The legacy industrial model — the model in place today, assumes that people are objects and human capital is a commodity. These assumptions insinuate that people are inherently worthless and so, they must prove their value through visible achievements. This is a very stressful way to live because none of it is true.
On top of this, nobody learns how to see themselves and others with respect and so, few know how to do it.
In organizational settings, there seem to be lots of opportunities to nurture both respect and disrespect.
From what I hear as an executive coach, many people experience disrespect at work and receive unfair and unsubstantiated comments from their bosses or even HR VPs. For example:
“Nobody likes you”
“We should have fired you long ago, but we were being nice to keep you until now”
“If you don’t do what we want, we’ll get someone else”
“You should be happy you have a job, so don’t ask for more”
“Your team members say bad things about you”
The list goes one, but it’s too depressing to continue. It’s likely you get the point— these comments are not conducive to respectful relationships, team engagement, problem solving or work effectiveness.
So, why are such comments used?
Everyone does his/her best. This is the most unbelievable truth to digest for most people, as most spin their own stories to explains others’ behavior. When, in fact, few people consciously work at a level below their best. For example, if you know how to deal with conflict, you’ll do it. If you don’t, you’ll avoid it. If you know how to inspire people, you’ll do it. If you don’t, you’ll use the pacesetting leadership style to get the job done.
So, what to do?
No blame. No judgements.
Think “that’s his/her skill level.” When you think that, you feel and do different things than if you think, “if they’re saying it, it’s true” or “now, my job/name/image is at stake.”
Try it and see how differently you will respond to such comments. You’ll also notice that with these new assumptions and thoughts, you’ll be able to turn such statements around and actually, take the lead.
[image from Freepik]