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Imitation, Our Parents and Transference

by seo on November 20, 2009

Career Mission’s Chief Executive Officer, A. Harrison Barnes, in a webinar discussed the importance of understanding the concepts of imitation and transference in order to analyze your career performance.

Imitation is a natural process and happens all the time with everybody. Parents, teachers, bosses, friends, everyone is being imitated and is imitating. It can be defined as the sincerest form of flattery that practically everybody indulges in. But have you ever thought why imitation is such a common practice? The reason is simple. People want to be loved and needed and it is believed or assumed that the best way to be appreciated by others is to be like them. The need to feel safe and connected is tremendously important and most people would go to great lengths to make others care for them.

Drawing from the movie ‘Philadelphia’, Harrison talks about the progression of a person’s career as being largely determined by the rate at which imitation is done. For instance, promotions or discriminations often take place due to the ability or inability of the person to imitate his or her supervisors. Interestingly, while on a new job search, it will be assumed by prospective employers that you have inculcated methodologies, system of functioning, and mannerisms adopted within the organization you have worked in earlier. Accordingly, you are either absorbed or avoided by the new organization.

Another interesting factor that Harrison points out is that many people believe they have an in-depth understanding of a person, so much so that they act, behave, and even think like the person. In doing this, you often see other people as the person you are imitating. This is called transference. Transference is often wrong and blinds you from seeing the real person. In conclusion, Harrison states that the more you understand who you are and why you act the way you do, the more successful you will be.

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