Argyris’s business consultants are using their neocortex when analyzing their clients’ business and their amygdala when responding to management’s feedback on their own performance.
From: "Kent Bottles: Why Smart People Don’t Learn from Failures « ICSI Health Care Blog."
Great post by Kent Bottles. If I haven't failed at at least 1 of my current projects per quarter I'm not pushing myself enough. It's not easy to admit, but I'll keep failing to keep learning how to be happy and fulfilled and 'successful.'
If you've ever been through a performance evaluation where the 'fear system' (amygdala) takes control, chances are you've responded defensively to criticism that, examined calmly and rationally, could very much help your self-awareness. Notice I didn't say safety, or job security.
Another unfortunate result from many current management and organizational behavior eval methodologies means that at *least* 50% of the time, criticism of an employee or team member reflects the *manager's* fears, rather than performance shortcomings.
Your job, unfortunately, is to sift through the psycho-social and behavioral assumptions that guide your boss's fears.
True 'double loop' learning is one-sided. I'd argue we need 'triple loop learning' (at minimum) that takes into account 1. the cultural/work environs 2. the individual being evaluated and 3. the manager or leader doing the evaluating.
Sometimes 'failing' simply means admitting you don't fit where you've landed. Remember, being fired, or coming up short, is not the worst thing that could happen.
You could fail to realize you're unhappy, unfulfilled, and living someone else's version of 'success.'