Monthly Article Archives: February 2019

“Why Do You Put Yourself Down?” Part IIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my January column, I examined the benefits that arise when business leaders and others in supervisory positions reveal to their staff and colleagues failures they have experienced during their professional journeys.  The catalyst for my writing the column was an article “Why Managers Should Reveal Their Failures” authored by Dina Gerdeman and posted by Harvard Business School.  The piece was based on a lengthier paper “Mitigating Malicious Envy: Why Successful People Should Reveal Their Failures,” authored by Alison Wood Brooks (as I noted last month, I am not related to Alison) with Harvard Business School colleagues and graduate students Nicole Abi-Esber, Ryan Buell, Brian Hall, Karen Huang, and Laura Huang. Upon reading Brooks’ research I recalled an interaction I had several years earlier.  An individual approached me at the end of one of my workshops and asked, “I’m curious, Dr. Brooks.  Why do you put yourself down?”  He zeroed in on my describing the insecurities I experienced as a therapist, especially at the beginning of my career, and my asserting that I probably wasn’t as effective with my initial patients as I was with patients I saw as a more seasoned clinician. I had two main objectives for sharing

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