These studies, as well as our experiences, have led us to expect that standards, values, and decisions arrived at by group members themselves will be accepted to a greater degree by the group members than those that are not arrived at in this way. Lewin and Grabbe have stated this problem clearly, as follows: The fact that . Many people assume that the creation, as part of the re-educative process, of an atmosphere of informality and freedom of choice cannot possibly mean anything else but that the re-educator must be clever enough in manipulating the subjects to have them think that they are running the show. One reason is because it's a very effective outlet for temporarily mitigating pain and relieving stress. You take it out on someone else. The scientific term, displacement aggression, refers to those times when you take out your tension on an innocent bystander through physical or emotional violence. Like a steam valve, you've got all this pressure building up and you have to let it out somewhere. You take control over your life by taking control over someone else's life. Rat studies make the concept easily understandable. Research shows when a rat is shocked, it activates a stress response. The kicker is that the response is lower in a shocked rat who can then bite the hell out of another rat. Dad gets yelled at by a client and comes home, trips over his daughter's scooter, and proceeds to smash it to smithereens. Follows up with a rant at his husband about not cleaning up after the kids. Step One: Identify the Icebergs What beliefs keep you chained to your desk or your computer, drafting table, or wherever else you do your work? Read through this list of common work icebergs (this article) until you hit upon one that gives you that Yes, that's true! Moments of big emotionality are another good way to identify your work/life balance icebergs. Remember, if the emotional response you're having is disproportionate to the actual event at hand, it's a clue that an iceberg is lurking. When that happens, use your drill-down technique to unearth it.

Find the automatic thought behind the powerful emotion you're feeling, and then ask yourself the four key questions: What is the most upsetting part of that for me? And what does that (my answer to #1) mean to me? What is the worst part of that (my answer to #2) for me? According to such people, an approach of this kind is merely a deception and smoke screen for what to them is the more honorable, straightforward method of using force. It may be pointed out, however, that if re-education means the establishment of a new super-ego, it necessarily follows that the objective sought will not be reached so long as the new set of values is not experienced by the individual as something freely chosen. Here is a fact of tremendous significance. If we accept its validity, it means radically changing most of our conceptions about supervision and administration. The group leader who sees his chief function as providing the conditions whereby the members arrive at decisions themselves is carrying out a role that is quite different from that of the leader who spends his energies devising the most effective ways of communicating his decisions to the group and who usually must keep motivating the group to carry out those decisions. We may say, in conclusion, that these observations, which we have dared to present as expected outcomes of group-centered leadership, are based upon much too little experience and upon far from adequate research findings. Undoubtedly our perceptions have been influenced by the enthusiasm with which we have approached this area. Nevertheless, these beginnings have been impressive to us, for we cannot help feeling that along this road social science may be traveling toward a more significant meaning of democracy. This democracy will mean a more active and vital participation of the common man in all matters which concern him. It will mean an opportunity for the self-actualization of each group member and for the maximum utilization of the potential of each group. That's displacement aggression. Dumping your emotions on someone else, while it may give you an outlet and provide temporary relief, can really throw you--and others--for a loop. I was recently victim to painful displacement aggression. Believe me, it's no fun to be on the receiving end. My daughter died of diabetes because people like you make it okay to be fat. Of course the woman was extremely upset--her daughter was dead--and offloading her anger may have lightened the sting for a bit.

But I doubt that soothed her for long. I hope she can eventually find peace and direct her emotion where it belongs. My clarity that I didn't deserve this blame, plus my compassion for why the woman lashed out, helped me manage the insult. Distressingly, displacement aggression is one of the most efficacious things humans can do to feel less stressed. Assuming my answer to #3 is true, why is that so upsetting to me? Common Icebergs Around Work I must appear professional at all times. Successful people juggle it all. If I can't, then I'm not successful. I must always deliver. I should lead by example. I need to be at work. It's my job to provide, so I have to step up. My children need to have x, y, z, so I need to work to be able to afford that. SUGGESTED READINGS For accounts of applications of a therapeutic approach in industrial consulting, the articles by staff members of the Tavistock Clinic are recommended. An entire issue of the Journal of Social Issues (95) has been devoted to their work. Covner (44) gives a good description of a consulting approach that is based upon some of the principles of client-centered therapy. The reader interested in a type of group leadership that is more interpretive than the group-centered approach will want to examine the two articles by Bion (27, 28). McGregor's article (123) and the articles under the editorship of Alpert and Smith (7) offer theoretical but stimulating conceptualizations about leadership.

Some of the principles of group-centered leadership can be seen in their application to larger social groups in the report of the Peckham experiment (144), in the article by Golden and Ruttenberg (67), and in the issue of the Journal of Social Issues under the editorship of McGregor, Knickerbocker, Haire, and Bavelas (124). Many of the references suggested at the end of article 9 will be of interest to readers who are concerned with group-centered leadership in education and teaching. There is something peculiarly compelling about the central hypothesis of the client-centered approach, and the individual who comes to rely upon this hypothesis in his therapeutic work finds almost inevitably that he is driven to experiment with it in other types of activity. If, in therapy, it is possible to rely upon the capacity of the client to deal constructively with his life situation and if the therapist's aim is best directed toward releasing that capacity, then why not apply this hypothesis and this method in teaching? Particularly if you are low on the social scale, or don't have other ways of feeling your power, displacing aggression onto those even lower in the pecking order is a reliable way to reduce cortisol secretion. We see it all too often when domestic violence plays out. Boss unfairly lashes out at employee, who then brings it home and takes it out on an even less powerful child or spouse--cruelty, spitefulness, physical abuse, however wrong, may seem momentarily like the only way to blow off pent-up steam. This explains why, when inequality fuels violence, it is mostly disadvantaged people preying on other disadvantaged people. This also contributes to rates of child/intimate partner abuse increasing dramatically during times of economic duress. Cisgender men control a disproportionate share of resources and thus are disproportionally offenders of displacement aggression, while women and people of other genders are frequent targets. Interestingly, in researching air rage (a passenger losing it on a commercial flight), scientists found a substantial predictor. On planes with first-class sections, the odds of a coach passenger going ballistic goes up almost fourfold. Researchers assume that's because you start the flight by being reminded of where you fit on the class hierarchy. The coach passengers take out their rage not on first-class passengers but on people directly around them. If I don't run things/do it myself, nothing will get done right. Only weak people need to take time off. If I take time off, I'll be seen as dispensable. I need to excel at everything I do. Important people work long hours. Step Two: Determine Which Icebergs Need to Be Embraced (While Shaving Off the Trouble Spots)

Which icebergs do you want to keep that are still perhaps causing conflict in certain situations? A good example of this would be I must always deliver. That's a noble work ethic, and one you may deem worth keeping. But if you get handed a project at the eleventh hour, and you don't have the materials you need to get it done, you're likely to crash into some pretty big emotions. If the creation of an atmosphere of acceptance, understanding, and respect is the most effective basis for facilitating the learning which is called therapy, then might it not be the basis for the learning which is called education? If the outcome of this approach to therapy is a person who is not only better informed in regard to himself, but who is better able to guide himself intelligently in new situations, might a similar outcome be hoped for in education? It is questions of this sort which plague the counselor who is also a teacher. As a result of this kind of questioning, a number of workers who had used a client-centered approach in therapy began to experiment with adaptations of this orientation to the classroom situation. The field was uncharted, and there was much fumbling and trial and error. Many of the attempts were unsuccessful or only partially successful. Yet because the quality of learning which frequently resulted was so different from that taking place in the ordinary classroom, further experimentation seemed unquestionably demanded. A sobering aspect of the experience was the growing realization of the revolutionary character of what was being attempted. If education is most effectively conducted along lines suggested by client-centered therapy, then the achievement of this goal means turning present-day education upside down -- a task of no mean magnitude. At this juncture in our experience it was heartening to find others who, starting from somewhat different lines of thinking, were coming to similar conclusions. So you get the dude lashing out at the woman and baby sitting next to him or the hapless flight attendant serving his row. Don't avoid your own pain by giving it to someone else. If you're the aggressor, take heed. I know you don't want to be a jerk--you wouldn't be reading this article if you did. So, start by honoring that you want to be a good person. Apply some self-compassion.