Why is it that people make more idiotic mistakes when a boss/supervisor is watching when working any job?


Why is it that people make more idiotic mistakes when a boss/supervisor is watching when working any job?

In: Other

People psych themselves out. Instead of being relaxed and concentrating on the task they are supposed to do, they start to get nervous and distracted. Their thoughts go from focused to divided between what they need to do and what will happen if they screw up, and they’re under more pressure to *not* screw up because the boss is there and if they screw up they could get in trouble. But taking away that attention just increases your chances of screwing up more.

Proof that that’s even true?

For me it is because I feel that can’t go at my own speed. If I was alone, I’d think about performing an action before doing it. But with someone watching i feel like i have to just do the action or they’ll think I’m working slowly.

Yes performance anxiety is a thing but let’s be real, folks. We all make silly mistakes during routine tasks. Or complex tasks or really anything. If we need to be precise, we can be, we can be insanely accurate and precise, but that’s not the norm. We make so many little errors and mistakes, but we catch most immediately and the rest over vetting stretches of time. BUT we rarely notice, or remember, or care. We may feel after a few that we are having an ‘off day’ or we need a break to clear our heads but we are so used to that kind of thing in life we rarely see it as anything but normal. But when observed by a supervisor we understand they are looking for certain traits, efficiency, accuracy, skill etc and we now have an outside observer forcing us to view ourselves as they might view us. So you are noticing mistakes as they happen and applying our knowledge to fill in how our observer may feel. We chose the wrong tool and now we must return to the area where the tools are kept and chose the correct one (he’s wasting time). We skip a step and have to circle back to complete it (he’s unskilled) etc etc. We project onto the observer a negative assessment of our work, with each mistake further confirming that assessment. Our mistakes loom huge suddenly, even though the observer might fully understand the mistakes are unavoidable or part of the job.