Over 10 years in business, we must admit we are worst at management skill – which should be the first and most important factor to master.
10 years ago, someone once said: “People love and respect, but not afraid of Ngoc”. Another continued: “You must make people afraid that they will turn to you and work wholeheartedly!”. After listening, I just laughed, thinking to myself: “Oh? Is it better to be loved than to be afraid? Why do you have to make someone afraid of you to do what you want?”. Probably due to the law of attraction, I attract a husband with the same opinion. Anyone might think the above argument is correct but to us, it is always wrong.
When I worked at a company, of course, I had a boss. And my boss also taught me to apply a lot of management principles and prepare steps as if I was in a battle, creating a competitive environment among employees so that everyone had the motivation to develop, but my boss did not apply that to me. Probably because she knew that principles could not bind me at all. I always knew how to stand in and out, depending on the case. At work, I cooperated with everyone. In addition to the problems related to the common work, I was just me, rising with my own belief system, lying on the sidelines of all conflicts for the sake of interests. Honestly, I didn’t really care about achieving this or that. What I felt meaningful was to be dedicated and be devoted to the field I love.
As for business, we have never had to force or push anyone. Those who have been with us for a long time are self-motivated by themselves, along with us, to develop in work and grow internally. When we work with someone, we always trust and empower that person. And whoever makes us lose our trust is either because they don’t have enough faith in themselves, or they don’t appreciate what they have.
At our place, we do not set out working principles or general rules, do not create a competitive environment, nor do we apply the reward – penalty regime. Reward – penalty do not make people do things well to be rewarded, nor making people stay away from doing bad things in order not to be punished. The cause of action stems from the desire to be noted and the fear, not from goodwill. This habit only makes people lose their determination and the courage to use their reasoning (it is so under Adler’s psychology, and so is our own belief system).
So, all the work people do is self-conscious. It’s simple that way. I consider everyone equal. Everyone has their own strengths and absolutely can bring what they do best to contribute to the team. And I also consider myself a part of the team, always listening, receiving suggestions, and changing if needed. Allowing the freedom of the business mindset also means allowing the freedom to speak up for the organization’s inadequate problems, helping to create “everyday heroes” (as Philip Zimbardo calls it) who dare to stand up for the right, and do not compromise with the wrong.
Does this administration style make others confused? Yes! The system without any clear rules contains many principles that each person must find in themselves. Once, she said, “Your excessive trust forces people to fight between the good – the bad inside and makes them confused.” Besides, if you are familiar with the vertical educational system (one tells and one does), the self-action style is like being thrown out in the middle of the sea and told to swim freely! Once you are used to feeling safe in a swimming pool close to your home, struggling yourself in the ocean is somewhat challenging.
Does this administration style make us confused? Yes, too! To us, the lesson of management is probably lifelong learning. Once standing between the boundary of right and wrong, I accidentally compared one person to another, my partner immediately reminded me: “I think you shouldn’t compare because comparison will hurt people and make them feel inferior”. I cherish these sincere words and learn from that lesson. Many times, because I trust others too much, and those people are not integrity enough, I had to suffer from the losses. After being sad and looking back, I also cherish those “memories” because things like that remind me to love the other associates who are by my side and stick with me more. For many times, inevitably, my heart wonders a little: should I change?
And, the more time passes, the more I believe in how to manage with… belief. It was true, at least for the two of us. And it gives us and our associates a healthy working environment where every person is loyal, not to us, but to the kindness within them. As the psychologist Eva Folgemann once wrote: “In this crazy world, most people are confused; the fear makes them disoriented, the desire to defend blinds them; a few are still on their way; a few still use their own moral compass to guide them.” Thanks to that, we find this life easy.