Some of my random jobs are assignments from a temporary staffing company. I began one yesterday and it was a very pleasant experience. The duties are almost identical to those of a position I recently quit in frustration after a whole year of indecision. So why the emotional difference? It is because, clearly, everyone I met treated me and each other as professionals working as a team. That means they gave me credit for knowing what I was doing and if I was on the wrong path, they were kind in their instruction.

This first day was training with the person I am relieving for a week. It turns out that she also had a long term frustration with a previous position. Normally, she would have never started a griping session but by the afternoon we seemed to trust each other and were comparing  our two past unhappy work experiences. Guess what the common factor was. The ones for whom we worked were extremely controlling and were dehumanizing in the process.

Trying to relieve the pressure in those days, I often asked of my coworkers “What management seminar taught that kind of supervision?” In other words, how could anyone expect to get professional results by treating the workers like peons? Those bosses will love it in the future when they only have computerized robots to program any way they want.

On the other hand, gathering untroubled, fairly intelligent people of good will and giving them reasonable expectations makes a lot more sense. Then as the tasks become complicated, ask the employee for suggestions, listen instead of having your mind made up. As trite as it might sound, treat them how you would like others to treat you.

In short, be humane. How hard is that?