It’s easy to see our employees, co-workers, and supervisors only as the carefully cultivated masks they present to us. They are just the person who parks next to us or holds the door for us. They may be the person who owes us an email or who not is cooperating with our latest project. We may be the same things to them. And be maintaining our own mask.
I want to believe in the best of each of us. I want to believe there is a core in us as human beings at work that wants to be unleashed and fully express our own unique contribution, or feel the simple satisfaction of a good day’s work. That perspective is where these thoughts that follow come from. This is what I imagine to be found in the essence of the best of us as humble, noble human beings at work.
These thoughts seem directed to supervisors. Some are equally valid for teammates to hear. And as I think about it further, supervisors may want to say some of these things to their employees too…
These are thoughts that many don’t share. We may even hide these thoughts from ourselves unknowingly, in the far corners of our minds, not daring to want more.
If I could tell you what I really think I would say:
I want to know my work matters.
I want to know my work matters to you.
I want you to know you matter to me.
I want to know you consider my opinion.
I hope it will be received when I say, “What if we did it this way?” or
“That decision affects me this way. Can we do this instead?”
I want to be taken seriously.
I want to work WITH you.
I want to feel successful.
I want you to feel successful.
I want the organization to be successful.
I want to feel a part of that.
Rightly or wrongly, how we treat each other affects our performance, quality, and customers.
I want to do a good job every day.
I want all of us to do a good job every day.
I am responsible for my performance and
I want to know you are on my side.
That you are rooting for me.
That you are willing to guide me and encourage me.
I want to be courageous.
I want to see you be courageous.
I appreciate your courage.
I want to be trusted.
I want to trust you.
I want to feel the ease that comes with knowing you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt.
I want to be included.
I want to be in the in-crowd.
We all belong in the in-crowd.
I like it when you care enough to explain plans and decisions to me and want me to understand.
I can act on your plans better when you explain them to me, and take time to answer my questions.
The more time you have for me, the less time we waste.
I want to be able to admit my mistakes and grow from them.
I want to hear what I can do better.
I hope you can admit your mistakes too and tell me how you will do better.
I appreciate your job is difficult.
I appreciate when you are thoughtful in the face of difficulty.
I understand that sometimes your hands are tied.
I know you have a lot on your plate and you answer to many people.
I want us to work together to do our best.
I may say I want to get paid more (and deserve it), but mostly that’s easier to say than admitting any of this.
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