Some days don’t feel like mine at all. They are owned by the company that I work for. Days were stretched out doing the “impossible for the ungrateful” (Roman J Israel). I’m not the only one who knows the feeling to be constantly switched on. It makes you resent a job you once loved, and lets your mind wander at 3am.
I wanted to share this story about super chickens from Margret Heffernan:
- One set of chickens were left to breed without scientific interruption.
- The second set were hand picked as being the “most productive” (produced the most eggs).
The 2nd set ended up pecking each other to death. This isn’t only true for chickens but it is true in real life. We learn that only the top 10% earn the university place, or earn the bonus, or earn a promotion. So we fight against each other for this goal. Instead of working together.
People who work at organisations aren’t just at fault for this, but organisations are too. They create an environment in which people are forced to react in a “dog eat dog” manner. Financial target goals bring out the worst in people. Rather than goals that:
- “Talk to something much deeper inside them”
- “They feel they have been given the opportunity to give the best work they have done.” (Whether that’s provide them with the right resources, length of time, or your feedback etc)
Next time you feel yourself about to peck someone else at work to death, because lets face it, your mind set at that point in time is “they deserve it”. Maybe have a bash at the following:
- Go for a walk outside (free break!)
- Write the email (but don’t send), come back to it and re-write
- thought process: it’s just work, and this is a process I need to get through.
Times are changing, and we should start thinking about what we can get out of work (in terms of experience and motivation), rather than what can work get out of us.