Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pointing fingers: Pointless?

Several of my friends and many of my clients tell me about their workplace experiences of being  disrespected and devalued. Or worse. Far too many supervisors and employers treat their most valuable resource—their employees—in a dismissive and at times, abusive, manner.

I have experienced this myself in some workplaces. Still, it always stops me in my tracks when I hear this. I wonder how this can happen. Even if the employer or supervisor were being purely selfish and wanting to look good or wishing to squeeze the last drop of work out of an employee, wouldn't they want to give that person all the tools, resources and encouragement they could to enhance productivity? It just seems so short-sighted, to say nothing of the cruelty and lack of compassion it demonstrates.

But when I hear these stories, I also have to look at my own life. How do I treat those whom I profess to love? How do I treat people around me? Those who perform services for me? Those I meet on streets and stores?

Do I treat them with respect? Compassion? When my "Hi" or my smile meets with a sullen look, a grunt or no response at all, does it occur to me that this person may well be having a very bad day—or week or year? Do I respond with compassion and understanding? I have a choice—in all my relationships and interactions.

I'm reminded of something I heard years ago: When you point a finger at someone else, you have several pointing back at you. Time to look in the mirror. What can I do to show understanding and respect today? How about you?

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