This is a good one so PLEASE read, take the appropiate action and also communicate back to me your views regarding the content. Really, the above title should be Resources (or co-workers) vs. teammates (or partners), but I didn’t want to give the impression of being confrontational.
OK; so what am I trying to say?
Well; I make many points and references in my book; C.A.R.E. – Courage to Take Action Relevant to Everyone; building a better workplace starts with you! about people and their roles at all levels in the workplace. After all, that’s what we are; people. That’s at least one thing we all have in common; we’re all people. Therefore, at least in this blogpost I will attempt to cut to the chase and summarize the various “labels” we the people are forced to own inside the workplace other than what we all are; people.
In 2009 I was giving a seminar in Pasadena Ca, the topic was teamwork, the audience; Small Business Owners. It seemed that everyone was an expert when it came to teamwork. In fact one outspoken SBO stated there’s not much for him to learn about teamwork; he gets it. He said TEAM is the acronym for together, everyone achieves more. We’ve all heard this before; right?
This guy then went on to say that he knows how to play this game and how to get what he needs from his resources. When he said that, it really resonated with me; this is a huge miss in people managing, communicating, or collaborating. Sometimes I wonder who the hell do we think we’re fooling?
Work is not play, people are not resources and this is not a game. This SBO is imposing his personal agenda and re-naming it teamwork; this is terrible!
People have a heart, a soul and a brain. All are crucial in establishing trust and delivering results in the workplace. What do resources have? A name and a date inside a project plan?
Somewhere along the way, we (the workplace) stopped referring to people as people and changed the label to resource.
We need to change this; people are people. I feel so strongly about this, I’ll say it again; we need to change this; people are not resources, people are people. If all we are in our present job is a resource then how can we be relevant to the company?
Execute tasks that are assigned to us by someone else, just say yes to everything and we’re a resource. Share in the success of your company; question everything, voice opinion, input and concerns specific to the actual work and you’re a teammate.
While I’ll say resources are at least co-workers, teammates on the other hand are considered partners.
When the going gets tough at your company (and it will if not tough already) and your company is faced with some gut wrenching consolidation decisions; who will be the first to go, the resources or the partners?
Make sure you’re labeled properly at work; do this today.
How can we do this?
Speak up, be heard, come out, use all your skills, all your abilities to get your opinion heard on a task, a project, on anything work related but be heard. If you’re relevant your also being heard. This is not make believe, you can’t just say you agree, make no changes in your workplace behavior and then expect to be looked upon as a partner. Change requires action. Do you have the courage to take action necessary to become relevant in the workplace? When your paycheck is being prepared by your company, you want them to say wow; this is money well spent.
Anyway, whatever you do, make sure your company identifies you as a teammate; a partner and NOT just a resource or co-worker. This accountability is on us to make happen and NOT on the person we report to or anyone else in our company. It’s our responsibility; we own this.