Arrest Yourself When Under the Influence of a Negative Thought
We recognize the signs and symptoms when company morale starts to plummet – employees shuffle into work like morose marionettes, pulled only by a string of survival needs. People are showing up late, or not at all, and new ideas are harder to find than a new mortgage from a bank. Sometimes an outrageous or unexpected interruption of the emerging negative pattern is imperative to revitalize the work force. Enter the “pattern interrupt.”
Patterns of behavior can be interrupted and changed instantaneously. When employees lock into recurring patterns of negative behavior, it may serve them better to have someone interrupt the pattern rather than berate or sympathize with them, which could reinforce the attention they get for acting out that pattern. Pattern interrupts can short-circuit the mental paralysis and inspire a more resourceful, positive state.
On March 19, 1998, the storied Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team was sold by the beloved O’Malley family to corporate predator Rupert Murdoch. Named that year by Sports Business Journal as baseball’s most successful organization during the 20th century, the Dodgers were a paragon of “family values” as an organization, a very close knit group. It was understandable that everyone in the organization had a massive letdown when Murdoch’s marauders usurped the helm. A friend of mine worked in the Dodgers’ public relations department, and informed me of how demoralized they were because of the change. Being a Dodger fan and good friend, I faxed over to him the following news memo parody just to interrupt the pattern and bring back some levity to his staff:
RUPERT MURDOCH ACQUIRES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
VATICAN CITY. At a press conference today in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican announced that Rupert Murdoch will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for common stock shares in his media empire. If the deal is approved, it will be the first time a media mogul has acquired a major world religion. Pope John Paul II will become Senior Vice President of the company’s new religion division. “We anticipate tremendous growth in the religious telecommunications market for the next decade,” said Mr. Murdoch. “The additional resources of the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more accessible for a wider audience of people. Through our telecommunications systems, we will make the sacraments available via satellite for the first time…through new interactive media, you can confess your sins, obtain absolution, and reduce your time in purgatory, all without leaving the comfort of your own home.” Mr. Murdoch added that he intends to give the church a racier look for broad public appeal.
According to my friend, the memo made its way around the office and reinstated the family spirit. They resolved to maintain solidarity in the face of any changes that were not deemed beneficial to the organization. Given the number of mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers running amok, sometimes it requires a little comic relief to stop a negative pattern and regain perspective. Go Dodgers!
Excerpt from the Amazon best selling book,
“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lighten Up!”
by Terry Braverman
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