A few days ago my daughter Michelle called on her way home from work.
“Hey dad, have you got a minute I just want to talk.” In the past that was code for I need some money, but today the tone sounded different. Upbeat.
Michelle said that the Regional Manager was in the office today and had a conversation with her.
“She was interested in me, as a person! She asked me what I was reading at lunch and was actually interested in it. She wanted to know what I liked to read and said she was impressed and encouraged me. She wanted to know what you do (me) and was interested in that. I’ve never had a boss show any interest in who I was or was interested in.”
Our conversation lasted about thirty minutes. It was a sharp contrast to the normal recap of work.
“No one listens to us. My boss lets the sales people break the rules and we’re the ones who get into trouble from the home office if we can’t get their reports in on time. The sales people treat us terribly…”
Here are a few lessons from Michelle’s response:
- Michelle’s daily workplace routine and conditions are fairly typical.
- Most employees feel unnoticed (except when there is a problem), under appreciated and taken for granted.
- Simple human interaction with genuine personal interest can turn a crappy day into a wonderful day.