Aside

Workforce dynamics

I met with a remarkable executive this week, and she shared a painful thing going on in their management team.
Two people are playing some rather competitive games. It’s causing frustration. Lots of it. And it’s taking their eye off the ball — the marketplace, the competition, the changing customers’ needs. And if there’s one thing I wish I could do before I leave this earth is to end this cycle of wasteful behavior.
People often think they can work with some people and not others. But I’m not sure that’s true.
Dislike and like — at extremes, love and hate — cannot live in the same heart. Think of the happiest persons you know. They probably don’t love just their spouses and kids, and hate a number of other people. I’ll bet they have a smile for everyone and something good to say about almost anyone. They probably have no fear.
For the most part, dislike is fear manifested. Competition in workplaces is often about fearing we are inadequate so we put others down to feel better about ourselves. We only dislike the things we’re afraid of. When someone hurts us terribly, we often hate him for it, but we hate him mostly because we’re afraid he’ll hurt us again — either literally or in our minds, which relay the scene of hurt again and again. If we each had the power to stop him from hurting us ever again — even in our memories — our fear would fade. And our hate or dislike would just become hurt, which can always heal.
Next time there’s a rift at work, look at what is really going on and see if you can get to the root of that issue — human to human. And then get back to work doing the things that create real value in the world.

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