Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around I’ll ask groups I’m working with what are they grateful for. In response to this question, I’ll often hear the usual – I’m happy for a good family, I’m grateful for a nice home, for friends. No doubt these things are great. But you know what I’m grateful for (and I know millions of others are too). I’m grateful for managers who treat their team members with respect. Now you’d assume that wouldn’t be such an uncommon thing, but judging by the amount of email I get on this topic, this assumption must be incorrect. Here’s one of the notes I’m talking about it.
As you speak around the country, maybe even around the world, could you PLEASE tell managers to ‘man up’ when it comes to treating their people like people and not like subhumans. I’ve been working for about 13 years now. So far I have had three managers who were so full of themselves that the only thing that matters is well, themselves. I politely ask how their weekend was? They’ll maybe answer and then move on their way. I ask how their family is doing, they say ‘fine’ and again, move on. Perhaps my examples aren’t the best. I get how there are some people who are more private people. Fine, let’s talk about sports, the weather, movies – SOMETHING that’s about life, about living! What I’d like to see are more managers who care, managers who take even a moment to ask how we’re doing and what’s going on with us.
I don’t think this an unfair request. I’ll do what I can to spread the word.
Managers, Listen up.
If you want to be a great manager, you’ll take time to get to know your people. You will understand the difference between people and personnel. Personnel is the name of the office that takes care of the people-related stuff. People are those who are on your team. You work with humans, so be human.
I can’t guarantee anything, but I can comfortably say this… the more you are aware of your people, how they are, what’s happening with them, and have a genuine care for them, the more they’ll appreciate this. With this appreciation, the better the chances are you’ll get the best out of them. In my opinion, to treat employees as subhuman, is inhuman. Unethical. To care about them, to demonstrate this in your daily interactions with them; that’s not only smart for business, more importantly, it’s smart for living.