01 Dec My Boss Bit Into My Sandwich Without My Permission
I remember one of my first jobs out of college working for a woman’s sports wear company in NYC on 7th Ave. You would think a job like that would be glamorous, but it was far from it! We were required to be at work by 7:00 am and none of us dared leave before 7:00 pm and most of us had to commute at least an hour to an hour and a half from home.
We were not permitted to leave for lunch, but we were allowed to order in on the company’s dime. We would sit at our cubicles and the owner would walk through our department and stick his hand in our lunches. He would take a bite of your burger, grab some of your french fries, or take some of your salad with his fingers. He would leave our area and we would all stand up in unison and throw out our lunches and order again.
This was a regular occurrence during the three years I worked there. We all walked on pins and needles because our manager wasn’t much better. She loved to scream at us and tell us what terrible workers we were. I once came in before 7:00 am to meet with one of the account executives who was leaving the company for another job. I was going to take over some of her accounts, so we met early so she could go over the details and my manager screamed at us for talking to each other at 6:30 am. I remember shaking and crying every day as I left work to go home. I developed terrible anxiety and lost quite a bit of weight.
It amazes me that companies treat their people poorly. I have never understood why employers think that they will get more productivity this way.
Recently I’ve noticed more and more articles on kindness and the link between kindness and success. According to a Fast Company article written by Emma Seppala.PhD, the Science Director at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research at Stanford University, “Consider this choice: Given two individuals with equivalent talent and skills, who do you look up to and prefer to work with, promote, or invite onto a project? Chances are it’s the more compassionate one.”
“If that sounds intuitively right, it’s now getting some backing by science–with a few conditions. Wharton professor Adam Grant argues that kindness and compassion give us a far greater advantage than self-absorption. Nice guys do finish first, he explains, as long as they learn how not to let others take advantage of them.”
“Even Shark Tank Billionaire Mark Cuban calls kindness is a hidden secret to success. He says it takes more than work ethic and negotiation skills to be effective in business. “One of the most underrated skills in business right now is being nice. Nice sells,” he said. “I went through my own metamorphosis. Early on in my career, I was like bam, bam, bam—I might curse, get mad. I wouldn’t have wanted to do business with me when I was in my twenties. I had to change, and I did, and it really paid off.”
“Science backs Cuban’s discovery that soft skills can boost your career: High levels of emotional intelligence, empathy, and gratitude have been associated with people not only earning more money over their lifetimes but also having more engaged employees. In short, what makes you most valuable is your ability to cooperate with, connect with, and lead others in effective ways.”
The Navy Seals and Google have spent millions of dollars trying to figure out how to make their soldiers and employees more productive. In the book “Stealing Fire” by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, they write about helping people achieve peak states of “Flow”.
Have you ever been in “Flow” also known as the “Zone”? It’s that state where everything becomes easy and effortless. It’s when time seems to stand still and you are in an incredible creative mindset. That state is maximized when people are happy, relaxed and trust their surroundings. When people are stressed, don’t trust their boss or co-workers, and don’t feel like they are appreciated at work, it’s a mix that does not encourage Flow, let alone getting the best out of your employees.
“The character of a person–especially those in leadership positions–can also translate to bottom-line success. According to KRW International, a leadership consultancy, CEOs whose characters were highly rated by employees had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period, almost five times as much as CEOs with low scores whose return on assets averaged just 1.93%.”
So the bottom line is be nice, treat each other with respect, and look out for one another. Not only will it make you feel better, you can become more successful too!