Emotional Ties to Jobs and BossesWritten by Scott Brown
In a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, an article addressed subject of Emotional Transference in boss-employee relationships. While that article addressed it primarily from manager's perspective, I'd like to take a look at this important issue from employee and job seeker's perspective.
Emotional Transference is an idea, first suggested by psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, that people transfer emotions they felt for other people to current relationships. According to theory, this often happens in situations where relationship structure is similar to a prior relationship, often to a relationship from early childhood such as with a mother or father. Freud noticed patients falling in love with him (their psychiatrist). Numerous studies have also shown that transference happens in boss-employee relationships. It's easy to see how: a boss has some similar characteristics to a parent, such as being a provider, point out mistakes, and giving rewards when achievements are made.
However, as HBR article argued, on whole, transference is not a good thing. While it does feel good to be reminded of love we felt from our parents as young children, it is a mistake to feel that a boss would care for us in same way. Having this kind of expectation is really a recipe for relationship failure. The unfortunate thing is many bosses are subconsciously aware of this effect and try to use it to manipulate their employees. Some downsides to emotional transference include: - Reacting emotionally to situations where you should react based on business circumstances. For example, if a boss criticizes your work in a way that reminds you of something a parent did that you didn't like, you could have an emotional reaction that is more about your feelings for your parent than a reaction based on business situation at hand. - Although many bosses are good people, it is important to recognize that their primary concern is making money for company and they will not look out for you same way your parents would. Emotional transference is one reason people end up staying in jobs longer than is good for their career. Don't expect your boss to tell you when you've outgrown a job and need to move on for good of your career.
Delivering Service to Keep your Job From Being OutsourcedWritten by Scott Brown
One of top concerns people in job market have today has to do with outsourcing and globalization. Sometimes we look around and it seems like every company is looking to cut costs by moving jobs overseas. We would like to address this issue through a series of articles on subject.
The first issue we'd like to address is that of using a service orientation to stand out from competition and keep your job from being outsourced. To illustrate, I'd like to share an example from world of retail banking.
* In New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey, an interesting phenomenon can be observed in retail banking. The fastest growing bank in these areas is Commerce Bank, a bank whose founder, Vernon Hill, realized value or customer service. Traditional banks were competing on price: who could offer highest interest rates or give away most things for free. He understood that this was less important to most people than doing their banking business at a convenient time. This is why his bank stands out from competition.
* Mr. Hill and his management team have created a corporate culture where account holders are seen as customers who need to be taken care of. Rather than considering each location a bank, employees refer to them as stores. Each one has a "greeter" who welcomes customers as they walk in, a feature reminiscent of top clothing retailers. Commerce has become successful by delivering outstanding service and at a time when all their competitors have been competing on interest rates.