How Children Changed My View of People

It happened again this week. I was in a meeting when someone with questionable authority on the project stormed in and began berating the team, mostly spewing hypocrisy designed for political posturing to cover their own mistakes and weaknesses.

In short, it was a temper tantrum; classic 3-year old behavior.

Once I had children of my own, a transformation took place where I came to realize that few adults are reflective enough to move beyond the mental state of a child. They might be physically grown and hopefully have some greater knowledge of the world, but emotionally and behaviorally, they are no different than children on the playground arguing over who gets to go down the slide first. It’s sad their parents didn’t teach them some basic lessons on respect, sharing, and communicating with others, even in cases of disagreement.

This is honestly a kinder way to view people, because the alternative is that they are completely in control of their behavior and believe that the bullying, the idle threats, the yelling is acceptable in a professional setting. It’s a technique they have used successfully because there is no good way to give them a spanking and send them to “time-out.” Disturbingly, too often this behavior is encouraged as it is viewed as a path through the corporate bureaucracy – “that guy” may be wrong, he may be awful, but he gets things done. I’ve yet to see this be reality – instead, “that guy” uses that behavior to overshadow his deficits, and will produce a dysfunctional, ineffective organizational culture.

Please, fire “that guy” before he ruins you.