Thursday, January 17, 2013

Protect me

How many of us work in an environment where someone has the job of protecting people against others in the organization? You know, you have the foreman at the factory who feels his job is to protect his line workers from unfair sales requests or the assistant who shields employees from talking to the boss.

Those positions certainly have good people doing what they think are good things, but aren't we creating or fostering conflict within our companies by having to "protect" our people from our people?

Isn't the foreman who is shielding the sales department from his workers, in effect, saying that those salespeople are bad or troublesome? Isn't the assistant who builds a wall between the employees and the boss implying that the employees are a bother or are beneath the executive she works for?

If we dropped all the emotions around protection, the foreman would look at his job as making sure that all new sales are responded to in the best way to ensure they are done on-time and at the highest quality. The assistant would be focused on ensuring that all employee needs are addressed by the right person in a timely fashion.

Do we create these protection mindsets because we like the importance of being the protector instead of the facilitator? As my 19-year-old daughter and her friends say when their friends overreact and things are unnecessarily emotional, "There's too much drama." Maybe this protection approach is just too much drama.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training

1 comment:

  1. Barry LaBov, your blog is usually filled with insightful posts, and this is no exception. I had a boss who always shielded us from anything the higher-ups were saying. He thought he was protecting us, but in reality, he was preventing us from improving. There's nothing wrong with looking out for your employees, but there needs to be honesty as well.