Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Losing The "Humanity Quotient"

I had a conversation about business with a professional who works hard, earns an above average income, and is admired by those inside and outside his company. The guy is an up-and-coming leader in his industry, but has not yet reached the corner office. He has worked for the same corporation for several years, works hard, produces results, and has received awards and other kudos. He is the ideal employee and my guess is his employer sees him as a happy and dedicated part of the team.

Yet he is disenchanted. And he is not alone! I have the pleasure of talking with people from all walks of life and large numbers are not happy with their professional situations.

Most believes that their business communities have lost the "humanity quotient" in the quest for efficiency.

The rough economy has caused businesses of all sizes to focus so tightly on the balance sheet that they have lost the personal element. Too many professionals have begun to show a distrust of everyone around them.

I have witnessed both sole proprietors and large company executives who see any minor "mis-communication" with friends, vendors, clients, co-workers, or others as a personal assault or threat. Like Humphrey Bogart (as Lt. Cmdr Queeg) in the "Caine Mutiny", they have lost perspective and are counting every strawberry.

Fear, distrust, finger-pointing, and back-stabbing (which have always existed) are now an accepted part of office culture and nobody seems to notice (or care).

The most cynical amongst us will say this is nothing new, that these dark feelings are always present in the work world. But in my twenty-plus year career I have not witnessed so many people functioning in misery about their careers. Professional envy and jealousy are no longer hidden from view, but openly accepted.

This loss of the "humanity quotient" in our businesses is real.

So what can you do about it?

Regardless of if you are the boss or an employee you can have an impact in restoring the "humanity quotient".

Slow down for just a moment and notice the people around you. Smile at others. Take an interest in what matters to those around you. Before you get angry, take a moment to put yourself in the other person's shoes (you might discover that from a different perspective, the world does NOT revolve around you). Be nicer. Be helpful. Shower somebody in praise when they do something good.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

What do you think?

Have A Great Day.


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