Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Creating Paradise: Being a Bully or a Mentor

I have been drawn to watching a series called Paradise on the ABC as I assess this story to be about love, ambition, change and mystery. For me all the ingredients of a good night in! Another reason I am interested in this series is my attraction to the essence of the story - the various relationships between the characters. In particular, I am interested in the relationship between Denise a young shop attendant who appears bright, ambitious and the older Miss Audrey, who appears fixed in her ways, ambitious and has declared she has chosen her career over a family life. Both women, I assess, are completely bound in their own ways by the power of the ‘shop’ they work and live in, their mysterious pasts, how they choose to observe the world they live in and how they choose their moods.

Let me explore further the point about ‘how they choose their moods’. Moods are created in language through an assessment (opinion or judgement) we make in relation to a situation. In this story, I assess these two women are in a situation of uncertainty about the shop, their work and their future. These women can oppose this uncertainty or accept it. Not accepting uncertainty can generate a mood of anxiety. Accepting uncertainty can facilitate the development of a mood of wonder. 

The following is a snippet of a conversation between the two women:

Miss Audrey “I love my work and will never let it be taken from me
Denise “if you are seeking assurance that I will not take my ideas to Mr Moray
Miss Audrey “no if the ideas come from me, he will know they are yours, there is a difference in the order of our minds, I see that now. My notions are small insular…yours are quick and vital to the world in which they are a response to, so I have decided there will be no more ideas, no more thoughts”
Denise “I am to stop thinking”
Miss Audrey “if you wish to remain at the Paradise… I have no wish to lose you, but I refuse to lose this”   

So here we have situation where Miss Audrey has made a verbal threat (some may say bullying) to Denise and this maybe due to her anxiety. I also assess that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying and can be created through the mood of anxiety. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results.[20][21] While some bullies use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self-esteem.

Miss Audrey has created through her ‘way of being’ (her language, mood and physiology) a world where she has determined that Denise’s ideas (which have already created change for her) may be too bewildering and maybe making her feel insecure. Miss Audrey’s response is to close Denise down so she can feel safe and certain. An approach to managing her anxiety.

Denise has created through her ‘way of being’ (her language, mood and physiology) a world where she has determined Miss Audrey is blocking her ideas (in a mood of wonder) she seeks to expand and develop different approaches for getting her ideas out. Denise’s response is to be resourceful and ‘suggest’ her ideas to others who can take them up.

If Miss Audrey could change her ‘way of being’ and accept the uncertainly that Denise’s ideas bring, she could move to a mood of wonder. She could mentor Denise. Together they can create a different type of Paradise. They could create a workplace where people do not bully, a workplace that mentors its people. A workplace that fosters a culture where the sharing of experiences, wisdom, networks, knowledge and know-how is the ‘Paradise’ you want to work in. Paradise is created first in your language. For a conversation on moods, contact nicky@nickyhowe.com.

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