Aug 22

Humans are People too!

HumanPeopleWhy does Everyone Think People Lose all heir Human Qualities When they Become Working Professionals?

Human beings play a variety of roles in their lives, including spouse, parent, child, friend, mentor, or philanthropist. Why is it so acceptable to expect people to shed all their human qualities and become task oriented robots when they go to work if it isn’t expected in any of our other roles? People make good parents because they stick to their core of strong personal morals, not because they hide them. People make good friends because they bring their best qualities of empathy and support to the relationship. So if human traits are the things that make people special and valuable, why do some companies work so hard to suppress them instead of embracing and leveraging them?

Instead of managers telling their team that emotion has no place at work, perhaps they should find a project for them to contribute where passion drives results. Believe me, there are plenty of these opportunities floating around if we look hard enough. Putting a passionate leader together with colleagues deeply in need of professional motivation could be a potential goldmine, both for individual fulfillment and for company success.

The Truth about Human People

Here’s the deal. People are human beings no matter what they happen to be doing at that moment. They feel fulfillment, pain, achievement, and insult, whether they are at work or in the back yard. Some managers feel like their position entitles them to belittle their team or command them to action like they are inferior. I see management as a totally different opportunity. I see it as an opportunity for me to learn all about the individual qualities of my team members that make them uniquely incredible contributors.

I see my role as one of a facilitator. My job isn’t to exert force over my team members and compel them into doing everything my way. It is to help them put their talents on display for the world and develop into successful leaders.

Managers can be filters of communication and serve as sounding boards for their team to run ideas by. They should share the benefit of their experience only after validating their team members feelings, concerns, and ideas. All these things are valuable pieces of information and should be highlighted as being valid before suggesting a course of action.

And That’s the Bottom Line…

The bottom line is that managers need to manage people like human beings. I’ve often seen people treat their pets like gold, but treat humans like they are robots. Managers treat humans like they are devoid of feeling hurt or offended, and capable of doing unending amounts of work for the sake of the company. I’m all for loving our pets, and my dog is my little princess, but I think we should extend humans the same courtesy. No matter how person-like are pets can sometimes be, humans are people too!

Managers should manage with a style that exemplifies how they would like to be treated. They should hire team members for specific skills and talents and put them in a position to really show them off. They should fire and lay people off with dignity, appreciating them for their loyal years of service. We need to remove ourselves from the specifics of a potentially negative situation and remember that people are human beings with feelings. They do their best work when they feel appreciated and fulfilled, not just one of a long line of task oriented robots doing generic work.

Why does Everyone Think People Lose all heir Human Qualities When they Become Working Professionals?

Part of the answer is that employees are treated in the way they allow themselves to be treated. As intelligent and capable professionals, we should set reasonable standards within which we can create our best work and insist that others respect those standards. There is no glory in working a 12 hour day when prioritizing correctly would have resulted in completing all the most important work in 8 hours or less. Humans are flexible, capable, talented and full of possibilities. We are superior to robots and computers because of our resilience. While machines have predictable limits, humans are much more able to accept pressure. This doesn’t mean we won’t eventually burn out, produce sub-par work due to physical or mental exhaustion, or just become angry and resentful because we weren’t supported enough.

We can all speculate about why humans are subjected to pressures that we would never expect of machines. It’s a strange phenomenon since humans have feelings and machines do not. One would think the behavior would be the opposite of what it is. The bottom line is this: Respect for human feelings is a 2-way street. Organizations can only be held to a standard that human people set for themselves. #ProfessionalConfidence


Tell me about a time when you were able to manage a direct report in a human way that helped them feel valuable and fulfilled. If you have a great manager who has mastered tapping into basic human needs to help you feel fulfilled, I’d like to hear those stories too.

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