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The Leader’s Voice: Seeing Others More Deeply is Good for Business

There’s a powerful energy for change sweeping the world today. Much of it is focused on the way we are seen, often with a demand that we be seen more fairly and more completely. As women, ethnic and racial minorities, overweight people, LGBT community members, Muslims, etc, we object to the way we are being limited, stereotyped, categorized, objectified and often degraded in the minds and hearts of others.

The dissatisfaction with how we’re seen may not always be expressed actively. Often it occurs in more passive forms (e.g., withholding energy, low levels of participation, lack of drive and even apathy).  This can also occur on a micro-level (e.g., in a marriage where the limited way a partner is seen diminishes his/her desire for more involvement or commitment).

Many workplace studies point out the importance of how workers are seen by management. When employees are seen as qualitatively different from management (e.g., inferior, inherently lazy, in need of control and often micromanaged), their desire to energetically participate or even come to work is diminished. Teams often form as a countervailing force where workers make a point of seeing each other more fully. It is here where they bond, get more personal, have fun, motivate, and develop loyalties that often keep them from wanting to look for work elsewhere. Therefore, it is clear that employee absenteeism, loyalty, attrition, motivation and performance levels all are impacted by how we believe we are perceived.

There’s some continuity here with Aarthi Ilangovan’s previous blog titled “Where is the World’s Greatest Treasure Buried?”  It was a wonderful message about seeing the potential in ourselves and others. Similarly, another connection was made by Tom Rivera, a PRIDE Global Manager, about the importance of seeing a payroll question as a human question, as about a life, and not just about a number.

It strikes me that in an economy of interdependence, it becomes more than ever, good business to see each other more fully. The remarkable thing about this economy is that fullness, fairness and even kindness, instead of stressing and exhausting human resources, increases “shared value” and does so in a way that is highly sustainable. In the business of search and staffing, the more fully we relate to candidates and clients, the more we see, the more accurate our assessments, the more enduring and fruitful our placements, the higher the quality of service we provide our stakeholders.

Written by: Ken X