Dealing w/ Workplace Ghosts, Skeletons and Emotional Baggage

If people are really just souls walking around encased in human bodies then perhaps we deal with them wrongly.

Instead of taking what we see at face value - what they look like, what they say, what their resumes offer as narrative - it might be more useful to go a step beyond.

What if we looked at people (and groups, and institutions) as collections of experience, repositories of intention, higher beings with a mission in life?

What if we took in their energy, their histories, the memories they hold and the cultures that have shaped them?

What if we knew the families and relationships that our colleagues hold dear - or have hated?

I have never for once in my life believed that work is impersonal. Or that it can be divorced from your self. Your soul.

The truth is we are who we are all the time. And to deal with people well at work, you must understand the inner factors that drive them.

You may not have time, energy or inclination to pay attention to all this. But that sad reality makes it no less important to do so.

At the very least you can recognize - when you interact with anyone - that there is a wealth of background on their part, shaping their perceptions of you.

To find out who they are all you have to do is focus. Take the time to listen, question and observe. Try to find out what makes the clock tick -- the history in all its seen and unseen drama.

If you really take the time to work with others as human beings, they will likely give you the same privilege. And when you screw up, as everybody does, your character -- as exhibited through steady interaction over time -- will bear witness.

Slow down, pay attention, and pull up a chair. Sometimes the best thing you can communicate is nothing. Preferring instead to let others share a bit of themselves with you.