When did we stop caring about the people we work for and with? Sure we say we care about our friends and family and yes we say that caring about people we work with expends a very precious resource, emotional energy. And when I refer to care, a patronising placatory comment is not showing that you care.
Have you ever considered the kind of working relationship you could have with someone if you really cared about them and let them know. Consider the possibility of sharing really sharing yourself with the people you work with, what if you dropped your guard and let people in. I can hear your inner dialogue from where I sit “If I let them in, if I care, I make myself vulnerable and open to being ridiculed, spoken about and gasp and horror, my reputation could be annihilated”. Yes, it would be true if were a shift that took place within one person, however just imagine for a moment if it were to filter through and everybody within an organisation operated from this kind of space? Maybe I’m living in a dream; however I really do believe that staff would be prepared to go the extra mile if they knew that the people they worked for had a real emotional investment in them?
These days we work for more than just the salary in our bank account. Fact is with the onset of life coaching, spiritual awareness courses, sustainable business incentives; society has shifted massively towards connecting on a real level. Work now has become something that needs to enrich and fulfil us on an entirely new level. Not to mention the fact that we work obscenely long hours, we spend more time with our fellow staff than we do with our families and loved ones. So please please tell me why are we not reaching out to these people that we share so much of our time with?
Personally, I want to know about the people I work with, I don’t want my boss to be an anathema to me. I want to know that they crave a glass of good red wine for every one of the sixty minutes it takes them to get home in traffic. I want them to care about the fact that I hate having my two year old in my bed, but I don’t have the heart to throw him out because he’s just so cute and little. I want to know that Sally in accounting is looking at buying a new car and that the MD has sat down with her and made a couple of suggestions. Why can’t we care? Would it kill us, if our fellow staff knew what was going on in our lives?
Fine, how sick am I of that word?! “How was your weekend?” “It was fine”, “Hey! How are you today?” “I’m fine”. Stop it! Just stop it, I want real, I want to know about you and I want you to know about me, if I know that someone is struggling, I’ll go the extra mile for them, I will move heaven and earth to ease their load, I’m not particularly religious, but I’m sure that in the bible it says do unto others and you would want done unto you. So if you don’t care about a person, don’t expect them to care about you and if you care, just perhaps they would care right back. You might find that staff would go beyond the call of duty for you. The possibility exists that productivity might go through the roof and a whole new kind of community would be born, beyond just the commonality of a pay cheque at the end of the month.
I don’t sell anything, I offer a thought process, a concept, a different way of thinking about things. And this is my new concept, care, go out there and care, approach your boss on a human level, they are after all human, just as human as the lady who cleans the bathrooms in the office. I say push, be persistent, ask them how their weekend was, speak to them about a new restaurant you found. Let them know that you are more than just a person that answers the phone and types on the computer, you are more than an impressive sales figure, you are beyond the numbers you enter into an accounting software package, and return let them know that you are more than the person who signs their pay cheque, you are more than the person with the impressive office and the godlike demeanour.
Go on, connect the dots and believe in the possibility of a connected humanity, at work and at home.