“My manager doesn’t care about me”, is a complain I hear quite frequently. This is by far not limited to my company or country. Everywhere around the globe young professionals articulate the same concerns about the leadership in their company. Their superiors don’t show interest in people development, career progression or personal well-being – except for themselves, of course.
Interestingly, when I think back to my first years in the workplace, my generation complained about the exact same thing. It’s not a new phenomenon. Yet, the people that complained back then about their managers, are now the generation that is being complained about. Somehow my generation didn’t learn anything from their experiences.
So the question stands out: What can you learn from your managers that don’t care about you? Are you willing to be different?
Different means to actually care about others. About their development, their career and their personal well-being. Are you willing to put down your egoism in which everything needs to rotate around you? This means, even let go of the complain that your managers don’t care enough.
If you don’t like how you being lead, in which way could you be different?
“But I am not in a management position”, is the general answer. Poor excuse, I’d say. In order to change your mindset from “I, me, mine” to “you, yours” you don’t need anything but a firm decision. Whom can you help – without speculating about the potential impact on your promotion? What positive words can you bring into a conversation? Where is the next moment to appreciate a colleague? How do you want to show up in meetings?
Honestly, the whole discussion about “my manager doesn’t care” displays how much you put yourself first, too. You are in no way different than your manager – and once you are in a management role, chances are high, that you won’t care for your people. Because caring for others need to be trained. And it needs to be trained early – ideally in moments when no one is watching and you don’t benefit from it.
I challenge my team with a quite practical task: each meeting room or office will be cleaner when we leave as it was before. And we won’t complain! And we do it even at 10 o’clock at night when no one is watching. Why? Because it is a constant reminder that we need to care for others – although we don’t get applause.
So, how do you challenge yourself? Challenge will hurt a bit. Mostly in your ego. And it is important. The moment you feel this inner pain of “that’s unfair”, “but I wanna be seen” and “I really don’t like doing it right now”, you know that you are on the right way. The path where you keep your ego in check. And that will lead to a position where you are able to care about others wholeheartedly.
So, today is the day. Get your training started by thinking of your colleagues and team members first. What can you do to enhance their day? How can you contribute to their career?