What is the Definition of Courage In Organizational Psychology?

by Shamsul
The Man with Courage
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Definition of Courage

Courage is the ability to say and do things one believes correct, even if it is socially uncomfortable or dangerous.

For example, a courageous person might be willing to speak up and correct their manager if they seem to make a significant mistake.

In organizational psychology, courage is generally perceived as an individual’s ability to face difficult, uncertain, or threatening situations despite the fear or anxiety experienced. It can involve challenging the status quo, taking calculated risks, supporting an unpopular position, effectively managing conflict, or acting with integrity in the face of opposing pressures.

What are the Benefits of Valuing Courage In A Company?

Courage in the workplace is essential to promote innovation and growth.

Employees who are courageous enough to express new thoughts and challenge the status quo contribute to a work environment that values creative thinking and problem-solving.

This can lead to developing innovative products or services, improving existing processes, and identifying new market opportunities.

Furthermore, a climate that encourages courage can help attract and retain talents seeking an environment where they can openly express their ideas and take initiative.

On the other hand, it plays a key role in the ethics and integrity of a company. Courageous employees are more likely to behave ethically, even in the face of opposing pressures.

For example, they may be more inclined to report unethical or illegal behaviors, which can help prevent scandals or damage to the company’s reputation.

Moreover, when leaders show courage, it can inspire employee confidence and respect, strengthen the organizational culture, and improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

Why is it So Difficult to Show Courage?

Showing courage can be challenging for several reasons.

Firstly, courage often involves taking risks, which can mean stepping out of one’s comfort zone, challenging the status quo, or taking an unpopular stance. This can cause uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. Individuals may fear failure, rejection, or negative repercussions, such as job loss, demotion, or ostracism.

Secondly, courage generally involves facing and managing conflicts with colleagues, superiors, or even within oneself. Conflicts can be emotionally challenging, and many prefer to avoid them.

Thirdly, it requires ethical reflection and decision-making. This can be a challenge, especially when the pressure to act in a way that conflicts with one’s values exists.

Finally, courage demands strong perseverance and resilience in the face of obstacles and setbacks. Maintaining determination in adversity can be challenging.

What is an Excellent Example of Courage In Business?

An example of courage in business is when an employee or a leader stands up to denounce unethical or inappropriate practices despite the personal risk involved.

For example, consider whistleblowers. These individuals observe reprehensible or immoral acts within their company, such as fraud, corruption, harassment, or regulatory violations, and decide to report them, often to external authorities. Their action requires excellent inner strength as they expose themselves to retaliation, such as dismissal, harassment, or discrimination. However, their courage can lead to significant and positive changes within the company and sometimes even within an entire industry.

Another example can be an employee or manager who dares to propose new ideas or challenge the status quo. This can be risky, especially in corporate cultures that do not value debate or dissent. However, it is often from these courageous ideas that innovation and growth emerge.

What are Recommended Readings to Show More Courage In Business?

There are several books that can help develop courage in business. Here are some recommendations:

How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown. In this book, Brown explores how vulnerability and courage can lead to a more authentic and fulfilling life, including professionally.

Daring Greatly

“The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth”

Amy C. Edmondson

This book explores the concept of psychological safety and explains how it can foster courage and innovation within organizations.

“Find Your Courage: 12 Acts for Becoming Fearless at Work and in Life”

Margie Warrell

This book provides practical strategies to overcome fear and show courage in all aspects of life, including at work.

“Leading with Courage: Nine Critical Behaviors of Effective Leaders and Managers”

Lee Ellis

Ellis offers practical advice and case studies to help leaders develop their inner strength. Also, encourage the same behavior in their employees.

“Courage: The Backbone of Leadership”

Gus Lee

This book examines the role of courage in leadership and proposes a model for developing moral and ethical courage in organizations.

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