Monday, June 11, 2012

Working with humans

I have worked with people who are always kind, always reliable, always creatively excellent. But not many. Maybe five. Certainly less than 10.

I have also worked with people on the other end of the spectrum. Full-scale hacks lying and stabbing their way through their lives. But only a couple.

One of the people in the former category decided to eject from the industry recently. His departure probably doesn't qualify as a blow, but it is kind of a bummer.

It got me thinking. I've worked with hundreds - maybe thousands - of people. Only a dozen of them lie at either end of the spectrum. Which means my career has been defined by the huge mass of people in the middle. Good people who are just trying to live their lives, take care of their families, do their jobs, and have a little fun along the way. People who are occasionally lazy. Sometimes irrational. At times belligerent. Open to the infrequent dishonesty.

You know. Humans.

Working with excellence is easy. Just throw it the ball and get out of its way. Working with awfulness is also easy. Run. Fire, if you can. But working with humans, absorbing their failures, celebrating their wins, and forgiving their imperfections - that's hard. It is an evolving, inconsistent and subjective process. It guarantees that I, too, will fail. And need celebration. And forgiveness. Lots and lots of it.

1 comment:

Sandra Vanhooser said...

This is a great article. Something I've been noodling with lately. There are few times you work along side people that accept, challenge, understand and even care about you as a person; who you are as a human. In all facets of your personality, they are interested in you. In how you can help them grow, how they can help you grow and overall provide an enjoyable work experience. Lately I've experienced more of the "other end of the spectrum" and less of the middle ground where humanity collides with reality in the workplace and there's a sense of relation and connection to each other. And even less do we encounter the former scenario of always kind, always reliable and always creative. "Always" is rare. "Sometimes" is desired and "Never" fictional.