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Human behaviour is complicated

BeanStalk Learning Ltd

I was watching Loose Women today; don't judge me please! The women hosting were debating whether some of the new rules implemented by the government were too strict or not strict enough. Each of them had a different opinion and they had to agree to disagree to move on. The nation is definitely split...read any feed on any social media site.

Because we all judge risk very differently, it's easy to understand why. An article in Psychology Today, written by John Elder Robinson, really helps to put this into perspective. He states:

"With every passing day, the gulf between the view of those able to work from home and the views of those doing essential work broadens. From the former’s perspective, home is safe and everything outside of that is a potential deadly threat. For the essential worker, the world is the same, but there is a virus we must be mindful of"

This rings so true. A friend of mine is a school principal, and she knows the guidelines inside out. She has made sure she knows the guidelines inside out so her staff and students can return to school and have a safe and more "normal" experience of education. Yes, there are rules about wearing masks in corridors, staggered start and finish times and bubbles but their world hasn't dramatically changed - her teachers are still teaching, and her students are still learning. She is an essential worker.

My world on the other hand couldn't look more different to how it did nine months ago. Every single professional interaction I have with people is virtual; I am in my house all day. And when I do get to see people there's a time limit on how long we can be together. I am not an essential worker even if I'd like to think I am!

This is how business works too (when there is no pandemic). You and your leadership team will make the best choices based on the information you have and your sense of risk. What might be seen as a crisis in the boardroom is most likely not noticed on the frontline or considered business as usual.

And of course, there is trust. The government are our leadership team on a national scale. Advice and guidance have changed fairly regularly over the last few months and there are a number of examples where those working with or in the government, have not followed the guidance. So, if they aren't behaving in a certain way, why should we? 

I appreciate it is much easier to tell someone else what they should be doing than it is to make the best choices for ourselves...but whether behaviours are role modelled or not your team will follow your lead.

Kate Stranks
BeanStalk Learning Ltd

Blog originally published here.