Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Work Grind

Sometimes when I ask my wife about her workday she replies, “I’m tired and I’m tired of it”. What is it that she is tired of? She’s tired of what some people call the work grind. The work grind is all those things that make you crazy when you are at work. It’s a combination of all the different personalities and agendas and the drama associated with human interaction. It's the lack of connection many people feel with the work they do and the subsequent lack of meaning they experience in the work they do. It also includes misunderstandings based on poor communication and the rumor mills that invariably spring up. Work goals themselves are often unclear and the measure of success is often a mystery. I sometimes hear people say “how much is enough” when asked to do more and more. Assuming we are all human, most of us feel this way at least some of the time. What is the answer? Business guru, Lance Secretan, suggests that "telling the truth could be the single greatest profit generator in corporate history". He estimates that 20% of our workforces are engaged in activities to check up on the other 80% of the workforce. He suggests that everyone should just tell the truth and everyone should believe everyone else. Many of the problems in the work enviroment are the result of mistrust. Leaders don't trust their followers and followers don't trust their leaders. Both groups are full of people who go to church, quote scripture, and believe they are good people. Yet, for many, the workplace is the most stressful experience in their lives. All of us need to be truthful and honest and whether we are a leader or a follower, we need to have a servant leader mentality. What if we all told the truth, were completely honest, and dedicated our days to making everyone else's life as smooth as possible? What if we all let go of personal agendas and egos and working cooperatively for the good of all? If we must be competitive why can't we compete to see who can show the most kindness and compassion to our co-workers?

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