Do you help your boss treat you like an object?

IBM Mr WatsonAn object?

You treat yourself like an object when you expect to behave in a robotic way and like it. You seek to be as efficient as a machine, as logical as a system, as smart as IBM’s Mr. Watson, as unemotional as steel. You forget to invest in yourself, your health, well-being, child-like curiosity, artistic creativity. You don’t sleep enough, eat well or sharpen the saw. Vacations relaxing by the beach or hiking in the woods are for retirees.

You treat others as objects when you want what you want without considering the human costs. If you need input from your staff and don’t get it on time, you launch into a tirade or respectfully request that they prioritize according to your needs. You forget to ask about their obstacles, challenges, concerns, feelings, needs, ideas or intentions. They have job descriptions and know what they’re supposed to deliver. If they can’t do it, they have to find a way. Unemployment is high, so they should feel lucky to have a job at all. Everybody is replaceable.

When you treat yourself as a object, you invite the same from your boss. You let yourself get scared by your boss’ wish that you work as two, but get paid as one. You think it’s unfair, but you do it any way because you:

  • think it’s your job
  • want to look good to your boss and others
  • like solving problems and fixing things, it makes you feel good
  • want raises or promotions
  • fear consequences

You think there’s no cost attached, but it’s actually an expensive proposition. This is what you pay:

  • anger at self, boss and company for something you agreed to do – for fear of the consequences
  • feeling trapped, with no choices, and acting accordingly
  • reduced effectiveness – an over-worked mind is neither nimble nor creative
  • an over-worked mind makes mistakes that erode self-confidence
  • anger, frustration and resentment drain energy, weakening the body’s immune system and leading to illness

Does this sound about right? If not, how do you see things?

If yes, you can shift this around by seeing yourself as a person – someone who is not a machine, but rather has capabilities, intelligences, talents, creativity, as well as concerns, fears, intentions and dreams. If you see yourself as person, how might you respond to a boss who always wants more?

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