Understanding the status game of work
Such a fascinating discussion today. I recently read Will Storr’s brilliant book The Status Game and was so taken with it I invited him on the podcast.
Will believes that status is a fundamental need for humans. He quotes Professor Brian Boyd when he says that we:
‘naturally pursue status with ferocity: we all relentlessly, if unconsciously, try to raise our own standing by impressing peers, and naturally if unconsciously, evaluate others in terms of their standing’.
In study after study it is found that our wellbeing depends on the degree that we feel respected by other people. One study found that the attainment off status of its loss was ‘the strongest predictor of long-term positive and negative feelings’ in subjects.
I wanted to pick Will’s brains to hear more of this – but also to understand how these mechanisms impact us at work. If you’re interested in psychology or just a bit of people watching you’ll love the reframing that this discussion provides for us. Along the way Will gives us the definitive take on why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.