Dr. Dyckman's book, Scapegoats At WorkHave you ever felt unfairly treated, singled out, accused, or blamed at work? This book addresses an all-too common yet rarely discussed workplace phenomenon - scapegoating.
Each year, thousands of workers seek professional help for job stress, and many more attempt to cope through alcohol, drugs, angry outbursts or emotional and social withdrawal. Employee turnover, absenteeism, substance abuse and stress claims cost the economy billions of dollars each year, and yet many workplaces have developed a culture which actively promotes all of these ills. This is the culture of scapegoating: a process of identifying individuals then blaming, and punishing them for problems that rightly belong to the larger organization.
'Scapegoats At Work' is a book about recognizing and combating this process by understanding how the individual and the system act together to bring a myth to life. It is a survival manual for people caught in a scapegoating workplace. It is also a book for workers and managers who wish to develop cooperative ways of dealing with individual differences and to create a working environment that is not only more humane, but also more efficient.
Following is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Dyckman on Family Talk radio about his work and the new book...
A scapegoat takes the fall for the problems of a larger organization. The word comes from a passage in Leviticus in the Bible, in which a goat is blamed for the sins of an entire community and then banished to the wilderness, and that magically relieves the cumminity from having to look any farther for what went wrong. What happens is a person is identified, then the blame is transferred to that particular person, then the person is isolated and finally either punished or banished.
What are the first signs that you are getting scapegoated?
When the hairs on the back of you neck are starting to go up, that's a sign that something is going wrong. Most of the time we cope with that, in a work situation, by denial. We do not trust our bad feelings. We like to imagine, it can't happen to us. Maybe we told the boss that the new plan doesn't make sense but we still feel that we're a good employee with that company. We come to work on time. But all of a sudden people start to avoid us, the boss is rolling his eyes when we speak in a meeting. These are the first signs of isolation.
How often does this happen?
In my clinical practice I customarily see a new client each week who is suicidal or homocidal because of scapegoating. And there are many people who continue to work but who nevertheless very much need help with this same problem. The single most important thing to counter scapegoating is to break down the isolation; this enables the individual to slow down the process of scapegoating or to recover from it. Exactly how to do this is explained in my book.
This is the full 30 minutes interview (QuickTime audio download). You can read more about Dr. Dyckman and order the book here:
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