Hopelessness or Hopefulness It's Up to You
There is a feeling of hopelessness being experienced by the very same people who once joined your organisation with enthusiasm and excitement. Remember the person who comes to you today asking for support and telling you they are unhappy? They were once happy.
They were coming to work every day brimming with energy. They were creative, contributing, and helpful. They smiled a lot, they engaged in conversation with their colleagues and they laughed from time to time as well.
Do you remember this person?
Maybe you were this person once too?
This person now stands before you, asking you why.
They want to know why bullying is ignored here and swept under the rug.
They want to know why women aren’t promoted at the speed that men are.
They want to know why HR fails to action complaints fairly.
They want to know why you don’t stand up to the managers above you and support them.
They want to know why nothing has changed.
Why has bullying in the workplace been a topic for the past 20 years and we are still experiencing it.
You better not tell them ‘it is what it is’. You simply cannot default to this dismissive phrase and tell your people that there is nothing to be done and they simply must accept it or deal with it because it won’t change.
You may feel like there is nothing you can do, and you want them to accept things just as you have, but the reality is if you are feeling this way you need to consider relinquishing your role as a people manager.
I have heard this too many times in my working life and it sits right up there with ‘you can’t beat the system’. It’s too easy to drop this phrase and excuse poor management and poor behaviours. It’s a cop-out. It’s the closing of a door. You close the door to your people when you shrug your shoulders and gesture vaguely as you say ‘it is what it is’.
What about you? Are you feeling despair and hopelessness too? Are you feeling disempowered? It speaks volumes to me when a manager, someone responsible for the health and well-being of human lives, reaches for a phrase that offers no hope or solution.
It speaks of the desperation of an impossible situation when you simply shrug your shoulders and shake your head as you walk away.
Are you wishing things were different and perhaps there was a way to make things better for yourself and those under your care? I hope so.