“People. They’re all around us every day. It’s as if we HAVE to deal with them!”
Sound familiar? Sound like you? Sound like most people in the workplace . . . and HR? It’s not surprising. The workplace is filled with people. It’s an amazing fact. They desperately want to interact, communicate, perform and excel. But, most of our efforts each day are to limit, thwart, conceal and conform. Why is that?
Do you know that the first thing the vast majority of people do when they take that first step out of the car to enter the office is to heave a massive sigh and drop their shoulders resigned that they are off to WORK once again. We do all in our power to make sure that people are in line, on task and diligent. We overlook the chance that they are creative, intuitive and willing.
I think it’s because we treat the interaction between people as a task and not an opportunity. We dread the possibility that someone will want us to stop, spend time with them and listen. Our e-mail, Twitter account and texts are vastly more important than the conversation we are “stuck in” right now. We are so horribly distracted and long for impersonal means of communication, that we will do almost anything to make sure we keep things short and sweet in person. Ironically, we wonder why people never change the behavior we see in them that we wish would improve!
The fact that this must change in the workplace is a gross oversight in HR! In our quest for “engagement,” we refuse to genuinely interact. By making things a program, we miss the opportunity to take things in, relish and reflect on what is said and then act in tandem with others.
We tend to say, “Well, if Steve would just change, then I could make things work between us" (or something similar). The fact is that we need to take the initiative and first step to look at others (even the really difficult ones) as an opportunity each and every time we interact. People deserve this to be honest.
So, this week, drop your task list even though it will make most of you twitch a bit. Look around you. Find the sea of people that are a vital component of you are and what you do and dive in! It will get messy, challenging and even overwhelming. But, the outcome is worth it!