The Case for Recognizing Others’ Humanity at Work

Today I had the pleasure of guest blogging on Elephant Journal, the site devoted to mindful living. In my article I discuss the importance of being intentional about considering others’ humanity in the workplace.  I encourage you to read the article, and if you enjoy it, please comment and share it with others!


Before I was a management consultant, I had an embarrassingly one-dimensional view of CEOs. Because my only dealings with them were via the media, I thought of them as money-hungry tyrants who derived pleasure from doling out misery to others (think  Montgomery Burns or Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada”). It wasn’t until I became a corporate psychologist and regularly met with senior executives that I appreciated the immense pressure they were under, and the sense of responsibility most of them felt for their employees. I learned about their hopes, dreams, and insecurities. In other words, I started to see them as people.

I’m not the only one who has gotten sucked into seeing others as objects. I have spoken to medical professionals who have unwittingly become desensitized to patients, seeing them more as “cases” than frightened individuals in need.

I have seen employees afraid to talk to their bosses about personal issues because they had decided it was impossible for a senior person to relate to their situation. I have also felt like an object when going to the DMV, receiving a condescending reply in response to an innocent question.

As humans, we are prone to putting people into categories. It gives us a mental shorthand that makes navigating our complex environments easier.

Seeing others as individuals requires mindfulness and a continued awareness of our commonalities.

Considering their individuality takes more effort. However, this extra expenditure of energy is worth it, for a number of reasons.

To continue reading the article, click here.


Take My Mindfulness Quiz!

Want to see how mindful you are in your career? Take the quiz and find out! (You'll also get daily tips to help you to be more mindful).

Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply