On the other hand, when I first started my job and I saw myself as not knowing what I was doing, I conveyed that to others in my hesitation and nervousness about taking on the new responsibilities I was being handed. I also agree with the section of the article that deals with conflicts in a person’s self-concept. As a working mother, I have experienced the same thing that Brouwer discusses in this section. I have felt firsthand how conflicts in my personal life can affect my work, and vice versa.
When I want to be in my role as a mother, but am forced to be at work when my daughter’s class is going on a field trip, I may become short-tempered with others at work, and later have a jealous attitude toward the mothers who were able to attend. Usually, when those two roles of mine collide, it is not a pleasant thing. Each individual role is difficult on its own, but when I am trying to fill both roles at once, it is nearly impossible. I found it interesting that, according to Brouwer, mature people are resistant to change.
I would have thought that mature people would be open to change, and would embrace it as a way of furthering their education or bettering themselves. However, Brouwer’s explanation makes a lot of sense: self-concept has to do with patterns of behavior and habits, which makes it a difficult thing to change. Older, more mature people have had their same patterns and habits established for a long time, so changing those behaviors and habits would be difficult. It reminds me of someone who is, for example, an aggressive lawyer who suddenly finds themselves in legal trouble.
That person would have to switch roles, from being the aggressive lawyer to being the client being defended by someone else. It would be difficult for that person to sit back and let their lawyer to their job. A new question that I have has to do with how to change my self-expectation. Brouwer says that there is no one best way to do this. It seems that it would be easy for any person to choose one thing that they don’t like about their behaviors, and then to set a goal to change that behavior.
However, the difficult part of this equation is putting a plan in motion to achieve the goal. How can a person make themselves actually get started on doing what needs to be done to change their self-expectation? For me, I performed a self-evaluation and discovered that I am far too critical of the appearance of my home. My self-expectation is that I keep my house perfect all of the time. There is no room for any messiness in my world. I realize that I would like to change that self-expectation, but how do I do it?
Overall the article was very interesting. I enjoyed reading about the reasons why people are the way that they are, and the reasons why perhaps people have a difficult time changing their behaviors. This information will come in handy in the workplace when dealing with difficult employees who seem to never have the ability to abandon troublesome behaviors. References Brouwer, P. J. (1964, November-December). The power to see ourselves. Harvard Business Review.