Josh Gibson, MD, has more than two decades of experience as a psychiatrist with entities such as the University of California, San Francisco, as well as in his own private practice. Dedicated to the continuing advancement of knowledge in his field, Josh Gibson, MD, has given a number of presentations on such topics as the influence of technology on workplace relationships.
In recent years, technology has played an increasingly crucial role in the professional realm. As computers and e-mail have emerged as integral parts of office operations, they have also changed the dynamic between workers. Perhaps the most significant area that technology has impacted is workplace collaboration.
In the time before such computer-based applications as Google Docs and Trello existed, lines of communication between coworkers were far more basic. Workers primarily interacted and collaborated with others while in the office or not at all. With modern technological devices, however, these lines are open even to those who live several time zones apart. Working on a team no longer means daily face-to-face interactions - collaborative relationships can build at any time and from anywhere.
Technology has also played an increasingly important role in areas outside of daily work itself. More employees are connecting with each other and building friendships through social media sites than ever before. This has helped workers move past the need for using work get-togethers as a means of building relationships with their colleagues.
Josh Gibson, MD, a privately practicing psychiatrist with a focus on career psychology, has presented and published extensively on relationships in the workplace. In April of 2010, Josh Gibson, MD, presented to the Academy of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry on attachment styles and their impact on the mental and physical well-being of employees.
Developed in the 1960s by researcher Dr. John Bowlby, attachment theory holds that an individual's early interactions with caregivers form the basis for all other interpersonal dynamics throughout the lifetime. As the child grows into an adult, he or she develops a secure, anxious, or avoidant style of attachment. These styles affect how an individual relates to colleagues, superiors, and team members.
For example, those with a secure attachment style are more likely to delegate responsibly and ask for support when necessary. Perhaps because they are able to relate in a healthy way with coworkers, they tend to feel a higher degree of satisfaction and can respond more constructively to challenges. Anxiously attached individuals, by contrast, typically present with a higher degree of job insecurity. Th ir lack of independence frequently presents as a lack of initiative in employees with leadership positions or in a preoccupation with supervisors' opinions of their work.
Employees with avoidant attachment, by contrast, tend to seek out independence often to the degree of alienation. Avoidantly attached leaders may be seen as poor delegators, while those in less advanced positions may present as mistrustful of their superiors. These individuals also frequently prioritize work over personal relationships, which can easily lead to a poor work-life balance.
Josh Gibson is a former psychiatrist who now works as an executive coach and consultant.