Understanding Your Employees Better

Recognizing value in others

On a recent business trip, I found myself sitting a few rows behind a man who looked to me like what I think of as a Tibetan Monk. He had a shaved head, tanned skin, and wore a brown robe tied with a rope.

I immediately wondered about him – what is his story? I projected 100’s of fascinating, interesting stories onto him that I was sure he had to tell. I projected this onto him because of what he looked like to me – not really knowing if any of it was true. He reminded me of Steve Carell in Evan Almighty but without the long hair and beard.

Then I settled into my seat and prepared for takeoff. Although I saw him as I boarded the plane, I didn’t think about him again until we landed and were exiting the plane.

I was again drawn to him, curious about his background, what he had learned over the years, and what wisdom he had. Then I noticed he and his seat mate were saying goodbye, and his seat mate hugged him. WOW! What went on between them? What did they talk about? What wisdom, insight was shared? I was envious of their conversation and the valuable tidbits I was sure they exchanged.

This made me wonder if we recognize the value, insight, and knowledge we each have and can share with others. Since we see our co-workers daily, and don't show outward signs of being “wise”, is it possible we take one another for granted?

We need to open ourselves up to give the wisdom of ourselves to others and, we have to be ready to be “wowed” or surprised by what our colleagues may bring to the table. We need to manage our expectations of the norm or usual, and let the wisdom and insights of others come though.

It just may be that the insight of our staff, co-workers, friends, children – everyone – is far greater than we know it to be.

Expect greatness and it may find you from where you least expect it.

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