Being Human

Being human is our birthright not a skill.

My largest response over the summer from my writing was the following brief LinkedIn post with over 6,571 views of the  post 

My name is David Zinger, I am human.

The elephant in the room is that we are already human.

Imagine my confusion when I received an email from the Harvard Business Review with the title: “How to be Human at Work.” I did not think I needed how-to instructions on something I already am! 

The Economist 1843 had an article on how to edit a human. Do I now have to be wary of a biological misplaced comma?

I scanned an article on the 6 traits of human beings that began, “One of the most important – but often forgotten – elements of customer experience is that it’s all about human beings. Customers are human beings, employees are human beings, and executives are human beings.” Really? We have forgotten that we are human, this is sure news to me!

You see — I am human. I feel. I bleed. I blunder. I blush. I smile. I work. I play. I talk. I listen. I love. I laugh. I have not forgotten I am human. I do not need editing. Don’t you dare sell me manuals on how to be what I already am, a human.

George Kemish LLM MCMI MIC Director and Principal Consultant – HR Strategy & Workforce Planning – Adding Value Through Pro-Active Business Planning

I am not sure that it is a case of whether or not we are human.  When looking at areas such as Customer Service, the customer seems to have been left out of the loop on many occasions and yet it is the customer that is going to have the biggest effect on the ‘bottom line’ and on the return to investors. Everything that HR does, from workforce planning to attracting and retaining talent, should be undertaken to support the Value Chain and in determining the value chain you need to work from the customer back through the organization.  Unfortunately this has rarely been the case – hence the poor customer service that we experience in the UK.  One advert on television just about sums this up: ‘UK Car Hire with American Customer Service’

George Kemish LLM MCMI MIC Director and Principal Consultant – HR Strategy & Workforce Planning – Adding Value Through Pro-Active Business Planning

David Zinger.  You are correct.  However, it is the value chain that they should be supporting.  If they do not there will be no bottom line or ROI.  Nuria Rojo.  If poor customer service is a worldwide ‘accepted’ sickness, and a UK company feels that American Customer Service is better than that provided by most UK organizations, then I can only presume that customer service in the UK has reached rock bottom.  Sofia Reis.  I totally agree – organizational behaviour is nothing new – have we lost the ability to manage this important aspect?

Scott J. Simmerman, Ph.D. CPF, CPT Designer of tools for teambuilding and performance improvement, including Square Wheels and Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine

These days, I am thinking I would prefer a robot that is mildly intelligent. I literally have spent THREE YEARS trying to get information about my Mom’s Life Insurance policy from AIG. Mom still lives and is still paying away and they keep changing the demanded payment and, until maybe a month ago, would not ever explain why.  Calls now got to voicemail, always, because they do not want to talk with me. Not even the NJ Insurance Commission can get any reasonable response on all this. A robot would probably just give me the information.

Trevor Hubert Director, Talent & Organizational Development at Investors Group

Nice post David. You are one of my favorite humans. Love your posts and thought leadership.

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

Thank you Trevor. You have seen my fallible humanity and also trying to do the best I can. Nice to have you work up the street.

Ihsan Mert Employer Brander | Keynote Speaker | Award Winning Talent Recruiter | Digital HR Innovator | A Canadian in Istanbul

You are one of the best human beings David.

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

Ihsan, it would take one to know one!

Jordan Mulholland Senior Relationship Manager at Farm Credit Canada / Financement agricole Canada

You know, I couldn’t agree more. I to feel that there is a tendency to ‘dehumanize’ people in society and even in the work force. In the work force this leads to low morale, poor culture and constant churn of employees. At the risk of sounding old fashioned, can we not just treat others (coworkers, customers, executives) the way we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes? Perhaps it is idealistic of me. It would create stronger companies and relationships. 

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

I like the sound of “old fashioned.

Johanna Nelson Associate Director, Communications at Punter Southall Aspire

Hahahah and there we all were sat thinking we were aliens! Thank goodness for some clarity on the matter! 

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

I was torn between alien, robot, or perhaps I might awake as a Dung Beetle as salesman, Gregor Samsa, did in Kafka’s novella, Metamorphosis. 

Scott J. Simmerman, Ph.D. CPF, CPT Designer of tools for teambuilding and performance improvement, including Square Wheels and Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine

Let’s see the results of your Turing Test, David.

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

I guess I better get into a room and you fire questions. As a counselling psychologist I always liked the early computer counsellor ELIZA who did a good job of keeping clients going for a while.

Claude Silver Chief Heart Officer at VaynerMedia.

Mic drop! David I don’t know you but I want to. 

Kerry Brown VP User Adoption | Speaker, Thought Leader and Strategist passionate about making employees successful at their jobs

Ditto and well said.

Aga Bajer Culture Strategist • Author • #CultureLab Host • I help companies cultivate a culture that brings their vision to life

Brilliant, funny, a bit sad, very true! Thanks for sharing your human thoughts!

Faran Johnson Making Britain a great place to work.

David. Would love to chat with you! Have sent a LinkedIn request.

Mike (MJ) Vacanti • FollowingCxO Adviser. Team Performance. Leadership & Culture Transformation. Growth Catalyst. #HumansFirstClub. Speaker. Author.

David Zinger, you have a wonderful body of work helping people.

David Zinger Employee Experience & Engagement Educator, Speaker, Consultant

Thank you Mike, you are very kind. 

Lee Lester, Video Producer and Mindfulness AdvocateFacilitating positive communication through meditation, mindfulness and moving image.

Surely the point of all this is not to remind the customers, employees and executives that they are human – they’re often only too aware that their needs are not being met. It’s for those business leaders who choose or are pressured into forgetting that profit is driven by happy, imperfect humans, not just efficient ones? 

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