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Going Beyond Blog of Learning Opportunities

This blog is a place to share the learning opportunities through Going Beyond, our Communities of Practice education programme.  You can request to join a Community of Practice here: www.tssa.org.uk/goingbeyond

 Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5

  • Unconscious Bias Blog - Archetypes

    Author: Andrew HollingsworthPosted: 16 June 2020

    In my last blog I introduced you to Jung’s Archetypes and in this blog, I wanted to explore a specific archetype to see if there could be some of the UB patterns hidden within it and to explore whether there are some deeper underlying reasons for the UB’s. Click read more to carry on reading 

    The Rebel/Destroyer Archetype has a terrifying name that can easily be misunderstood based on the biases that spring to mind but there is a lot more to this ancient pattern than the label suggests!

    The Rebel/Destroyer is a paradoxical aspect of our psyche and as with all extremes can produce extreme results and outcomes. The goal of the Rebel/Destroyer is metamorphosis - not just change... It is driving by the need to revolutionise and transform things that are either not functioning properly or not the way they think it should. A positive outcome to this can be the ability to ‘weed the garden’ - when done appropriately, creating amazing opportunities for growth and innovation. The Rebel/Destroyers ability to troubleshoot and game-change is a powerful tool in the hands of a balanced Rebel/Destroyer.

    By contrast, when our Rebel/Destroyer isn’t in balance it can produce destructive behaviours in self and others. Radical views and repressed anger can lead them to break the rules and ruthlessly pursue their interests labelling those who don’t share their drive as weak and useless.

    If, as Jung suggests, we all have this Archetype within us operating either unconsciously or (now) more consciously, how could this form some of our UB?

    The pioneering French Psychologist Pierre Janet, regarding as one of the founding fathers of modern psychology, suggested that ‘there is a certain weakness of consciousness which is unable to hold all the psyche processes together’ – in other words the unconscious is in conflict with our conscious and as a result doesn’t necessarily harmonise in a balanced way.

    Maybe this is a driver for UB, those unconscious elements being driven by our Archetypes struggle to actualise as a result of the conflict? Maybe the Rebel/Destroyers need to bring revolutionary change is misunderstood and regarded as reckless and conflictual by conscious self or others?

    Maybe through this inner conflict our UB can be explored, harmonised and rectified in a balanced way?

    Another avenue to consider is Jung’s view on the ‘the Shadow’; our Shadow representing the supressed, hidden aspects of the psyche that we don’t appreciate. Many times, our UB will be expressed and projected onto other people via the activities of the Shadow.

    How often do we hear someone (normally ourselves if we’re honest) talking about a character trait or behaviour that we don’t like in someone else?

    “They’re selfish, they’re stingy, they’re liars...” etc etc. which is then normally followed by the expression “I can’t stand people like that...” Ouch...

    I would suggest in a significant amount of cases, the person projecting from the Shadow isn’t even aware it’s their Shadow and with little or no awareness of where this trait or behaviour is coming from.

    In the cases of those who probably do have a good idea, what they’re really saying is something along the lines of “I don’t like that trait in me but rather than face into it and deal with it, I’ll blame other people”

    I’ve shared with you one of the twelve core Archetypes which Jung regarded as personality complexes within themselves and how the struggle between the conscious and unconscious can result in traits and behaviours that we struggle to deal with.

    Maybe the quest to understand UB will unfold the more we explore and face into them with openness, honesty, patience and a lot of humility!

     Andy Hollingsworth

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  • More on Archetypes and Unconscious Bias

    Author: Andrew HollingsworthPosted: 04 June 2020

    In my last blog I introduced you to Jung’s Archetypes and in this blog, I wanted to explore a specific archetype to see if there could be some of the Unconscious Bias (UB) patterns hidden within it and to explore whether there are some deeper underlying reasons for the UB’s. The Rebel/Destroyer Archetype has a terrifying name that can easily be misunderstood based on the biases that spring to mind but there is a lot more to this ancient pattern than the label suggests! Read on to explore further...

    The Rebel/Destroyer is a paradoxical aspect of our psyche and as with all extremes can produce extreme results and outcomes. The goal of the Rebel/Destroyer is metamorphosis - not just change... It is driving by the need to revolutionise and transform things that are either not functioning properly or not the way they think it should. A positive outcome to this can be the ability to ‘weed the garden’ - when done appropriately, this creates amazing opportunities for growth and innovation. The Rebel/Destroyers ability to troubleshoot and game-change is a powerful tool in the hands of a balanced Rebel/Destroyer.

    By contrast, when our Rebel/Destroyer isn’t in balance it can produce destructive behaviours in self and others. Radical views and repressed anger can lead them to break the rules and ruthlessly pursue their interests labelling those who don’t share their drive as weak and useless. If, as Jung suggests, we all have this Archetype within us operating either unconsciously or (now) more consciously, how could this form some of our UB?

    The pioneering French Psychologist Pierre Janet, regarding as one of the founding fathers of modern psychology, suggested that ‘there is a certain weakness of consciousness which is unable to hold all the psyche processes together’ – in other words the unconscious is in conflict with our conscious and as a result doesn’t necessarily harmonise in a balanced way.
    Maybe this is a driver for UB, those unconscious elements being driven by our Archetypes struggle to actualise as a result of the conflict? Maybe the Rebel/Destroyers need to bring revolutionary change is misunderstood and regarded as reckless and conflictual by conscious self or others? Maybe through this inner conflict our UB can be explored, harmonised and rectified in a balanced way?

    Another avenue to consider is Jung’s view on the ‘the Shadow’; our Shadow representing the supressed, hidden aspects of the psyche that we don’t appreciate. Many times, our UB will be expressed and projected onto other people via the activities of the Shadow. How often do we hear someone (normally ourselves if we’re honest) talking about a character trait or behaviour that we don’t like in someone else? “They’re selfish, they’re stingy, they’re liars...” etc etc. which is then normally followed by the expression “I can’t stand people like that...” Ouch...

    I would suggest in a significant amount of cases, the person projecting from the Shadow isn’t even aware it’s their Shadow and with little or no awareness of where this trait or behaviour is coming from. In the cases of those who probably do have a good idea, what they’re really saying is something along the lines of “I don’t like that trait in me but rather than face into it and deal with it, I’ll blame other people”

    I’ve shared with you one of the twelve core Archetypes which Jung regarded as personality complexes within themselves and how the struggle between the conscious and unconscious can result in traits and behaviours that we struggle to deal with. Maybe the quest to understand UB will unfold the more we explore and face into them with openness, honesty, patience and a lot of humility!

    Andy Hollingsworth

     

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  • Unconscious Bias - Let's stop and think

    Author: Laurence HarveyPosted: 02 June 2020

    Laurence Harvey pic‘How could they do that’? Have you ever said this to yourself? The question is, could anyone be saying this about you? Have you ever been driving (or being driven) and suddenly the driver ‘loses it’? Has it been you that has ever lost it? It could be little things. The driver in front on the roundabout suddenly veers off to the right in front of you. The thing is, if you think about it, you knew something was going to happen. You had a ‘gut feeling’ something wasn’t right with the car in front. Your ‘intuition’ was telling you to be aware of what might happen. Did you listen to your gut, your intuition? Or did you carry on and then lose it? Suddenly your behaviour changes. Shouting, screaming, swearing at the vehicle in front. Pointing, gesturing, banging and bashing your hooter! Keep reading to see how our momentary distress can affect our judgement and what that might mean in the workplace...

    You would never do what they did, would you? It was someone else’s fault, wasn’t it?

    It’s never us, it’s always someone else.

    Have you ever been lost on unfamiliar territory? Have you ever had to veer to the right at the last minute? Have you?

    Do you think they meant to upset you? Or did you allow the situation to upset you. The emotions kicked in and it affected your behaviour, in a split second. You were momentarily out of control. Not conscious of what you were saying or doing. It happens. Or, the question is, do you allow it to happen?

    Let’s stop and think. Let’s be honest with ourselves. What might you be doing, that you actually don’t mean to do? If you are not aware of what you are thinking, you may not always be aware of what you are saying or doing.

    At work do we have a ‘gut feeling’ that something isn’t right for someone. Is our intuition telling us that something is awry for them? Can we stop and think and be conscious of the fact that it might be what you are doing that is affecting them?

    Has the conversation and comments at work ever veered of into the world of ‘banter’. Is it then that you (and others) get the feeling ‘I know where this is going?’ Where do you go?

    Then there are certain jokes that only happen at certain times, when certain people are, or are not around. Do you laugh and join in to ‘fit in’? Or do you consciously decide to stay quiet and not laugh at something you really do not find funny?

    Human beings tend to be good at judging others behaviours and reacting to them. But how good are we at being conscious of how what we are doing may be perceived by others as bullying and/or harassment. Do you mean anyone to feel that way?

    Next time you get the feeling that something isn’t right, stop and think and be sure that it is not you that is the cause of it. Don’t let it be your fault.

    Let’s manage our emotional reactions and be more tolerant of others.

    Let’s consciously manage the little things that happen to us. Let’s not blame anyone. Let’s use our ‘common sense’.

    Let’s make the way that we behave be the right way. ‘Behaviour breeds behaviour’. If we could all behave more patiently with everybody all of the time how much better may we all feel?

    Laurence Harvey was Guest Expert for our Exploring Unconscious Bias event held on 19th May 2020. To explore unconscious bias some more and discuss the event, request to join our Community of Practive Discussion on 1100-1230 10th June.

    Find out more about it here: www.tssa.org.uk/en/Your-union/education/education-events.cfm/CoP%20Discussion%20Exploring%20Unconscious%20Bias 

     

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  • Unconscious Bias - some thoughts

    Author: Laurence HarveyPosted: 27 May 2020

     ‘I can’t wait for things to get back to normal’

    How many times have your heard this said in the last few weeks? How many times have you said it? What is ‘normal’ anyway? Normal ‘the usual, typical, or expected state or condition’. Who’s ‘normal’ are we talking about? Lately things have definitely not been ‘normal’. Our routines have changed, influenced by Government guidelines on how to stay safe and stop the spread of the threat of Coronavirus. Things seem and feel bizarre, strange and abnormal. Human beings are creatures of habit, routine and like things to be familiar. Anything that is unfamiliar can be unnerving and perceived as a potential threat. These emotions trigger our unconscious assumptions that affect the way we perceive others. Our assumptions affect our attitudes which in turn affect how we behave. This can all happen unconsciously. Keep reading and I will explain further...

    Ask yourself and be honest! 6 weeks ago, what were you thinking of people that wore face masks in public?

    Now ask yourself and (again) be honest. What do you now think of people that do not wear face masks in public?

    We have, all of us, over the last few weeks experienced a change in our habits. We now have new routines. They are changing to adapt to the situation enforced upon us by the Coronavirus. We are potentially, more conscious of what we are thinking and doing, than we ever have been before.

    So, what now as we start to go back to work? How were people being treated at work 6 weeks ago? Is there a Bully at work, or are we allowing someone to be a Bully at work? Are we allowing some to misuse power to undermine humiliate and injure others? Are we allowing offensive, intimidating, malicious and insulting behaviours? What can we all do to treat people more fairly at work from now on?

    Can we recognise that we all have a different normal? Can we then begin to accept that we are all different? Can we be more tolerant of each other and our differences? Let’s make these emotional times make work more inclusive and friendly. Let’s be more tolerant of people that we perceive as different to our ‘normal’.

    Let’s make sure that we do not (even unconsciously) treat people unfairly. Let us not tolerate bullying and harassment. Let’s make sure that we do not ‘go along with’ things that we actually, don’t want to ‘go along with’. Subtle changes in our behaviour can make a huge difference to workplace cultures and environments. Just being patient with everybody all of the time can make a difference. You might never change what you think but you can change what you say or do.

    Behaviour breeds behaviour. If we change how we behave others will often naturally follow.

    Let’s make fairness and equality for all, ‘usual’.

     

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  • Unconscious Bias - where does it come from?

    Author: Andrew HollingsworthPosted: 27 May 2020

    Andy Hollingsworth PicHow long has Unconscious Bias (UB) been around I ask myself? Probably as long as humans have? There are systems of understanding ‘people’ that date back several thousands of years so it’s nothing new. At the same time, I ask myself the ‘nature Vs nurture’ question and how much of it is contributes to your unconscious bias (UB)? I’m sure the majority of people would suggest that it’s more biased towards nurture (there’s a nice bit of generalisation for you - see we can’t help it - lol). By the way, I wouldn’t dispute the profound impact that nurture has on UB however I’d also like to explore a concept that could shed some light on the nature argument. Keep reading to find out more...

    About 8-9yrs ago I started working on designing and developing a type of personality/psychometric tool called Archeotype© that would be a little bit different to what was already on the market. There is an abundance of these sorts of instruments that assess all types of people-orientated elements but I had reached a point (and so had many other people) where I was questioning the inadvertent outcome of being ‘put in a box’ as a result of the findings. (I must add, by the way, I’m a huge fan of these instruments, I use them a lot in my role as a consultant/coach) but nevertheless, main times, they become ‘self-fulfilling prophecies’.

    As human beings, we operate a lot by ‘rule of thumb’ as opposed to purely, objective information – just think about ‘impulse buys’... many are designed to play to our UB. Although these instruments often give quality, objective information, I was noticing that people were still ‘putting people in boxes’ – I would often hear comments like: - ‘Yes they are a typical extrovert, always taking over the conversation’ or ‘Look at them playing to type just as their report says’ and other methods of categorisation equally as limiting. It’s almost as if the results that were meant to liberate your self-awareness and help you grow were having the opposite effect! My quest was to see if we could be more holistic and inclusive of the person and to recognise that they are far more complex that any report or instrument could define. I also understand that the moment you start any type of categorisation or comparison, you have started the ‘reductionist’ process but I guess it’s about how far you go before you lose the essence of the person; constant reduction to the common denominator doesn’t always give you the richest answer.

    The last 6yrs yielded the creation of a holistic-person tool called Archeotype© which uses Jung’s work on Archetypes and with this I designed a broader, deeper and experiential look into people.

    What became of particular interest on my journey was the concept of an Archetype - meaning an ‘ancient pattern’. Jung suggested that these were templates ‘...exist in our minds before conscious thoughts and shape our perception of our realities and experiences’ (The Psychology Book, 2012) and ‘much of what we generally attribute to deliberate, reasoned conscious thinking is being guided by Archetypes’ (ibid).

    With this in mind, it started to shape my perception of nature Vs nurture in a different way. Maybe some of our UB is a result of something totally unconscious to us? Maybe, the things we think and feel are being driven by ancient patterns totally beyond our control? Maybe these Archetypes are acting as templates with pre-set biases? If this is the case, as Jung suggested, then it creates a strong argument for nature as our baseline along with our UB’s and nurture acting as a function to either confirm or deny them?

    Regardless of how much our UB is ‘pre-programmed’, we know from the world of neuroscience that our brains have immense amounts of ‘plasticity’ and can be ‘re-programmed’ to change values, beliefs, behaviours, attitudes and skills – including our UB. Ultimately, there are very few excuses for not making changes to unwanted biases however the first step is to be aware of them and their source and then start the journey of reviewing and amending them as necessary.
    In my next blog we’ll take a look at one of the archetypes in more detail to explore how UB’s could be formed and what we can do to address them.
    If you would like to find out more about Archetypes and Archeotype watch out for my next blog post.

     

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