artisanal food company. (Their identities are disguised by request, but the details are real.) Lauren, the product manager for the region, had looked forward to a blossoming career — until Majid questioned a decision that she had made to postpone expansion to a new location. Instead of checking with Lauren, he took his questions back to headquarters, which intervened by taking Lauren’s side. But Lauren didn’t interpret this as a victory; she felt that the fact that Majid went around her was itself a sign of failure. After the incident, both felt they would never be fully accepted, Lauren because of her gender and Majid because of his background as a foreign national. Meanwhile, their bosses had seen both of them as high-potential managers — until it began to seem like they couldn’t work well together. The flip side, excessively high self- efficacy, tends to take the form of “mind reading,” or projecting your own attitudes onto others, assuming that they share your opinion about yourself and the situation, and acting on that assumption. Everybody wants this deal just as much as I do. This type of deceptive messaging shows up in complex technologies, when the engineers discount the novices’ complaints. When they get used to this user interface, they’ll appreciate the many features we’ve given them. In other companies, mind reading leads to underestimating customer concerns, for example, about privacy or security. Of course they trust us. Mind reading is also present in many cases of workplace sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior. When people say no to me, they don’t really mean it. 4. Misperceptions of Validity Misperceptions of validity lead us to believe that something is true because of the way it feels, or because of the supported by EUROBAK 91