Question: What is the role of Psychological Research in Human Capital Management?
Erik Lenderman: Through developing a more sophisticated understanding of human behavior, Human Capital Management leaders may enhance the organization’s capacity to adapt to change, respond to market fluctuations, and enhance their position within the market.
Question: How and why does Psychological Research assist in achieving this objective?
Erik Lenderman: The global economic environment is primarily comprised of human activity in the form of trade, which means that one must develop awareness of how this process occurs and how this is interrupted. Specifically, what drives human beings to engage in trade, and what are the variety of psychological factors that impact the manner in which they participate in the market?
Through studying human behavior within a variety of business, political, and personal environments, one may observe how to enhance performance within their organization. Most organizations are primarily concerned with growing, expanding, and increasing their profitability and impact upon the world.
Therefore, a failure to understand basic psychological principles about the manner in which individuals and groups behave may result in the incorrect application of business strategies, which are designed to enhance the company’s growth and development. Psychological research into the nature of human drives, stages of development, and behavioral patterns is critical for enhancing most organization’s capacity to grow and produce a positive impact upon the world.
Question: What is the role of Freudian Psychology in Organizational Psychology and Conflict Resolution?
Erik Lenderman: Freudian Psychology serves as the primary bedrock for modern psychological research concerning the manner in which early childhood experiences consciously or unconsciously shape behavior throughout the life-span and relationships. Therefore, organizations that seek to understand their personnel and promote self-awareness should be encouraged to promote both a personal and collective understanding of this model.
Question: Could you provide an example of Freudian Psychology enhancing Conflict Resolution?
Erik Lenderman: Professionals engaged in conflict resolution processes must operate with the awareness that some elements of their organization’s present-day interpersonal conflicts are, in-fact, a consequence of the conflicted party’s early childhood experiences, which are transferred into their present day business relationships. This is known as unconscious transference.
For example, two Senior Executives who find themselves debating with each other in a non-productive manner when in the presence of the CEO or their Board of Directors may display genuine differences in strategy for how to proceed with the company’s objectives. Alternatively, these patterns may only emerge when the CEO or Board of Directors are present, and many may find the debates to be non-productive and primarily driven by emotional reflexes.
Through investigating the psychological mechanisms that are contributing to the conflict, Sr. Executives may discover that they actually share very similar methodological preferences for implementing company objectives. However, they may discover that they primarily become emotionally reactive when in eachother’s presence during highly sensitive meetings. Further investigation may reveal that they both grew up with a sibling, and conflicts tended to increase in intensity when their parents were present. Consequently, these two individuals may have brought what Freud refers to as a ‘Transference’ into their respective relationship with each-other.
Question: What is the relationship between ‘Transference’ and ‘Projection’?
Erik Lenderman: Transference simply refers to the manner in which a prior relationship’s thoughts, feelings, and behavioral patterns are re-activated in the presence of a new, unrelated relationship. Typically, most individuals are not conscious of the origin of their conflicts or the manner in which they are related with prior relationships. The ‘Transference’ occurs in the unconscious region of the mind, which imbues the relational transactions with a sense of heightened emotional reactivity.
Projection is primarily concerned with the incorrect attribution of one’s personal thoughts and feelings to another individual. For example: One Sr. Executive may feel emotionally disturbed or aggressive, but if they are unaware of the true origin of these sensations, they may claim that the other individual is the one who feels aggressive. This, of course, will increase the challenge in communication, because neither individual is actually certain about whose thoughts and feelings are attributable to whom. This may further compound any challenges that are already present as a result of the original transference. Therefore, Transference and Projection are distinct constructs that must be addressed in turn.
Question: Do some Senior Executives engage in conflict, even if their perspectives are similar?
Erik Lenderman: Yes — For this example, strategic and methodological differences are not at the heart of the conflict between these two Sr. Executives. Rather, these two individuals are experiencing an unconscious transference from a previous relationship with one of their siblings, which is diverting critical resources from the CEO, the Board, and their respective Departments.
Question: What are the risks of engaging in Conflict Resolution without a familiarity with the Freudian model?
Erik Lenderman: Without familiarity with this model, conflict resolution will not resolve the origin of the problem (Transference), and the conflict is likely to continue until either (1) the company fails, (2) one of the Sr. Executives resigns, or (3) both individuals recognize these patterns, make the unconscious conscious, and develop new strategies for communicating in a more efficient manner.
Erik A. Lenderman
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