February 9

Coffee With Mike- Building Stability Into The Workplace



When I was expanding my staff and we brought in Jeff, this was several years ago, Jeff was an awesome person, a great young man, had a lot of energy, had a lot of interest, and was very talented in a lot of the things he did. He wanted to understand what his job was, and so I went over the duties and I went I described what I actually wanted to do. But then it occurred to me, 'Why was I hiring someone?' The reason I was hiring somebody is because I kept waking up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning scared, and I was thinking about what happened to this person; what did we do with that person; how far along are we; what if we don't get this done on time? I had all these different fears that would wake me up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning, and I had a lot of anxiety about it, and I just needed some help. 

So, after I was through talking to Jeff about his duties, I said, "let me explain to you what I think your job is. I know what I want you to do, but this is what I need the effect to be: I need you to take away my fear of waking up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning and the anxiety I feel. That I want to be able to know that I don't have to think about it anymore, about what happened to a person along the track of getting the job done for them, or how long it's been since we've contacted another person, or what we're going to do next down the road. I don't want to think about that anymore. I want that to be your job. I want you to take that headache away from me, that fear away from me so that when I wake up in the morning, I know that it's being taken care of, that I'm confident instead of anxious. That's your job: to make sure I feel confident instead of anxious when it comes to that things I've asked you to do."

When he understood that, and I understood that, really it was a revelation to both of us, that what we were trying to do is build each other up to the point that we were helping each other accomplish what we wanted to accomplish. Not just say that we got the task done, but to say that I can trust you. I can count on you. I know your work is not only going to be confident, it's going to be very good. It's going to be great. I not only know that you're going to get the task done, but you're going to get done on time, and that I don't even have to ask you to do it because you're going to initiate it yourself. That's what makes me free as an employer.

I imagine that there are some people that are listening to this right now who need to communicate that to people they supervise, or need to communicate that back to people who are supervising them. The whole idea here is, 'how can we help each other become more confident and less anxious about the tasks at hand?' Not only that they get done, but how they get done, by whom they get done, when they get done, and the initiate- who takes the initiative to get it done. I think that would make a great workplace. that makes going to work a lot more exciting and a lot more in durable, especially when the world around us is kind of in chaos right now. We need some place of stability, and I think that's what we're doing for one another when we work together. We're trying to create stability for one another and for the people who work around us. 

"How can we help each other become more confident and less anxious about the tasks at hand?"

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