Toxic Culture

In the space of 10 hours on Saturday, 3 people in 2 different social settings started talking to me about their dysfunctional and stressful working relationship with their boss.  A few days before I heard of another friend on stress leave due to workplace issues.  An associate who works in the workers compensation sector informs me that 40% of workers comp claims are stress related. 

We have a problem. 

As I listen to the stories I am well aware that there are two sides to everything.  That said, it really does rest on leaders and managers to do their best to upskill themselves and their workforce in the area of human interaction…because human interaction is a core business process.

We have methodologies, frameworks and techniques for doing our jobs.  But sadly, the same cannot be said for the fundamental task of interacting with other humans to get work done and reach our desired outcomes. 

In the end techniques for interacting with others appear fake and transactional if not accompanied by a genuine care for the other and curiosity about where they are coming from.  An inability to simply negotiate a clear commitment between people leaves time frames and standards uncertain, the work not done properly or on time (or on budget) as well as the increase in angst and undermining of morale and trust that goes along with it.

It is not so much that there are new ways to learn as it is that we need to become aware of what we are doing or not doing in our interactions with others which increases workplace stress and dissatisfaction.