An Essay on Peer Pressure in the Workplace

In the business world of today many companies spend countless time, money and wasted energy to solve and curve conflict resolution in the workplace. Does ones self-esteem of an individual have anything to do with falling into negative peer pressure in the work place? We often dont realize that some times what we view as simple shop talk, could lead to more major problems. It doesnt matter what type of business youre in, nor the size company. It is equally damaging to a teams moral and having any confidence in the organizations mission.

Especially if one is involved in role modeling for young abused children. Negative peer pressure is a very destructive force that can ruin any company, if not reversed in time. It is equally important to discover firsthand how to see it and find healthier ways to turn a negative culture to a proper and positive one.

Take for example I work at a small juvenile treatment center. In our facility, we have two cottages with roughly 30 plus employees, serving 28 youth. But before we were one cottage, we had two different groups of children. We seemed to be more proactive and a well-organized group. Our problems began to arise when we split staff and cottages. A new group leader formed and he took who he wanted to work for him, to his cottage. Well before you knew it, staff began to question the group leaders motives they didnt seem to fit the mold of the program. Anger turned in to resentment. Since the move took place several months ago, we now have a huge problem on our hands. The boys dont listen to staff, and the child care workers get frustrated, leading to little trust among coworkers. It is just a big mess.

When a good thing fails, we often question our motives in why we listen to some and when we dont. When talking about peer pressure, it either can work for us in a positive manner or it can consume us. We allow bad thing to happen to good people, causes damage to ones scheme, and our will to succeed, (self-efficacy) is severally hampered. We have a lot of back stabbing and stereotyping going right now. The concepts and ideas do real benefit the treatment of our youth, and personal growth of our employees at Tri-State Youth Academy does exist. We use terms like seek first to understand and then be understood. Meaning we need to seek and understand the bigger picture, of why someone does the things they do. Instead often ones own understanding gets in the way. Therefor the seed of judgment prevails.

I can honestly speak of this very problem towards me. Since it is a small company, everyone is seemingly attempting to get to the top. In this hasty climb to the top, causes a stampede on other peoples self-confidence. In return a whole lot of mistrust and bad communication prevails. I think with 11 years experience, making more money, and my education, spells envy towards me. I dont want to sound like I am high on myself(egotistic), but it seems that I am a threat to some of my coworkers.

I was a group leader when I was hired to take care of lower functioning youth. They took that away from me, saying that they wanted to give it to someone else that was in the company longer. I accepted it as valid, to later have it happen again giving it to a more senior staff. So you can easily see why self confidence in several of us at our company face low self-esteem. To me they are making a big mistake how they deal with therere employees. It is my opinion that is why they have such a high turnover right now.

First thing is first, is one of the 7 good habits of highly effective people, by the author, (Stephen R. Covey, 7 Habits, 1989). These habits are what we use for the youth to follow, in their journey to recovery. As staff at Tri-State, in order to gain back control of our current situation. We must have enough self-control to utilize such skills as think win/win, seek first, cenergize, (working together for one common goal), think end in mind (what is our main purpose) and sharpen the saw, which implies that all the good skills that we learn we must use or lose it. Practice makes perfect kind of attitude.

Our founder of Tri-State Youth Academy, Rocky Hall, is a leader in what is known as (P.P.C.) Positive peer Culture for the past 32 years of experience. He has a philosophy, what we teach the kids to succeed, so do the staff at TYSA. We need to be positive role models for our youth as well as our fellow coworkers, A (L.T.D.) learn teach do approach on to treatment (H. VORRATH, L. BRENDTRO,P.P.C., 2007).

I want to include a more in depth look at the 7 habits, this assignment came from work. Doctor Kevin Little of Tri-State, challenge each and every one of us to explain what the 7 habits mean to use and what the author intended to express.

The 7 habits of Highly Effective People, was developed by Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In which he indicates habits are developed by three main components; Knowledge, attitude, and skill. Dt. Coveys message here is that with those mention three, we can either develop habits that are self-destructive, or we can turn them in to positive ones, that displaying the power of effectiveness. We have the inner will power to unlearn what we thought was right and change our destiny.

According to Dr. Coveys research, over a 150 years of Americas literature waved on the side of character ethic. Character ethics was the idea that one perception played a major role effecting there way of life and that was the only way for one to be considered successful. Basically say that we are a slave to our environmental surroundings. Further research would put a damper on that theory.

Slowly the practice of character ethic would make way for the idea of personality ethic, which was based on the perception of personal success, is a function of public image, of attitudes, behaviors and skills. Often time this type of thought process, would lead to a false sense of security in ones self. Personality ethics often turns in to a bunch of lies, feeding of others to gain personal wealth. Most often than not short lived and all ways empty.

Habits are a very big part of our everyday life and they can either work for us or against us. If you think about it a bit, you come to realize all most everything we do during or day depends on some type of routine. Often times our habits become dangerous and are self-destructing. Dr. Coveys 7 habits were developed to break thinking errors that we put into place that stops us from be the best we can be. Developing and putting these positive 7 habits together, allowing them to work for us not against us. There for the allotment plan in mind by Dr. Covey, is for us to break old habit and form new and positive ones.

Working here with our children, I come to realize how strong of a influence peer culture can be. I know firsthand that habits can either work for us or against us. Our youth struggle with the choices that they made before they got here. They were given false hope and misguided, there whole life time. I know that I must let go of old habits of my own and imply the seven habits as well, stick them in my tool box and use them here at Tri State. I remember a long time ago, a mentor once told me I am an agent of change. That statement will always ring true. It is my responsibility to be that agent for your young ones, and help them learn the 7 habits as well as I.

In my experience in working with youth and dealing with fellow coworkers, the best way to change bad culture is to first have a proactive approach to being a team player. Becoming a team player will help slow down any anxiety and or mistrust towards other employees. Second, one must practice being a peace maker in the work place. Practicing this skill, will lead to less gossip, that usually very quickly can come back to haunt you. Remembering the 7 habits, will allow you to have freedom over developing you scheme, and allow you to have a healthy self efficacy, (Meyers, 2008).

Work takes up a good portion of our lives. For the regular full time employee, a regular work week takes up at least 40 hours and that’s not taking overtime into consideration. Even for part timers, a job can feel like a second home. (Amanda Sposato, AC News, Harmony at Work,2006).

The above excerpt is from Amanda Sposato of AC News, in her article Harmony in the work place: Getting along with your co-workers. She goes to explain with all the hours that we put in at work, we tend to consider it our second home. The importance of maintaining a health professional relationship with your co-workers is a must. Some of the major ideas that she discusses, are what I have already touched on, such as being patient peace maker or keeper. Keeping a cool head about any situation also helps a million. She also mentions a very interesting view point, that I have never thought about before, Dont throw stones at a mirror house. The meaning of that is dont gossip, and dont complain about something that you may be doing yourself. So in other words dont be so quick to point your finger.

Peer pressure is not just for teens it happens to adults too. We must understand the power of peer pressure and how it challenges to do the right thing, (integrity). We are faced with many decisions on whether or not to be part of the solution or part of the problems. Currently in my work place, there is a lot of chaos between our cottages, causing a lot of animosity towards each other. I am struggling to keep being the peace maker, when I really want to speak my mind. But I wrote earlier in my out line, that we need to be the peace keeper, even if we dont feel like it. I am going to take my own advice.

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