Emotionally Impaired Perception … Catch-22

It’s sometimes difficult to embrace the notion that someone sees room for improvement in us, especially while we’re so bent on doing right.  I mediated with someone whose focus on his method for advancement was so consuming that he was oblivious to the (im)personal impact he was having on others while carrying out his job.

The plaintiff inscrutably followed procedures which could have led to his eligibility for promotion, but his employer had a consistent (and documented) history of his problematic interpersonal skills (difficult to manage when he felt his approach was being challenged, aggressive and intimidating communication style, insubordinate).

Employer:  Told him this unresolved issue was an impediment to his advancement.

Plaintiff:  Indignant.  Summarily denied interpersonal issues and insisted that his technical eligibility was the only legitimate factor his boss should be considering.  (Ahem.)

Catch-22:  The plaintiff’s emotionally filtered perception defined the root of his work stagnation and the barrier to its solution – not to mention reaching a mediated resolution.  His emotionally impaired perception was his nemesis at each turn.

Sometimes it’s possible to circumvent the emotionally led lose-lose path by suggesting a check-in with others about the so-called roadblock, but put it this way:  Have him ask whether the information could be useful to achieving his goals.

If he’s got someone with him, maybe s/he can be that trusty sounding board.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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