Something that is very commonly encountered in people work is anxiety. This can apply in a number of ways. We can feel anxious ourselves in facing the challenges of helping people solve their problems. In many circumstances, anxiety will be a major part of the cause of the problems experienced by the people we are seeking to help, and even when anxiety is not in itself a cause or factor, it will often be present as a result of the problems – often exacerbating them. Anxiety can also exist at a wider level – for example, anxiety (and thus defensiveness) can be part of an organizational culture and can thus have a very significant impact on the work undertaken in that organization. For example, we may have a team of staff who are very limited and unadventurous in their approach because they have become ‘risk averse’, as a result of a defensive culture built on a degree of anxiety.
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