I have been watching on “catch up” a BBC series “Ordinary Lies” recommended by a friend. Just as well as I wouldn’t have normally watched it - the title didn’t really do it for me! It is a well put together, well-acted series about different characters within the same work place. The series follows a different character each week, and the viewer finds out that those ordinary people sometimes have extraordinary things going on in their lives. Of course, they do, we all do. The business is an SME with a sales team and a warehouse team – all very close to home really!
I guess one of the things I like about it is the intertwining of lives and the fact that what is going on in the employee’s home lives affects their work in a negative or positive manner. All of business is about people, real people, with real lives and to separate them as “robots” within the work place from the rest of their lives is not real. Of course, we don’t want staff coming in and dumping all their issues on their work colleagues. They need to put them aside to some degree, but non-work life should be celebrated, understood and empathised with.
Our society has become increasingly fragmented, from the 2nd World War onwards. There are various reasons for this, geographical displacement from birth places due to ease of transport, increasingly affluence meaning less proximity to neighbours, television, the list could go on for several paragraphs! I don’t think there would be any disagreement there. The pinnacle of this anti-community movement was the statement from Margaret Thatcher who proclaimed there was no need for community as she announced the age of the individual. The trouble is that people need people! You could say that, for many, the workplace of the SME is the new community. Let’s face it, we spend more time their than with our family or indeed time asleep.
I love the potential of people, and have always said that if I can develop people so they move on to better jobs with more responsibility either within or without my own company then I have done my job. This week at work, be inspiring, see the potential in your team and work colleagues, and remember that there are other sides to them that you don’t necessarily know. They, like you, and ordinary people with ordinary problems. You never know, this week you might be able to help one of them increase their potential by leaving a problem behind.
Have an even better week than normal!