The Right Way to Treat People

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"The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them." George Bernard Shaw.


Most people do not see beyond the present. All they see when they look at a baby is a helpless child. They do not see the future. Once they form an opinion about you, they hold on to it forever. They've somehow, by their words and actions, forgotten that people change: that people grow. That the people they are dying to meet were all once helpless babies. They do not know the right way to treat people.

When I got my second job I almost died of frustration. I was employed as an MIS (Management Information System) and Business Analyst. My job role involved making lots of Excel reports and PowerPoint presentations. All my life till that point, I had avoided having anything to do on MS Excel and I wasn't good with PowerPoint. And now my salary and job safety were dependent on MS Excel and PowerPoint. My first months were like hell; I was shown what to do and given the report templates. But every time I sat in front of my PC to make the reports, it was a struggle. For every step I took forward, I would have taken 3 backwards. Everything I did was very clumsy and unprofessional. But I had a senior colleague who treated me right. Even though he would occasionally help me with a report I have spent 6 hours trying to make, and do it in 20mins. And it always looked like magic to me. He kept encouraging me and telling me that in a matter of time I would be even better than him, which I never believed. He didn't see me as a helpless fellow. He saw a bright future for me. And he gave me a gentle push towards that future. He treated me as his equal, and not a weakling who was always screwing up the reports and giving the client weapons to use against the company. I won't forget the day I sent a confidential internal report to the Africa HQ team of the client. "Michael, what have you done? You've just put us on fire."
But I grew. And became as good as my Godsent senior colleague; he frequently says I'm better than him. He taught me the right way to treat people. 

Andrew Carnegie said, "See the best in others; give them a reputation to live up to." And that's the right way to treat people. Be super nice to everyone. See the Roman Abramovic in every orphan. The Oprah Winfrey in every street girl. Not because you want to make them feel good, but because it's the only right way to treat people. No matter how helpless a person may look, the potential they have is always enormous. What they can do and achieve will always be beyond anyone's imagination. And you have no right to treat them like dirt. You don't have to help them or pity them; just be nice to them. And if you can, give them a reputation to live up to: like my senior colleague did to me.


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