We are all different from one another. Our thoughts, ideas and core beliefs are the testimony we have individualities, that makes us who we are.
Evolving in society doesn’t mean we have to become like everyone else. We do not need to try to fit in, we have the freedom to think on our own. But also, be mindful of everyone’s space, individuality is a gift given to all of us.
In the corporate world individuality should be embraced to help companies grow. A company’s performance is always based on how their employees are performing. From engineering, sales, customer services etc. Everyone plays a role directly or indirectly to the product or services they offer.
As leaders your role should help to cultivate individuality. Thinking outside of the box can prove to be extremely beneficial and lucrative for your company. Conformity shouldn’t become the corporate new standard if you want to continue to succeed. Trying to mold your department into robot land using your leadership as a dictatorship is unhealthy.
The mood of the employees will reflect on the health of the company. Trying to change people to something they are not will not serve you well. Using psychological games to entice or control individuals will not bring you what you want. One way or another individual will push back. You are forcing your team into a sterile environment where creativity will not flourish.
How do you know if your department is healthy?
Some of the signs to look for is the energy in your department. I have worked in companies where, when you walked in the negativity was palpable. Your stomach would form a knot, you just wanted to turn around and go home.
Peoples’ demeanor will also be a sign. Let’s be honest, not everyone will be smiling and jolly. But you can sense most of them will be working with a positive attitude.
On the flip side if you see a team with a moody attitude you can figure out very quickly why. By communicating with them you can find out they have been reminded over and over during their weekly meeting with their managers the following: You are not a team player, you are perceived as……. (fill in the blank). This should be a red flag that whomever is in the leadership seats, he/she is trying to mold the team into robots. Individuality will be removed; fear and negativity will have replaced it. Creativity will be phased out, you’ll start to notice communication between leadership and the department will not flow anymore. Instead only controlled information from leadership will be released. You are becoming a” yes sir, no sir ” employee.
You are not part of the decision making anymore even though you have the skills, experience and knowledge to solves issues. You are not involved in projects that could challenge your brain as well as help the company. You have been placed in a box that doesn’t allowed you to move, you feel you are suffocating.
What to do about it?
As a leader, you need to stop trying to conform everyone to your own image. Dictatorship doesn’t help any company, sooner or later you will have to answer for your actions.
As employees you have the choice to stay where you are, or you can look for another position that will be healthier than the one you are currently in.