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The Importance of Recognizing Others' Humanity


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 speak 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.

To continue reading the article, click here.

Patricia Thompson - Corporate Psychologist and Management Consultant | Silver Lining Psychology

About the Author

Dr. Patricia Thompson is a Corporate Psychologist and Management Consultant who is passionate about helping her clients flourish by making well-informed hiring decisions, cultivating talent, and developing a positive organizational culture. Read more...