Psychologists play chess with behavior

Teaching in Times of Online Education
24-07-2020
(Re-)Launch of the EDLAB Student Advisory Board
18-02-2021

Psychologists play chess with behavior

„Psychologists play chess with behavior“ Quote by Workshop Trainer Susanne Maris

Wow, what an interesting way of looking at what psychologists do. At first glance, this quote may make psychologists sound like being quite manipulative, right? However, as a prospective Work Psychologist, I think that we mostly have good intentions and actually want to help others to master the chess game of behavior as well! This workshop advanced our chess-playing skills in a few areas. Read on, if you want to hear more!

First, we talked about effective conflict management. As suggested by the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument there are five conflict resolution styles:

  1. Competing,
  2. Avoiding,
  3. Collaborating,
  4. Accommodating, and
  5. Compromising.

Every one of us tends to use one or two styles more over the others. By reflecting on a personal conflict, we learned more about our own conflict style and how we can start or stop using a certain style more/ less.

Second, we were tasked with putting ourselves in another person´s shoes to be better able to emphasize with others. A mind-map helped in the brainstorming process. Questions included: “What is his/ her dreams and hopes?”, “What is most important to this person (values)?”, and “What else is going on in his/ her life?”. I promise you, you´d be surprised how hard it can be to complete this mind-map for people you don´t know very well. However, having the answers to these questions can tremendously help in adjusting your behavior!

Thirdly, we were asked to reflect on our allergies and victories. This exercise helped us identify our allergy zones so that we can recognize these better and respond accordingly in the future. This exercise encouraged us to choose a solution-focused approach: If something doesn´t work for us, we should try a new approach and if something works well for us, we should do more of it. Like that, we can ultimately find our path to optimal behavior.

We finished off the workshop with some helpful tips and tricks for holding productive, enjoyable Zoom meetings – an essential skill in the midst of a global pandemic! Here are a few of them:

  • Get in the right mindset a few minutes before the meeting – What are your expectations? How can you make the meeting more enjoyable?
  • Start with small talk or an icebreaker (e.g. “What did you do before this meeting?”)
  • Have a clear agenda and maybe even a dedicated facilitator who keeps everyone on track
  • Engage actively (e.g. smile, use hand gestures, look at the camera)
  • Keep it to below 45 minutes!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the workshop as much as I did!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *