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Gary's Newsletter 379 : The Impact of Envy

Posted by Gary R Collins on April 14, 2010 Comments 0

THE IMPACT OF ENVY


Why would a business magazine publish an article on envy (Harvard Business Review, April 2010)? The answer is that "envy - the distress people feel when others get what they want- is both universal" and inclined to intensify in times of economic crisis.

"Envy sabotages the performance of a company or organization (churches included). It damages relationships, disrupts teams, and can undermine self-confidence and careers. Envy is difficult to manage because most of us have difficulty admitting that we harbor a socially unacceptable emotion. Individuals distance themselves from the people they envy, often make self-disparaging comparisons, and begin to focus on their own insecurities. Envy stimulates negativity that spreads through whole organizations. What can coaches, counselors or others do to stop it? According to HBR:

  • Help individuals pinpoint the circumstances and qualities in others that trigger envy. What does this reveal about recognizing and dealing with our own anxieties and insecurities?
  • Discourage comparisons. Instead, help team members and counseling clients be aware of their own God-given strengths, successes, capabilities and accomplishments.
  • Try to stimulate a culture of mutual encouragement, an environment where different people do different things so there is less inclination to make comparisons.
  • Recognize that envy is controllable. "By reflecting on your vulnerable moments and practicing new habits, you can turn a harmful emotion into a means of improving both your own performance and your team's"
  • Re-read Galatians 5:19-23. Envy is listed with some strongly negative attitudes and practices but it can be controlled by the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives.
  • And it can be handled better when it is admitted and discussed with a caring friend, coach or counselor. 

 

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© 2014 Gary R. Collins, PhD.
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