What’s In It For Me?
The general election is all but over here in the UK. It’s been marked, as usual, by incredible promises and naked appeals to self-interest from the major parties, and incredulity and apathy from the electorate.
It seems the political elites have a profoundly Theory-X view of the voters. According to the political rhetoric, everybody is out for themselves, venal egotists. Everybody is assumed to want more money, less time working, more pandering to their biases, and an easier life in general. Psychiatrists call this projection.
Whilst I can believe that many in politics are all out for themselves, I daily see evidence that people in general are much more social. Much more interested in what’s in it for other people. Much more concerned for the communities in which they play a part.
But this isn’t a post about the election. It’s a post about how the workplace – and the way the work works – often places people in situations where they feel they need to look out for themselves, rather than follow their natural, human inclination of looking out for others, too. I’m pretty sure if we had a different political system, one which encouraged politicians to attends to folks’ needs, rather than their own, we’d see a different kind of politician, a different kind of politics, and an electorate much more engaged with the whole process.
And isn’t that what we’d like to see in the workplace? A different climate, where people engage willingly with each other and their common challenges, and look out for each other in getting things done?
And just like in politics, I see little prospect of things changing markedly any time soon. But, just like in politics, we don’t have to play “their” game. (Although it’s not their game so much, as the game imposed by the system).
Would you be willing to take up my invitation to consider how you could change you workplace for the better by bucking the system and giving others, and their needs, even a just little extra consideration?