August 13, 2022

Dumb Sh*t Consultants Say: ‘Not All Stress Is Bad, and It Can Be Optimized’

Get a load of this shit.

Screenshot via r/consulting

If you follow the link, it takes you to a post on the McKinsey website about how stress isn’t the problem, YOU are! Just the kind of gaslighting we need on a Monday morning to get our week started right!

At the core of this challenge for many people is a misguided view of stress itself, which contributes to our inability to recognize and manage it. Many executives view stress as an unalloyed negative, something to fight through or minimize. As a result, they may manage it ineffectively.

In fact, stress serves a natural, physiological purpose that can help us solve important problems and learn and grow from our experiences. Instead of trying to eliminate or tamp down stress, we should try to understand it and optimize it, minimizing the downsides while capturing the upsides.

Why didn’t no one think of that before?! World peace achieved!

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  1. I mean, it’s not wrong… the human stress response evolved to, among others, help us escape from very toothy predators. Maybe this is actually incredibly apropos?

  2. There is actual scientific research on “knowledge workers” that documents how brainwashing is a specific technique used by firms (accounting, engineering, attorneys, consulting) to cause employees to deeply attach to their firms. Why? Because it makes you willing to do horrible things to yourself and feel like you are a savior for doing it. One researcher did a huge 9 year long research project documenting all the ways the workers destroyed their bodies and how the psychological processes worked that made it possible. Good times.

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