The worst thing we can do for someone’s development is to discourage them; especially to discourage someone who makes progress, no matter how slow it is. –MMD
The way you look at someone and the tone of voice you use may be discouraging your staff and causing damage beyond repair.
Perceptions lead to, stem from and essentially are opinions and while inevitable, can be damaging on so many levels if made public. You are who you are, you do what you do, you say what you say and that’s why this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Artists push boundaries, scientists imagine the unimaginable, comedians identify the humor in in everything and why should you be any different? Why do we obsess over what other people think? What good would it do if we conformed and masked our true self?
I agree that not all behavior is appropriate for the workplace so please don’t misinterpret the meaning behind this post. Don’t lose sight of your customer and the level of service necessary to keep them. On the same token, don’t lose sight of who YOU are and the level of acceptance YOU need to keep growing.
Bob Dylan, Jim Carrey, Lady Gaga, Jeff Dunham, Eminem…I could go on for hours. Do they offend you? People’s perceptions dictate popularity. No wait, they don’t. Ok well technically they do. Majority rules right? I’m sure many of you reading this will answer yes to the question above and many of you may answer no. Whatever you perceive something to be, someone else will perceive the opposite. Are you willing to lose a good employee because you perceive them a certain way?
This post was inspired by several people I encountered this weekend. I’m not going to put anyone out there, so take me for example. I have no concept of an inside voice, I subconsciously (most times, but occasional have done it on purpose) push boundaries, sometimes I fall off my shoes, and I refuse to be fake. What you see is what you get. I take things and run with them. I’m not doing it to one up you or throw you under the bus. I don’t do it to make myself look good and I’m definitely not trying to take someone’s job. I do it because it makes me feel accomplished. It gives me a sense of pride. (No not the voice or clumsy tendencies, those just come as a bonus.) I’m kidding…wait no I’m not.
Sure I’ve come across people who don’t care for me and that’s to be expected, but please don’t look at me with disgust, talk behind my back, or treat me like I’m less of a person than you. If something I’ve done truly is offensive to you, tell me. If I’ve done something wrong, teach me. Please, please, PLEASE, don’t discourage me!
Employees – Find your niche! Grow from your experiences. Learn to ignore the ignorant. Be yourself! I promise not everyone will judge you.
Employers, managers, trainers – Stop judging the book by its cover! Explain your position. Teach them the right way. Encourage creativity. I promise your staff and their performance will thank you.
Ask yourself – Are your perceptions, discouraging your staff?