12 Psychological Factors That Can Affect Your Eventprof Career
You may be jeopardizing your own eventprof career without realizing it. You may not be aware of these 12 psychological factors but they could be hurting your future progression as an event professional.
Your psyche makes up who you are, your behavior, beliefs and your moral compass. It has a large impact on our daily lives, but often without us even realizing. Getting into bad habits or allowing pressures and certain types of behaviour to go unchecked can mean you are falling into negative patterns. Aside from the moral implications, these psychological factors will harm your career progression and may even lead to disciplinary action, so if you find yourself relating too much to this article, you may need to change your habits and channel it into something more positive.
When your beliefs and actions cause a conflict it results in inconsistent behaviour and a paradox. This usually takes the form of those who believe they are an inherently good person and yet continue to do bad things. It extends to where the person ignores their bad behaviour because it conflicts with their fundamental belief that they are good and therefore doesn’t “register” for them properly.
On a smaller scale for example, believing you are organized around the office doesn’t make it true, missing meetings or refusing to schedule properly because “you don’t need to, you’re an organized person” means you aren’t getting the job done. It also has the negative effect of risking how you are viewed by colleagues or your boss and not holding yourself accountable and admitting your mistakes will hold you back from promotions in the future.
At the other end of the scale is the ability to justify negative behaviour because you believe you have built up enough moral standing. Being good and moral is not about scoring enough points to cancel out a bad deed. For example, using Karma to justify lying to colleagues or letting someone else take the blame for your mistake because you have done enough good work that you are “owed” this one just does not cut it.
It is important to remember that unethical behaviour at work, whether it is the first time or not, is not taken lightly and you may find that no amount of good deeds can justify something negative.
The Game Effect
Treating the event industry or your brand as a game that needs to be won, or creating cutesy names for unethical practices, e.g. “financial adjustments” for embezzling or “creative language” for lying. Participating in these “games” encourages you to disconnect from your role and feel as though there are no repercussions for yourself or the business. It can stop you taking things seriously and lead to mistakes or a lack of commitment to your event projects and poor performance because you feel it isn’t “real”.
No matter which way you dress it up, embezzling is still illegal, lying is still morally wrong and just because you call it something cute, doesn’t mean there is less risk involved if you do it.
Also known as tunnel vision, we’ve all been there, trying to make event deadlines or focused solely on an event, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Putting your blinkers on and becoming entirely focused on one goal or track can cause you to care more about the result, than how you got there. It can create a lack of compassion and encourages unethical behavior because you will do anything to get the job done.
On a smaller scale, singular focus hinders your ability to problem solve and reduces innovation because you can’t see “around” a problem to get to the solution, you can only see the outcome that you want. Being focused is a good thing, but losing sight of morality, suitable behaviour and what is going on around you can be unhealthy and lead to poor choices.
It is true that a little bit of competition can be healthy for a team or group because it encourages motivation, innovation and high productivity. However over-competitiveness focuses on the need to win more than the task itself and can encourage unfair practices and a “do whatever it takes” mentality that will not only alienate your colleagues but could also cause you to risk your job.
Viewing colleagues entirely as opposition stops communication and sharing within teams and hinders productivity while increasing corner cutting to meet targets. It makes people more likely to cheat to win because the idea of losing overshadows the work that is being done. This type of behaviour normally evolves in people who don’t like to share credit and isolate themselves from the team as they see them as a threat. To deal with this in the workplace, you should reward competitions based on teams rather than individual endeavour.
This is the concept that the way you treat people over time will be reflected back in them. For example, event managers who treat colleagues as part of a team will find that team-work will increase as others begin to act in a similar way.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true and if you treat your colleagues like they are useless and incapable, you will find they lose the confidence to take on tasks and may ask for more help or make more mistakes. Also, shouting or being rude in the office will encourage others to act the same because they feel they have to do it to make themselves heard, in the same way everyone else does.
Ever taken a pen, piece of paper or notepad home with you from the office? After all it’s a big company, they won’t even notice and it saves you some money. This is theft theory. When you allow yourself to make smaller thefts or poor judgements and justify them because they are inconsequential to the bigger picture you open the door to bigger possibilities.
It causes you to bend your morals to suit the situation without providing a scope to stick to, for example you may take something small because you feel you are owed it, further down the line, this could evolve into pocketing some money left over and not declaring it, and before you know it you’ve stolen larger items or are into full blown embezzlement. If you ever find yourself in the theft theory cycle, ask yourself, if this was on the shop shelf, would I put it in my bag and steal it? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be doing it at work either.
Also identified as peer pressure, which is where the act of a team or group acting unethically pressures others to go against their morals and do the same. This is particularly damaging because it can isolate individuals in the workplace if they don’t give in, but risks the job of every individual who participates.
It can lead to cutting corners to save money and covering up for each other when things go wrong but normally individuals feel their job or social standing could be impeded if they don’t do it, so they conform against their own morals.
The Obedience Trigger
The opposite of conformity pressures because you act unethically by choice, because a manager or senior colleague asks you to. The level of guilt is reduced because someone in a position of authority has told you to do it and therefore it’s not your place to feel bad about doing it.
However, this carries more risk than conformity pressures because the individual asking you to act this way is normally doing so to stop putting themselves at risk and will leave little evidence they asked you to do it and this can cause fallout for you and not them. Always ask yourself, would you opt to do things this way and if it was your decision would you feel guilty?
Money Prioritization Behaviour
A self-explanatory behaviour involving the prioritization of money above all else. We all need a pay check and money does make the world go round, but not at the expense of moral judgement. Those who prioritize money over their career tend to be less loyal and are perceived to be fickle by managers so are less likely to get a promotion.
Large displays of worth can also corrupt a team who try to covet it and do everything they can to make money for themselves including cutting corners and unethical behaviour. On a smaller scale, this can be seen by people taking on too many projects and increasing their workload too much leading to burnout.
A common factor that can particularly harm event managers or senior colleagues, but isn’t just limited to them, is the other side of the coin for the obedience trigger. Anyone with an element of responsibility can display power-hungry traits. While this can cause a problem socially which may not earn you friends around the office, it can spiral and lead to career risk. Responsibility does not give free reign to act illegally or against the code and value of the business or brand you are working for and using that power to enforce others to act unethically is a display of power hunger.
On a smaller scale, power hunger can be displayed as others using their position to force colleagues to do tasks they don’t want to do or intimidating others based on their position.
Those who feel replaceable or insecure in a role are more result-focused and less worried about acting ethically which can lead to dangerous outcomes. They are more likely to engage in unethical practices because they need to prove they are important and can achieve the perceived results needed to stay, making them more likely to “step over” others to achieve this.
Job insecurity in some cases can be a motivator but in most it leads people to do desperate things and is a lead-in to over-competitiveness. Also for those who feel like they can be replaced they don’t form attachments to a team, job role or their work which can lead to poor performance and demotivate the rest of the team.
As you can see, a lot of these psychological factors are intrinsically linked and can lead onto further unsavoury practices. Making sure you identify these now can go a long way to making you a more positive event professional and ensure that you have a long and happy career you can be proud of.
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