About a year ago, I worked with a client interested in launching an online crash course about team management in times of crisis. Part of my job was to understand the market – if there was a demand for such a crash course. Effective team management during crisis depends on the people skills of the team leader. Good people skills mean that the leader understands human psychology and social behaviour.
So, we set out to determine what percentage of managers within my client target had such knowledge and how many could profit from a crash course. First, we published a survey on social media platforms asking if people have studied psychology in school or university or have learned about it later in life. We very much expected the results we got, but the percentile distribution was surprising for everyone.
46% had never studied the subject, and 8% did so only later in life. So that’s a total of almost 55% that didn’t study psychology in school and didn’t have a knowledge of human behaviour.
Based on this evidence, we launched the Effective Team Management Course. It quickly became a bestseller, and my client is working on the second edition.
However, the survey results stuck in my mind. And the recent increase in demand for mental health therapy due to COVID made me think: how come we learn so little or nothing about people? Of course, we learn about other things in school… maths, English (or another primary language), geography, history, biology, physics, chemistry, music, sports, and even Chinese…. The list is endless. But we don’t study human psychology – we don’t study ourselves. I guess knowing about ourselves was not a priority when school curricula were established. But why wasn’t it if we were the basis of society? And still are.
My point is: becoming a good manager, a leader, a good parent, or even a good spouse depends hugely on understanding human nature, which we learn only in psychology or sociology class. So why don’t we have the subject in primary school, secondary school, or university (in any discipline)?
Psychologists and psychiatrists are constantly in demand. However, getting therapy and seeing results is a long process. It’s difficult to fix a broken inner self. But we are under pressure and in a rush, so we want immediate results. We then turn to the alternative: self-proclaimed specialists who promise fast results with low effort and have no deep knowledge of psychology and human behaviour. The market is full of it.
I leave this thought open for comment. Don’t hesitate to contact me here if you fancy discussing or sharing your opinion.
Meanwhile, select your psychologist, coach, or mental help advisor, like your financial advisor or personal GP. Make sure they have a solid background and check references before signing a deal.