PERFORMANCE AT WORK
Dennis B. Kottler, MD
Westlake Village, CA
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Optimal performance at work depends on a "healthy" work environment (see below). If this cannot be achieved in the current work environment consider a change of jobs.
A "HEALTHY" work environment has the following atttributes:
1 - PURPOSE - People must feel they are part of something important, meaningful, and exciting.
2 - INCENTIVES to perform - People can earn promotions, bonuses, and recognition.
3 - FAIRNESS and RESPECT - Appropriate standards of conduct - procedures for conflict resolution
4 - MOVING ON UP - A clear path to increasing responsibilities and rewards
5 - COMARADERIE and TEAM BUILDING
A "HEALTHY" SELF involves the following:
1 - Identification of PSYCHIATRIC and BEHAVIORAL issues which cause dysfunction:
Personality Disorders, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Anxiety & Panic, ADD/ADHD, OCD & OCPD.
2 - Identification of PHYSICAL issues which cause dysfunction:
Acute or Chronic Medical Conditions, Obesity, Smoking, & Substance Abuse.
3 - Identification of OUTSIDE DISTRACTERS:
Family and Marital problems, Financial, and Legal Issues
A "HEALTHY" RELATIONSHIP among all those at the workplace includes:
1 - Identification of personality issues and conflicts
2 - Appropriate delegation of tasks
3 - An organizational hierarchy clearly defined
4 - When family members work together special attention must given to the dynamics
between them and the relationships with the non-family workers
PSYCHIATRIC DYSFUNCTION IN THE WORKPLACE
John is brilliant, entertaining, and has inexhaustible drive. However, he is loud, moody, and abrasive. As often as coworkers enjoy his wit and humor, they dread his unpredictable outbursts and know-it-all attitude. He has trouble listening when others speak and ignores all input, whether from peers or his boss. Generally he presents a positive image to his customers and is a great closer, but his coworkers wish he would work somewhere else. John consents to treatment when his wife threatens divorce.
David has been hired to help organize the family business, which, though marginally profitable, is terribly inefficent. He does a great job of establishing order in the office but alienates everyone with his rigid demands that things be organized exactly as he says. He once left in a huff when the account manager left some papers on her desk overnite. An "intervention" by the staff led to his seeking help, prodded by the CEO suggesting his days at the company were limited.
Grace turned out brilliant computer code and helped her company become #2 in its hi-tech niche--when she wasn't dozing off, slumped over her laptop. A psychiatric evaluation determined she suffered from "excessive daytime sleepiness" related to a sleep disorder. After she received appropriate treatment, the company became #1.
A skillful psychiatrist can diagnose and treat impediments to success such as these. Treatment may involve individual psychotherapy with medication as needed. Meetings can also be scheduled to work on interpersonal issues.
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