Is authority more important to those who wield it or those who defer to it?

There is much talk amongst those I read and follow about re-humanising the workplace. Pushing back against the machine metaphor and re-discovering our individuality.

I always have an uncomfortable feeling that we sound like upset children, pleading with the parents to treat us better. People treat you the way they do because in some way, probably not even consciously, you have indicated that it is OK to do so. They do so because of a chain of actions and reactions going way back into childhood. They do so because of deeply held assumptions about authority.

They won’t stop doing so because we ask them nicely.

3 thoughts on “Is authority more important to those who wield it or those who defer to it?

  1. It may also be the nature of white collar work. Blue collar work required mastery of a craft. White collar work requires subservience to a hierarchy and little tangible evidence of one’s work. perhaps that is why white collar workers strike less often (I think, but have not researched this assumption). – Harold Jarche

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  2. Excellent. As you say, the concept of giving others permission, consciously or unconsciously, to treat us ‘badly’ is one well worth reflecting on. Thanks

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