Friday, December 08, 2006

Studies into Defensive Behaviours - Universal

Studies of more than 6,000 people found that defensive behaviour is universal, with no measurable difference by country, age, sex, ethnic identity, education, wealth, power, or experience. Worldwide, in every kind of crisis and dilemma, the priniciples of defensive reasoning encourage people to leave their own behaviour unexamined and to avoid any objective test of their premises and conclusions.

In addition to personal defensive reasoning, there is the phenomenom of organisational defensive reasoning. These are policies, practices, and actions, that have been developed to avoid embarrasment and threats.

Face saving is a typical practice. Instead of saying a decision is wrong, you make excuses for over-ruling it. Why it is wrong is never discussed.

The result: the same as personal defensive reasoning. It prevents staff from resolving problems and learning to communicate effectively.

- Wayne Mansfield

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