I have recently changed my career path, one that I hoped would challenge me and be a new adventure in my “middle” years. I went to college for the first time in my “middle” years and did a darn good job, graduating Magna Cum Laude from a great university with a great reputation that satisfied my need for intellectual stimulation and educational excellence.
With the help of all my professors, I not only achieved my goal, but exceeded my expectations.
I got a job-this was a “God” thing and I feel blessed to have been given an opportunity to learn and hone my new craft. I work with driven people all day long from Management to my co-workers. They are ALL excellent at what they do. I count myself honored to work with such talented people. However, being accomplished and proficient at your chosen profession is not all there is to your professional life.
Let me explain, I work in a field that it is imperative to be able to ask questions and understand the process. The very process is very regulated and precise not something that can be left to chance, it could lead to very unhappy clients. No business wants to create unhappy clients.
With that in mind, there needs to be a professional, yet “safe” environment that nurtures the novice and enables growth and maturity of knowledge. Without that safe environment, potential withers and can easily become a detriment to the team or organization. That does not mean that I think that people be “coddled” or not held responsible for their mistakes. However, mistakes are very valuable learning experiences that can lead to an improved professional.
I have been a manager for many years, almost 30, and although my management experience is in a completely unrelated field, people remain people regardless of the field and human nature is the same in a professional kitchen, a professional athletic team or a law office. With that in mind, people being people means that the same management skills can be used in each of those settings.
What is important for growth, proficiency and career maturity for any employee is that the employee be given a safe place to ask questions without those “learning moments” being disseminated to the their co-workers by the managers. The practice of discussing employees with other employees by management is not only disruptive, it is bad management practice and creates bad moral among team members. It is destructive to the whole, because it shows a lack of respect for each other and in fact legitimizes disrespect because it comes from the leaders of the team.
This is no different than watching a pack of dogs, who given permission by the leader of the pack pick and bite at the lowest member of the pack. No one wants to be that low man on the totem pole of office hierarchy.