Helplessly delivered to the boss: The problem starts in the head


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Text comes from: Warum uns das Denken nicht in den Kopf will: Noch mehr nützliche Erkenntnisse der Alltagspsychologie (2013) by Dr. Volker Kitz, Prof. Dr. Manuel Tusch, published by Heyne Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Sometimes you also feel helpless to yours Chef delivered? Then we have good news for you: this apparent helplessness is only learned. And she is lost again. Helplessly delivered to the boss: the problem begins in the head learned helplessness03


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Dr. Volker Kitz fawnDr. Volker Kitz is Spiegel bestselling author, psychologist and ex-lobbyist.

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Here writes for you:

Prof. Dr. Manuel TuschDr. Manuel Tusch Professor at the Münster University of Applied Sciences and director of the IfAP.

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The Chef Distributes work instructions ...

Monday morning, your boss is handing out orders: "Please give me some information about our plans in Asia for the speech next week."

Wednesday afternoon, your boss looks thoughtfully at a paper you gave him: “And you have spent the last two days with that? Are you insane? I can't talk publicly about our expansion plans. Next week's speech will be about employee motivation. Please google that, I can't think of anything… ”

The boss is pressing

Wednesday evening, your boss adds: “Oh yes, by the way, there is time until Friday. It’s enough if I can read that on weekends. ”

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Thursday morning, 8.30 a.m .: “Please remember the information for my speech? You know, it's next week and not in two years! ”

The boss does not know what he wants ...

Thursday morning, 10 a.m .: Your boss will give you a postcard that says: "Dear God, please make sure that I am not always offended."

Monday evening, your boss makes the speech: “My charming employee has put together a few very charming things for me. But I just decided: Today we want to talk about something completely different… ”

Do you have to endure your fate?

Do you seem familiar? Who doesn't know this feeling of helplessness? How do you help yourself? "Not at all," you might say, "there's nothing I can do about it anyway" - shrug your shoulders and continue to endure your fate with clenched teeth.

And now we tell you: The problem exists above all in your head. Because you learned the helplessness. And it severely limits your life. But sometimes the solution is much simpler than you might think - and the learned helplessness is again lost, as the following experiment shows:

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A dog life?

Let us assume for a moment that you are a dog - you can choose the breed. Let's suppose you're sitting in a cage and getting electric shocks (some people find it very appealing, so do not be ungrateful!).

You will see a small lever next to you. They think, "Maybe I can turn the power off." And push the lever down.

Once twice.

3 times.

But nothing happened. The surge arrives and goes - completely regardless of what you do.

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At some point you will be put into another cage. There the electric shocks continue. In the wall you see a small flap.

What do you do?

You just have to shut up

The real dogs in this real experiment do nothing more. They sit and howl. They would have had to walk in the second cage, just a few steps to the side, and they would have been safe.

For the cage had two parts, and in the second there were no electric shocks. But the dogs had learned at the beginning that they could not escape the electric shock - no matter what they do. That's why they do not try to do it anymore.

They have "learned" that they are helpless. And that is exactly what you can unlearn again!

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