Don’t Let it Get Personal!

Watching the fights going on in Washington D.C. over the past months and years, it seems that the ire expressed by the Republican Party is directed less and less at philosophical or ideological differences with the Democratic Party and more at the person who holds the presidency. While there are certainly ideological differences between the parties, the vitriol seems much more personal than that. For example, a recent poll on immigration had 60% of republicans supporting a path to citizenship. However, when republicans were asked an identical question about citizenship but told that the path to citizenship was President Obama’s policy, the approval rate dropped to 39%.

That sort of focus on one person instead of on issues or policies means that the party is going to have a hard time getting anything done. Instead of working with the President to pass a policy that 70% of the country, including 60% of republicans, thinks would be good for the country, the party will instead focus on shutting down the President’s efforts. While they may succeed in harming that particular person, it is unlikely this approach is going to do anything to help the citizenry or advance formerly stated republican goals. The same sort of dynamic can be damaging in workplaces everywhere.

Sometimes employees really hate their bosses or the people who sit on their corporate boards. Sometimes this disdain is the result of some truly bad management while other times it is the result of differing philosophies or miscommunication. In any case, after deciding that the manager in question is terrible, an employee can become distracted by these feelings.

The farther the employee allows his negative feelings to go, the more distracted and therefore, less productive, that employee will be. Instead of thinking about how to best advance the company, or even his own career goals, he will be thinking about how to damage the career or reputation of that manager. This almost never ends well for anybody.

While it is essential for people in supervisory roles to practice good management techniques, there is also a burden on the employee to step back and not allow his personal feelings to interfere with the job that needs to be done. He may think that his manager is the worst thing that ever happened to the company but if he spends all of his time thinking about that instead of thinking about how to improve the company, he is going to look petulant and immature. An employee who manages to hold on to his values but still get things done will always triumph over somebody who consistently throws up road blocks.

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