Every manager should read Psychology

Sid

I have always been interested in Psychology. Don’t know from when or where this interest started. I even contemplated studying psychology for graduation but didn’t had enough knowledge about courses and its prospects. Eventually I did what was familiar to me – chose engineering.

I started reading core psychology extensively after going through two books       1) 50 Psychology classics and 2) A Brief introduction to psychology. After that I have never looked back. From surfing online articles, doing a masters thesis project to analyzing (analyzing, not judging !) people with friends and trying to understand their competencies, motivations, need etc. Observing people while at an airport or thinking about them while looking out of window has always stimulated my mind.

I bring this passion at my work too. Though I have not got full fledged role to implement all the ideas and reading that I do but it has not stopped my curiosity. I do observe and discuss. Now through my posts I attempt to journal them and get views and opinions about my thoughts.

Interacting and observing managers from other departments esp. Finance, Technology and Operations – who maybe has slightly less inclination towards people management has convinced me that all managers should read psychology or at least have inclination in understanding others. Below is my brief case for that.

We can always benefit from a new perspective or understanding the perspective of other person. There are times when I get frustrated and I start to ruminate. I get in the complaining zone. Thinking endlessly about how stupid the other person is or how ‘Bad’ the culture is. It is only after I calm down I realize, how such a view or thought loop is so monochromatic. In my rumination, I blatantly disregard the circumstances and context from which the other person is coming from. I arrogantly forget times when organizational politics has benefited me. Its only when I am a victim that the culture is ‘Bad’ ! Having the self awareness to catch such emotional thought patterns takes a lot of energy. I am sure I am not the only manager who has bouts of frustration ! Psychology gives me vocabulary to develop the above required self awareness, and get a new perspective. Sometimes I calm down before taking action and some times I impulsively act and then regret ! 

Lastly, today, what is the amount of certainty or control that a manager has on her environment ? Very little. In this hyper connected world do formal power only matter ? I doubt.  I think all these has created a very strong case for influencing, persuading and convincing others to get things done. This is where understanding others and reading psychology plays a very important role.      

What do you think ? Do share your views. 

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