PAGE HOME          Specialty Services

                     Howard Z. Lorber, LCSW

                                                            Psychotherapist & Anthropologist

211 West 56th Street, 16H, New York, NY 10019

              (917) 710-7578                            

Business Consultation

Any business, no matter what its product or service, is first and foremost an organization of people. The importance of this commonplace and obvious fact is recognized whenever the cliché ‘The strength of an organization is its people,’ is bandied about. Yet, the obvious is often made ignaorable just because it is commonplace.

In the running of a business, the object is to profit and grow. To do this there needs to be an environment where the social relations among people, their behavior and their intentions, are in the background. The old saw about ‘the well oiled machine’ means that everyone's ‘average expectable environment’ has evolved and adapted to the needs of the organization and to each other. This is so no matter what size the organization and what level of organization you are looking at. It is when ‘personnel,’ people, become an issue, they are no longer ignorable in the business of running a business.

It is most painful and disruptive when key personnel at any level are involved in the struggle. It seems to become more and more confusing. Greater levels of stress and conflict emerge. Even before this point, however, there are signs that all is not well. You’ve seen it: the periodic bicker between staff members; the emergence of sexual harassment cases; the discovery of substance abuse in a key executive, or partner, or staff member. These can usually be relegated to the ‘out bin’ of ‘personal problems.’ They are not seen as difficult situations that emerge from the maladaptive fit between individuals and the ways individuals function with each other at work.

‘Team players ‘ are desired and desirable.  But, at the end of the day, in the stressful competitive crunch of making business decisions, when people feel angry, mournful and wronged, their means of adapting often breaks down.   Unfortunately, at this point, it is at this point that the 'team' break apart and litigation becomes a real possibility.

One of the important ways organizations try to forestall conflict and social breakdown is through the interviewing process. Have you ever noticed that interviewing procedures take longer and longer? We all know why this is so, whether we’ve articulated it or not: we want to see if there is a ‘good fit’ between the candidate and ourselves (and our key people). The length of the interviewing process is also to see if the candidate is ‘for real’. This is on the theory that someone can keep up a ‘front’ only so long; they’ll show themselves, one way or another, ‘in due time.’) None of us really have that much time. Besides, unless there is a fraud being perpetrated, most candidates, though presenting what they believe is their best, are also unaware of wheat they’re supposedly hiding. In fact, they probably aren’t really hiding anything.  In fact, presuming that something is 'hidden' and 'needs to be found out' is a common part of the maladaptive process in many organizations.

If, for example, the candidate is someone who has learned to be warm, responsive and pleasing at the surface, this is who they are. That they are doing so the ensure their ends are furthered, is part of the picture – but only seen from the outside. Ultimately, this candidate will disappoint as an employee and colleague, or will report to someone whose responds mistrustfully and (often profoundly) negatively to the person. This is most often not right away, but ‘down the road’: out pops stress and conflict where people feel betrayed manipulated and unreasonably wronged. So ‘heads roll’ and valuable, productive time and people are lost and more time and money is spent reorganizing, even if that reorganization is one small office.


                   Howard Z. Lorber, csw

                                                       Psychotherapist & Anthropologist

              (917) 710-7578                            


HOME PAGE                   Specialty Services