In 1949 a group of leaders from business, industry, religion, labor, and academia published a book titled, “Human Relations in Modern Business”. The book echoes human needs theories from centuries past: dignity, esteem of others, instinct for survival, security, and social instincts. Theories of management combined with theories of organization continue to be published with the goal of increasing the communication capacity of individual employees, as well as creating environments that lead to high productivity and job satisfaction.
And yet, this week in a one-on-one meeting with an employee in tears I heard, “I’ve had this job for 17 years and now, all of a sudden, my communication is a problem?” No. For 17 years no one cared enough about you to address the issue. They hoped you would magically change, or maybe quit. And all the while, the above mentioned needs were eroding away – which leads to additional communication issues.
This week pay attention to those times when you take the easy road out instead of taking the time to provide genuine and caring feedback that might help someone experience new behaviors. Sometimes the focus on expediency and productivity can leave human beings behind, wondering where or how things went so wrong. Open up the possibility for changed behaviors through direct communication that serves those around you and shows them you believe in them: esteem of others is co-created.