impact of stress

When emotionally upset, people cannot remember, attend, learn, or make decisions clearly. As one management consultant put it, “Stress makes people stupid.” – page 149, Emotional Intelligence.

I wonder how this would apply to people who feed off their assumptions or rumour and arrive fearful or angry at public information meetings?

My intuition has always been to accept the demands of angry people with suspect. This might not be politically smart, but I have to take responsibility for the decisions I make. In order to feel confident in those decisions, I need to understand and believe in the underlying facts and logic – emphatic passion isn’t enough. Unfortunately, my observation has been that emotional upset displaces rational thought, especially in crowds.

Applied to government staff, this quote also speaks to the folly of demanding ever-increasing workloads and so-called accountability from public servants. Where is the threshold at which doing so is actually counter-productive?

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