The person on the other side of the desk is more than their job title – they are a human being just like you
In today’s business world, with its perpetual emphasis on speed and efficiency, it’s easy to forget that the people we work with are more than just their job titles. We may see them as cogs in the machine, or as resources to be accessed as needed. But the truth is, each and every one of us is a human being with our own unique strengths, weaknesses, and experiences.
When we remember that the person on the other side of the desk is more than their job title, it changes the way we interact with them. We become more empathetic, more understanding, and more likely to build strong relationships. This benefits both the individuals and the businesses.
For individuals, it can lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling work experience. When we feel valued and respected as human beings, we’re more likely to be engaged in our work and to feel a sense of belonging. This boosts productivity, creativity, and innovation.
For businesses, it can directly lead to a more productive and profitable workforce. When employees feel valued and respected, they’re more likely to be loyal to their employers and to go the extra mile. Reduced turnover is always good; increased customer satisfaction, and improved bottom lines correlate strongly.
Tips to See People and Not a Job Title
So how can we remember that the person on the other side of the desk is more than their job title? Here are a few tips:
- Take the time to get to know them as individuals – Ask them about their interests, their families, their priorities. Especially in the US, we’re all business; and often the initial pleasantry in a conversation is just a speed bump to getting to the point. We’re not really interested. Don’t be that person! A minute or two of your time can bring down walls of separation and begin to dismantle silos.
- Be respectful of their time and their opinions – Listen to them attentively and give them the opportunity to share their ideas. Don’t just be thinking about what you’re going to say next.
- Be mindful of your own biases – Try to see them holistically, not stereotypically.
- Be grateful for their contributions – Let them know that you appreciate their hard work, help, or insight. Recognition is powerful.
Remembering that the person on the other side of the desk is more than their job title is a simple but important step that can make a big difference in our work lives. So next time you’re interacting with a colleague, client, or customer, take a moment to see them as a human being first, aside from their role. You might just be surprised at how much it changes the way you interact with them.