Would you like emotions with that employee?

“Perception is merely a lens or mindset from which we view people, events, and things.”

Quote is from psychologist and author in the USA.

So, we believe what we perceive to be accurate and create our own realities, based on our perception.

We are seeing this in a ‘worst-case’ scenario in the USA now where, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (or, more importantly, an overwhelming lack of evidence to prove the reality), millions of people passionately believe that the Presidential election was rigged.

In the workplace, I have seen this first-hand, where I was once the defendant in a bullying claim by one of my staff.

The story, in a nutshell, was that I started work very early, pretty much always the one to open the office each morning. The team member arrived 10 minutes or so before her shift started and left a little earlier than her colleagues. (This was due to public transport timetables and she made up the full work hours by having a shorter lunch break, so no favoritism there).

Her complaint was that I said “Good morning” to everyone in the office every day, but not to her. (Warning: when emotions are involved, you get phrases like: “You always …” and “You never …”, both of which are rarely true.)

In reality, she was correct, in that I would walk, at times, through my office and say hello as I went, or staff would poke their heads into my door as they arrived and do the same. The lady making the complaint was our receptionist and sat at a remote workstation, away from her colleagues. If I passed her on my way out of the office or when heading to the bathroom, I would always acknowledge her, but not always have a conversation, as she was often on the phone.

I was astounded when told of her claim, as we got on very well and she had never raised the issue with me until making the claim to the HR department. The resolution was simple and meant that I tried to speak with her with a greeting as often as possible.

With us humans though, things are rarely black and white. Just by posting what I wrote above, re the USA election, I expect to have some people disagree with my (politely, I hope).  Yet, to me, it is a total no-brainer.

If you are thinking to take on you first employee, you need to be prepared for all of the idiosyncrasies that a human being will bring to the workplace.