Far too little attention is paid to the physical nature of humans in the modern workplace. By this I mean not only ergonomic chairs and doilies, I also mean the way people stand when talking to each other.
The tone of a person’s voice during a one-on-one discussion is far more important than what is being said, at least usually.
When people give speeches to their manager about their state – for instance in response to a question like “how are you liking your job?”, They will often launch into words crafted through various discussions with others. It’s a soliloquy. You should listen to the content, but also listen instead to their voice, the character they are choosing or having chosen for them for the the performance. Does is quiver or rage? Does it sound hurt or joyous?
And don’t only observe: then, try to figure out what emotion the person would like to be feeling, and how it would hurt or help others, and try to help them see how to get there within the context of the job.
Management isn’t a psychology job, it’s a sociology one. As a manager you are trying to maintain a healthy society, which with Americans means they must have a say in the direction.
See, a good manager makes the people she manages into amazing fountains of enthusiastic output, a good manager creates an elite force with esprit de corp. In fact, this should be the explicit goal of all managers, to build such a spirit of comradely excellence.
It doesn’t always work, but always the attempt has value.
There are few things more worthwhile than helping people help themselves, and if we are going to do this silly Capitalism thing as managers, let’s kick some ass and do some good for folks.
Never lie. Never undermine others. Never allow questionable behavior. Build climates of trust, and support the propagation of knowledge in the company. Give all employees a path and opportunity to grow. Try to get fair pay at market rates+ for everyone.
If only every manager, in every company, committed to these simple principles, Capitalism wouldn’t suck so much for almost everyone.
Render by Mike Winkelmann