The problem as I see it is that we take on a role at work and then we “become it”. We become the quality manager; or we become the accountant; or we become the truck driver.
By “becoming it” we risk contraction, constriction or even abandonment of other aspects of self in the workplace. We subsequently brand or become branded as “this, that or the other” individuals.
One such “constriction” common in the workplace is our capacity to listen. By that I mean that we risk subconsciously filtering all communications from “Person A” as coming from “that” perspective. As if it is the only place the communication could possibly come from!
When we become our role (and expect others to become theirs as well), we compromise our capacity to listen and risk adversely influencing our relationships with particular individuals in the workplace. Some of these relationships may become invalidated through dismissiveness born out of blasé assumptions.
As a process towards seeking greater congruence in the workplace, I recently ran group sessions where I created a safe space for staff to respond to these questions:
· What is it that keeps you from wanting to be at work each day?
· What drives you to want to walk out of your job, either for the rest of the day or for ever?
I was amazed what surfaced after just two sessions. In fact I was totally blown away by the RADICAL DIFFERENCE in group dynamics following just half an hour of this process.
I saw increased understanding and compassion. Increased relating between individuals! And whilst these are just words what I felt emerging was the potential for a greater coming together in agreement within the team.
I am now using this process of questioning to bring the team into alignment with the business goals.
I am interested to hear your thoughts about the ways “role” limits your involvement in the workplace and how you get around that.