It's one of the ironies of our working lives – that we all share a heartfelt need to be connected and to be useful, and that our interactions and conversations recognise our common humanity. And yet the masks we wear distort our true nature and give rise to distance and dissatisfaction in our work, when as the the poet philosopher David Whyte says, all we seek is:
“...to be seen, to give something to another, to come alive through our contribution to the visible world, through finding something interesting in our work.”
But how is this possible in the workplace, today, right now? In this intimate and heartfelt Eth Word clip, Paul Crouch, Financial Director at BT, recognises the practical challenges of working in an “almost myopic task driven world”, and yet finds balance by remembering that it is “people at the heart of it.”
Paul Crouch is BT Finance Director, Service Platforms.
The David Whyte quote is taken from the book Consolations
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I've seen over a number of years that the people that … it's more than just perform the best - I think the people that you get most out of but are the most fulfilled are those that you have a very open dialogue with and an almost symbiotic understanding of, you know, what motivates you and what motivates the individual.
You know this this works at all levels so it's not just communicating with my team - if I'm talking to very senior managers in the company here I think I get most from them if we're engaged on a personal level. And certainly I think they get a lot more from me if we're, you know, if we're actually talking a common purpose and I feel valued for my opinion, I feel recognized for where I've added values.
I think it's a very sort of simple human dynamics in many respects, but so easily forgotten in a, you know, almost myopic task driven world.
It's just remembering sometimes that we're all people we all have feelings and we're all motivated by different things and it's easy to not invest any time in the personal element whilst perhaps driving to, you know, process re-engineer something to a very lean excellent, you know, set of outcomes - you forget that it's people at the heart of it.