Humanizing Our Work

by Paul Peixoto on March 10, 2015

questionTN It’s ironic that with all the communications technology available to us in the 21st century, the weak link in most teams is still effective communication. Even with all that “systems firepower,” business still hinges on our ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, worker to worker.

Additionally, the past recessionary years have had us all hunkered down in our cubicles, often isolated from our colleagues, trying to get more production from each hour. That’s a breeding ground for disengagement and dysfunction, sure signs of communication breakdown.

We’re coming into a new era, though; an era in which we’re rapidly discovering that the human connection between worker and leader is crucial to recovering health and productivity. Here are three steps to increasing genuine communication with your team:

The first step is to start a conversation. Most team productivity grinds to a halt when teammates bottle up what they’re thinking and feeling. Someone has to start the conversation to get things going again. We’re not machines but workers (#wholeworker) with thoughts, feelings, and opinions about our work. Verbalizing how we feel about the project is a great way to humanize our work.

The second step is embedded in the first. As we’re having that conversation we need to focus on gaining an understanding of what our co-worker is expressing. We have to work hard at feeling what they feel. Empathy is a skill that can be trained, and getting better at expressing empathy goes a long way to building team unity and humanizing our work.

The third step to increasing the human connection, and therefore engagement, is to commend our co-worker wherever we can. We always hear when things didn’t go so well but we rarely hear about when they do. Praise is often in short supply when the resources of time and budget are being pressed. Sincere praise is a great way to help each other identify our strengths, too. Often we don’t realize that we’re skilled at something until another teammate points it out.

Coming out of this long season of recession finds many of us with our heads down and plowing. Many have been stretched to the limit. Many have learned to do more with less. Coupled with technology trends, this has led to dehumanizing many of our business procedures and corporate cultures. Focusing on the whole worker can bring health, unity, and productivity back to our teams.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: