What Matters To You At Work?

Jordan B. Peterson, Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto has been in the news a lot lately. I was intrigued with his arguments about personal responsibility and how quickly ‘right wing’ is stamped on the foreheads of those who speak it. 

I’ve been reading his book 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos.

It got me thinking again as to why management has short-circuited getting to the bottom of the large numbers of their people who are unhappy at work.

Jordan Peterson made an observation: writers of old texts, including the Bible, did not and could not have written through a scientific lens. Any works older than five hundred years - when the scientific method was prescribed with the work of Francis Bacon, René Descartes and Isaac Newton - could only have been written with a different view on the world … and a view suited more to the pressing concerns of those times. Scientific accuracy was irrelevant, let alone conceptualised, to peoples who were more concerned with survival. 

Are you concerned with surviving at work?

Are you concerned about surviving the employment merry go round? How do you experience these concerns? Is it through sharing these worries with a co worker over coffee or do you dive into indecipherable emails from above. The ones that turn you into a percentage of an option being looked into?

I’m fascinated why so many people are unhappy in their jobs. I think the answer lies in something very human in all of us. I’m working on a word for this. I’ll get it to you as soon as I work it out.

With the exception of scientists and their ilk, science and data - bless everything they’ve done for us - are not front of mind as we move throughout the day.

Jordan Peterson again…

The Domain, Not of Matter, but of What Matters …..that which we subjectively experience can be likened to a novel or a movie than to a scientific description of physical reality. It is the drama of lived experience— the unique, tragic, personal death of your father, compared to the objective death listed in the hospital records; the pain of your first love; the despair of dashed hopes; the joy attendant upon a child’s success.”

Yet the approach of many a management to getting some zing back into their teams, is delivered in data driven, emotionless, PC and watered down language and programs. They are not speaking in the domain of what matters to their people.

A simpler, clearer, human centred approach that speaks to people’s feelings and fears is needed.

An approach that treats them like the adults they are. Raise the bar and watch people rise up. Treat workers with contempt and they act like a working horse relegated to pony rides for the kids. Why the long face? would be a perfectly reasonable aside here.

That’s why my workshop called Get Ya Mojo Back speaks to people the clear message…  if they don’t have a career strategy then they are definitely part of someone else’s strategy.  So hop to it and get back in control of what is rightfully yours. 

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating had it so right when he would say in the racecourse of life back self interest because you always know self interest is trying hard. The domain employees are interested in? Themselves. 

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