Are authority figures at work “The Office Tiger” in the jungle of life?

Do you find that art mimics life -characters can be a mass of contradictions yet instinctively emotionally intelligent

People who are not given equal rights in society may appear to be manipulative to others without close inspection of their use of it as a method of survival. Our survival methods are instinctive and 80,000 faster than cognitive processes. In colloquial terms, the emotional centre of our brain asks:

Can I approach this or not?

Can I eat this or will it eat me?

Will I fight and win, or should I flee?

If I freeze, will it leave me alone or not see me in the undergrowth?

Are you identifying authority figures at work as “The Office Tiger” in the jungle of life? Have a look at the long-term effects of unbalanced amounts of cortisol and adrenaline on your general health.

Rachel Hall talked to the BBC about her beloved character in Parade’s End Rebecca says: “Sylvia is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever come across in drama. She’s a mass of contradictions. She’s one of these people who is simultaneously amoral and yet a devoted Catholic. She’s a big flirt and yet she’s chaste. She’s manipulative and wily and angry and yet also victimised and a product of her situation. So she’s everything and its opposite all at the same time, which makes her completely dazzling and mesmerizing, frankly. And for an actor the biggest challenge is trying to realise all those elements of a human being.

“The thing I felt about Sylvia immediately is that she’s one of these women who is incredibly, instinctively intelligent. She’s emotionally intelligent. She’s bright. She’s whip smart, quick witted but she’s utterly uneducated, and she’s bored. So, in a sense, all of that brain power goes into manipulating people. And she doesn’t have the capacity to analyse herself or think analytically so she can’t understand why she does it or even, really, notice that she is doing it. And beyond that it’s her method of survival and also her method of entertainment.

Do you identify any of these contradictions and characteristics in your own life and do you want to know how to better predict your own behaviour?

We all hate working out of hindsight the morning after, don’t we?

Rebecca Hall playing Sylvia in Parade’s End

Posted on: October 25, 2012

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Featured Author

Mike Bourne

Mike is Director of the Centre Business Performance at Cranfield University’s School of Management in the UK. Before his academic career, Mike spent 15 years in business, spanning the valve, paper & board, building materials, machine tool and airline catering industries. He held a number of positions, with roles in production management, strategy and acquisitions, IT, HR, commercial and general management, including directorship positions in subsidiary companies. He gained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2001, researching the design and implementation of balanced performance measurement systems.

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