What Can We Learn From Macaws and Tree Branches?
I am starting to hear about the “new worker” returning to work and the “new workers” being hired. I am hearing about “changed” workers who have returned to work, but seem to be hesitant. Hesitant about “what and why”, is not really clear.
And, then there is the “new hire” group. This group includes newly hired employees, some of whom “have a pulse”. It’s strangely difficult to hire people right now, isn’t it? And then, some showed a “higher level of energy and interest”. They might not even know why they applied for your job, but they did. And, you may have hired them in hopes of keeping them.
Does that about cover the spectrum of those you may be supervising right now? So how’s that working for you? (I couldn’t pass that up.) So how might you go about re-engaging the returnees and how might you find out which of the new hires has a potential ROI for investing in them? How about two considerations:
In ancient times, (a long time ago in other words), a King was given 2 beautiful Macaws as a gift. He was known for loving to watch these beautiful birds in flight. But only one seemed to be able to fly. The king hired a nearby farmer to get the other bird to fly. He was successful. The king asked the farmer what the solution was. The farmer said the bird lacked the motivation to fly. So, he cut the limb off behind the bird.
The second story is really a question or riddle. “Why does a bird sitting on a branch seem to not worry about the branch breaking underneath them?” Could it be that their trust is not in the branch; their trust is in their own wings?
Actually, I believe the moral of this story and this riddle are related. Is the “beauty” of the birds really a misdirection of the reader? Is the one bird’s lack of trust in its own potential what the farmer (you the Supervisor) recognized? Sometimes, do you know more about the potential resident in the people who work for you than they may realize themselves? And, are your expectations of them out of genuine appreciation of recognized capabilities? How satisfying it is to see birds fly.
And the moral within the riddle… Do the people who report to you realize that you observe their behaviors with a “positive focus”? I hope so. Do they “take for granted”, exceptional capacity and potential? Do they know you value and appreciate their confidence in their own skills and potential?
Is “NOW” an opportunity to re-engage with the people you spend so much time with, and they with you? Do you encourage, nudge them to venture out and spread their wings to grow? Do you recognize what they may take for granted? You are the critical component in both story and riddle.