Volcano

An erupting volcano is one of the most awesome displays of nature’s fury, belching forth hot lava and poisonous smoke that can reduce the surrounding landscape to grey ash. The destruction it brings overwhelms everything in its path, and it’s easy to understand how ancient civilizations could have regarded volcanoes as signs of the anger of the gods. Even today volcanoes seem to be sending us a not so subtle message about our place in the grand scheme of things.

You are standing within view of an erupting volcano. Which of the following best describes your thoughts at watching the spectacle?

1. “Maybe this is nature’s way of warning us to stop destroying the earth.”
2. “I guess the pressure just got too high inside there.”
3. ” Wow – what a sight! I’m impressed!”
4. “It’s in the nature of these things to blow up. Big deal.”

The thoughts you had about the volcano are linked to the way you react to explosive power, specifically the anger of a superior. We’ve all run into a boss, teacher, coach, or parent who throws the occasional tantrum – this scenario shows how you deal with those blowups.

1. “Maybe this is nature’s way of warning us to stop destroying the earth.”
You recognize when you’re responsible for other people’s anger and are willing to accept the blame. That same sensitivity and adult attitude lets you clear up any problems you might have caused.

2. “I guess the pressure just got too high inside there.”
You place the blame of any problems squarely on someone else’s shoulders. After all, if you thought you were doing something wrong, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place, right?

3. ” Wow – what a sight! I’m impressed!”
You accept criticism and even outbursts in a positive way, but that’s not to say you take them lightly. That sunny outlook is sure to make a favorable impression on superiors in the long run, after they’ve forgotten whatever it was they were yelling for.

4. “It’s in the nature of these things to blow up. Big deal.”
Strong words, tirades, and harsh critiques leave you unimpressed, probably because you don’t listen to them. Sure, that’s a low-stress way to get through a chewing-out, but you’re running the risk of never learning from your own mistakes. Maybe you should start paying a little more attention to all that sound and fury; it might be signifying something after all.