I have something to admit. I’m a sucker for list-based articles. If an article has a number in it, I’m often sucked into it, sometimes even if I don’t care about the subject. (“5 Greatest Moments in Superhero History”, anyone?) Among other things, this means I spend some amount of time on cracked.com. I recently came across an article of this type on HuffPost:
I’m happy to say I think Ashlea and I are doing pretty well on these counts. Item #1 struck me, though, as it’s something I deal with daily, though not so much at home as at work. Consider the following phrases coming from your boss, and what your immediate, instinctual responses would be:
“Do you have those numbers ready yet?” (They’re due tomorrow and are not ready, but are on schedule.)
“I saw what you did with the conference room. It looks good! Thank you!”
I’ve been on the receiving end of both, so I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of your response. To the first, I’ll bet your gut reaction is stress and anxiety. To the second, you feel pleasure, and added energy of being productive and constructive. The first is subtly negative; the second is positive. One is a comment of one who is in power and knows it; the other is the attitude of a servant to those under him.
Approach me with an attitude of gratitude, respect who I am as a human being, and you can pay me minimum wage. (And I’ll thank you for it.) Be demanding, inconsiderate, and full of stress and anxiety, and eventually I’ll say “You know what, it doesn’t matter what the pay is. I’ve been better treated elsewhere.”
Managers of the world, it’s your choice. You can treat those under you with respect or despise them. It’s one or the other. You can choose to thank those under you when they do a good job (and in doing so, also show that you are observant), or you can let the pressures of higher-ups dictate your attitude.
And the funny thing is, when a manager has an attitude of gratitude, the workers gain a desire to work for him. Productivity is increased, relationships are improved, and in turn, the workers respect the manager. So respect those in service under you– it’s what you would want to see if you were in their place.