I want to talk today about something I have found to be of indispensable value to me, working with others. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will know that I say: ‘people work with people.’ And the most important part of that – is being human.
The idea in business years ago was that if you were a boss, entrepreneur or manager, you weren’t human. You had to be perfect. Always presenting well, never getting sick, and never bringing personal issues into the workplace. You were just always on the go – a work ‘machine.’
That might impress some people, but the likelihood is that the people working with you – cannot relate to that. Somebody who is all success and no problems? It doesn’t exist. People struggle to identify with that, and it can end up alienating people.
That is why I have found the art of being open, transparent and human, to be of such value to me. Being able to be vulnerable in front of other people and be an actual person. Rather than a ‘successful robot’ in the office.
If you actually allow yourself to make mistakes sometimes, admit it, learn from it, and grow – it’s easier to talk about and as a result, be more relatable with your colleagues. Because the truth is – we all make mistakes. People can see that you’re human, and that’s ok. By doing this, you’re allowing people to see that you, too, have similar problems or issues that they do – and this allows people to connect with you.
The Whole Package
That is the art of creating much more substantial relationships with those that you’re working with. It’s more than a professional relationship, it is a whole relationship. And your staff and colleagues are more likely to work harder for you when it’s a whole relationship.
I’m so passionate about this because it’s a trap I fell into myself. Years ago I thought I had to be this ‘machine,’ and it’s only with a bit of reflection that I can look back and connect the dots and see how it held me back in my career.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
– Steve Jobs
I can see now with hindsight that believing I couldn’t be human in my work life held me back from working with my team and interacting with colleagues. And in the end it’s much better to know that you can let the mask slip once in a while and actually be yourself. I look at this ability as a real asset in business, which is why in sharing it I hope you can see the value to it before I did, because it will stand to you going forward.
And I can guarantee that if you are more open with others, it will accelerate your career.
As a holistic business coach, this is something I help people with every day. It can be hard to navigate both a personal and work life simultaneously. Which is why I use a holistic approach in mentoring – it incorporated it all. So, don’t hesitate to reach out if you think this is something I could help you with.