Think about how we start most conversations with someone that we have never met before. “What do you do?” Now think about how we tend to judge people based on the answer to that question. How do we judge the people in our own business and lives based on what they do, or don’t do? One final question: would you view this person differently if instead of judging them solely based on what they do, you actually took some time to understand who they are?
Most of the people I come across throughout my travels seem to get stuck in focusing only on what a person does. In fact, ask yourself how many of those you work with on a regular basis have simply become someone with an @YourCompanyName.com attached to them. This transactional definition of the work we are tasked with seemingly has taken the person out of the people in our lives.
Let me ask you: Is your work what you do, or has it become who you are? If your answer happens to be the latter I would ask you one more question: How’s that working for you?
Yourself, and those that you work with have lives outside the workplace. I realize in our smart-phone, wifi crazed, fiber optically connected, digitized world that the line can get blurred to the point where we no longer recognize the difference. Yet that doesn’t make the statement less true.
Recently at a seminar I conducted regarding Coaching Your Team for Performance. This topic came up and a few of the leaders in the group began making statements like:
“I don’t have time to get to know my team!”
“I don’t want to have lunch or dinner with everyone in the office”
“I hate hearing about all the drama that goes on in their lives”
“I don’t have any kids and I’m sick of hearing about little Timmy’s soccer team!”
I agreed with them, an added that they were confusing “Getting the Person, with Getting Personal”
Many leaders have confused this basic idea and feel that they have to make friends with everyone they work with. The fear is that this friendship will lead to dinners, barbecues, endless invites to birthday’s and kids events, and a whole host of undesired outcomes.
Getting to know and understand the person is quite different. What makes them tick, what is important to them, what goals and aspirations do they have, what hidden talents do they possess, what adversity has this person overcome that has made them the who they are today? Understanding and identifying the answers to some of these questions does not require making a new best friend. From my experience, leaders that take the time to “Get the Person” consistently build teams that are “Willing to die for them” vs. as team that is “Slowly dying under them.”
Am I confusing a personal relationship with actually getting the person?
Have I built a team that is willing to step up for me? If not, why not?
Am I taking the time to get to know the person for who they are or simply judging them based on what they do? How’s that working for me?
Is my job who I am, or is it what I do? Am I ok with the answer to that question?
What steps are you planning to take this week to “Get your people?”
Thoughts for the week:
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.- Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world. – Elaine Dalton
If you walk in the footprints of others you won’t make any of your own. -Unknown
Looking forward to our next connection