One of the greatest desires of humans is the need to feel loved, to feel accepted by others. Another need so closely knitted is the need to feel needed. When people don’t feel needed, they develop a low or negative self-image, and consequently, self-esteem of themselves. They begin to feel that their existence is useless, and may develop habits that are inimical to their progress and that of others. But there are usually early signs to this. Some of which are:
1. Avoidance: When in the workplace, you sense that someone, especially your superior begins to avoid you, it is a sign that something has gone wrong somewhere. It is either s/he has a problem or you do. The fact is that you can’t really avoid someone who is an asset to you – who has the solution to the problem that you have. If your boss is avoiding you, try to assess the situation. When did it begin? What could you have done wrong? Be clear and be sure that the fault is not from your side.
2. Coldness. You may also begin to sense that someone has grown suddenly cold towards you. They don’t return your greetings with such enthusiasm unlike they used to do. And you may even observe that it’s like they are being forced to exchange pleasantries with you – as a sense of duty. In reality, this may be because you are a threat to them. However, if the person stands more favoured before the management, you may soon begin to fade out.
3. Non-Consultation. This is what happens when someone who would always ask your opinion about things suddenly become independent of you. This may be because s/he believes s/he now understands the process and can do it alone, or because your contributions are now stale to the person. Either way, you may need to rebrand yourself and become more valuable, or you may as well be pushed out of the way. Why should someone pay you for what they can do by themselves?
4. Non-Consideration. This is like an aftermath of the whole process. Do you notice that when you give a suggestion, it is not being considered even when it is obvious that it is the wisest thing to do? Or when someone is seeking ideas on how to improve things, they don’t even bother bringing you into the brainstorming session?
5. Confrontation. This seems to be a natural phenomenon when trust begins to wane. Your boss begins to question everything you do, either to find fault and to frustrate you, or to confirm the notion that you are no longer relevant. When this becomes perpetual, you must seek to find out exactly what your boss wants, or you may as well begin to find job somewhere else. I tell you, if the confrontation persists, a kick is inevitable.
The five signs given above are simply indicative of the fact that you are becoming not too valuable to the scheme of things or that your relationship with someone is under tension. Fix it before it puts you in a fix.
To your productivity!
Dele Ayo Bankole (DAB)