THE BUSINESS OF BEING HUMAN

The attitude most people accord the practice of business is either as a stringent professional endeavor much to do with systems of management ,statistical economic jargon or the complex finance and investment guff or ‘stuff’ to do with the works and machinations of the corporate world and so on. We don’t give enough precedence on how much social or rather human aspects come into play.  We do remain cognizant of them, forgetting that they remain as invisible influences behind the practice of business.

As social beings  we grow up  interconnected to our respective backgrounds  .We develop an identity closely related to our settings ,we develop interests, beliefs, personas, attitudes and skills towards what is either culturally  denigrated or esteemed . Business is not vain of our personal attitudes it’s not an entirely (as much as we attempt to make it so) rational or purely managed process of getting things done. Business is quite related to and rendered towards enhancing and realizing our socially established values.

Business as a human invention has kept evolving though we have seen the prodigious growth of industry, markets and finance, consequently certain schools of thought have taken a keen eye on the ‘human’ aspects. Marketing evolved from simply being the mechanical agenda of pushing sales to the now more thoughtful selling practice that involves anthropocentric aspects termed as ‘consumer behavior’ or understanding the ‘needs and wants’ .Evidentially products are marketed and conditioned with a witty bias of trying to attract and inwardly suit our way of life. We see this through variant advertising and promotional activities, marketers focus on selling ideas and products through intuitive messages that instinctively hit on our ‘human buttons’. It’s become common to hear business managers’ talk of being customer centric and listening to the consumers but even so there is little indication that they weave this idealism into the practice of businesses. Most are caught up running and keeping up with the routine systems of management. Being human centered is doing business in a way that is in tandem with the way humans essentially work.

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Human resources must not overlook this school of thought, incorporating a ‘behavioral culture’ into the workplace it encourages and establishes a certain way of thinking and working. Management uses the culture effect to lead employees to work naturally towards a mo·dus ope·ran·di that is aligned with the organization’s own management and business objectives.

Further on establishing mutually cohesive business relationships is the heart of the matter on almost all business dealings .Many a times I meet Chief Executives and managers who detest personal meetings with important stakeholders especially when it comes to establishing new strategic alliances, negotiations where the other party is reluctant and uncooperative.

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It’s usually a daunting task to improve this relationships from the usual callous only business relationship to dealings that are more casual and welcoming. The problem usually is business people more so the ones in executive leadership go into meetings cocky, plain and straight faced.

‘Pleasantries and greetings are exchanged in a brief and traditional manner. Subsequent follow-up emails are usually too uptight and ‘straight to the point’!  The element that we are all human is neglected and treated as ‘unprofessional’.’

Naturally it follows that in the same manner key life and death business dealings are treated in the same detached manner. As in the likes of bankruptcy cases, insurance claims, lay-offs and the like a lot of insensitivity is displayed, the handling of people is usually done in very cold if not gruesome manner .The saying that it’s ‘nothing personal just business’ is taken almost as an axiom but it’s not. If a little bit of ‘being human’ and feeling was brought into play we would be surprised how much our working relationship, life and business in general would not only improve but feel right.

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In the modern era businesses that gear their products towards a social model, of not just selling products but adding value and making a contribution, are the ones realizing phenomenal growth  with the most largest  balance sheets and record net incomes.

Business shouldn’t be separated from life in the usual work to life balance we talk of scheming. It’s been well pointed out by many executives and entrepreneurs that business is an extension of our goals and aspirations. It will always be personal and as much as it should be handled professionally and systematically more importantly there should be human aspect to it.

Alvin Misoi

  Business Coach

@ Run & Grow

 Coach and Consult

TheFounder Magazine

Made Of Founders

TheFounder Magazine is an online business magazine that focuses on starting, running and growing a business in Kenya today

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