Yes we do

Josef Wegenberger

The past years were / are characterized by crises, such as the Corona pandemic, energy crisis, wars, inflation, climate change, etc.

If we observe our environment, the media, public and political discussion or crisis management in companies, we find that people react very differently: Downplaying ["it won't be so bad"] "playing dead", "developing aggression" [especially towards others or "those up there" via "counter-reactions" [reactance], conspiracy theories ["I know exactly who is to blame"] to "good ideas for the others" ["what the others should do" or "first they have to do something, the EU, politics, the other countries etc"].

While former American President Barack Obama has chosen "Yes we can" as his leitmotif, many people choose: "You should...", "You ought to...", "You could...".

Others react with information avoidance ["Vogel-Strauss-Politik" and thus "sticking one's head in the sand"]. The column title of the newspaper DIE ZEIT in the fall of 2022 read: "I'm getting the crisis crisis" . One reacts to bad news with "news avoidance, that is, the avoidance of news".

Another tactic we know from social psychology is the response to fear and anxiety.
Run, fight, or play dead are the 3 ways we have when faced with acute danger. Fear of danger gives rise to the motivation to react quickly.
This behaves differently with fear of/to real or unreal threats or threat scenarios - as an example, climate change.
Basically, each and every one of us can and must act. However, if you have the impression [or if you are given the impression] that you cannot do anything on your own, exactly the opposite happens: you react as if paralyzed, you are unable to act. A psycho-"logical" reaction to this is often repression, distraction, belittlement etc. [see above]. [see above]. Fear results from the discrepancy between what we perceive and what we desire.

Not those who conjure up the end of the world will bring us further, but all people who want to do something and make a difference and offer real solutions - YES WE DO.
While leafing through a newspaper, a quote from a 78-year-old hermit [Kurt von Wohlgemut] caught my eye: "I read that we have to plant 20 billion trees [= 20,000,000,000] for the climate, I'll start here [renaturalizing a bare slope in the mountains of Carinthia] - YES WE DO.

The 23rd Management Cercle of the Society for Business Psychology and Organizational Dynamics will focus on the topics "RUN THE BUSINESS" | CHANGE THE BUSINESS | MANAGE the CRISIS - if you are interested, just contact us:


Column in the newspaper Die Zeit Fall 2022; quoted from Der Standard 6.11. 2022