It is interesting to note that when we read a novel or see a video, whether, on TV or mobile or cinema screen, including a live theatre, we are moved if a character is going thru hard times or struggling to get something. Sometimes, we even cry.
Similarly, we laud the achievements of people thru hardship, grit and determination to achieve milestones in their life, by thousands of likes and other reactions on these posts on LinkedIn. The commonality is our trust in those characters. We know their side of the story as told by the director or author or themselves and we empathise with them. We want them to succeed in whatever they are trying to achieve or have achieved. We feel great about our emotional response to these stories, even if they are fictional.
Let us shift the scene to our active real life. How do we treat people in need? How do we treat people when they ask for our help on the streets? Or even our subordinates when they are struggling? Especially the juniors when they come to us with a problem? We do not trust their version of the story. What happens when we do not trust their version of the story? What happens to our emotional responses then? We do not believe in whatever they are conveying or representing.
What happens to the consequences of this non-belief? Especially in business. The relationships in the company get affected. It gets broken and simultaneously, it breaks the culture of the company, as trust is the foundation of any culture. The seniors, peers and juniors lose faith in each other, and that affects the overall productivity and performance of the enterprise.
Now, let us try to find out why we trust a stranger more than a known person.
We, as human beings, feel a necessity to judge people and have an opinion about them, which is not possible with strangers but 100% possible with known people because of our past associations and experiences with them. We feel people should be consistent. But this is a myth. People change and are changing every moment, in fact. We know something, we take a stand, we show off, and we fight and ridicule others for the sake of that knowledge. And then newer knowledge comes. We become wiser; we shift stands. Our philosophy changes. What a cycle at every age of life? Still, we believe we are consistent. Is it possible? People change. Good people can become bad, and vice versa. It is all in situations that life brings us to.
Coming back to encouraging others, when they are struggling and what we do to strangers becomes a tough task when the person is known to you. Knowing the fact fully well that anyone who is encouraged properly has the potential to achieve unimaginable things, we still put our colleagues, both seniors as well as juniors, down. Is it a conscious decision to put down our colleagues so that they can’t do well and progress? I have my own doubt. We have still not stooped so low, or maybe 10% of cases can fall in that category. But mostly, it is our being unconscious, mentally, that results in this behaviour of ours. The solution is simple – can we be a bit more conscious and mindful in our daily routine activities? The moral of the story is simple. If we want a thriving business culture, we have to be more aware, more conscious and more mindful in our daily activities. The effect will be visible in a very short time.
Let us focus on #makingworkplaceshappier.