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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Peripatetic Philosopher confesses:

THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHETIC ADVISERS

James R. Fisher, Jr., Ph.D.
© March 22,2017


My brother-in-law has been quite helpful with advising me on my latest book SELF-CONFIDENCE which is yet to be published. He reminds me that I write about self-confidence not as a clinical psychologist in the manner of that discipline but more from the perspective of OD psychologist, a discipline to which most readers he expects are not familiar.  He was however disappointed that I had expunged any reference to my FISHER PARADIGM as he thought it was quite intriguing.  I told him I had removed reference to it as I thought for the general reader it might get in the way.  


We then had a discussion -- he lives in the desert city of California and I in Florida -- which went on for nearly an hour.  In it I explained I was something of an OD purist in that I often got into trouble with management which somehow felt, since they hired me as consultant, that it was immune to criticism or culpability.  He asked me to explain.


I told him of two cases, one in which I spent a nine-month intervention and the other a five-month intervention, when in both cases the malady clearly rested at the feet of management.  In the one instance, a riot in which a young unarmed black man was killed in a 7-11 convenient store, and the other where 350 officers of a major city in a particular state literally mutinied.  I never got work again in either state.  


Here is what appears at the beginning of chapter one:

My training is as an organizational development (OD) psychologist.  Just as a physician diagnoses the malady an individual is suffering and prescribes a treatment protocol, an OD psychologist assumes a similar role with the complex organization as an unobtrusive observer diagnosing the chronic disturbance in the workplace culture negatively impacting performance of its operation and recommending a suitable intervention to ameliorate the situation.  

Whereas the physician doesn’t tell his patient necessarily what the patient may prefer to hear but needs to know to rectify the personal health issue, the OD psychologist does the same for the complex organization.  A false notion is often perceived that because the OD psychologist is likely to be hired as consultant by management that he absolves management of its possible role in the chronic disturbance or disruption.  

Like the physician with the individual, the OD psychologist identifies the cultural perturbations and prescribes what needs to be done to address the problem, not necessarily what management would prefer to hear, and so the roles of physician to the individual and OD psychologist to the complex organization as clinician are similar.

The title of the first chapter:  


IT’S HARD TO BE SELF-CONFIDENT WHEN OUR CULTURE MAKES US FEEL OTHERWISE!


ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (OD)
Intellectual Capital & the Power of People!