|Beware The Mythical Creatures In Our Workplace |
|Ever noticed the language we use to describe ourselves or a group when things are going along very nicely in the workplace, or even in the world?|
Go on have a guess……….
It’s usually something like ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘me’ or even at times ‘I’.
What about when things don’t quite go to plan. You know the time when that project didn’t quite land on time and on budget, the change message didn’t hit the mark, or the quarterly results fell a little short of expectations.
This is when what I refer to as the ‘mythical creatures of the workplace’ get rolled out.
‘Them’ and ‘They’.
I hear it a lot in my work particularly when I’m practicing the art of what I call purposeful provocation. Turning up the heat ever so slightly until we reach a point where it becomes a little too warm for those participating to hold the mirror up to themselves. You can feel it building as the level of discomfort gets to a point where all of a sudden the mythical creatures get introduced, usually in this way:
‘If only they would support us………’
‘They don’t understand what’s happening at the frontline………’
‘It’s them that hold back the progress……….’
‘If you want to know why we didn’t hit the number, ask them………’
These mythical creatures appear at a moment’s notice, and can be found at levels above and below the level of those who are describing them.
Upon hearing of these mythical creatures I will then ask those describing ‘them’ and ‘they’ if they have had this conversation with them and they. It’s no surprise I either get met with stunned silence or something like “It’s not worth it”, which I believe is a cop out.
You see ‘them’ and ‘they’ don’t have some sort of magical crystal ball that they gaze into and see themselves holding others back.
It’s time to remind yourself if you go down the pathway of them and they of the following:
I am ‘Them’ and ‘They’
We are ‘Them’ and ‘They’
You Are ‘Them’ and They’
Oh…….and if you find that crystal ball please share it generously with others