"Us vs. them" thinking and behaviors unfortunately are facts of life. To minimize them, both sides must be willing to make changes and meet in the middle. But as the leader, you must take the lead. Here are some things you should do and remember. They're from one of my most favorite books, Walk Awhile In My Shoes, and they're the words of an employee ... your employee:

"Appreciate the fact that my work is no easier than yours. I've got a tough job, too. Tasks often look easier than they are ... especially when somebody else has to do them.

Don't assume the worst of me. You don't wake up in the morning asking, "How can I make life miserable for someone today?" Well, neither do I. Give me the benefit of the doubt and I will reciprocate.

Adopt the mindset that to be successful at work, you need me as much as I need you.

Assume half the responsibility for our working relationship. If we work well together, take half the credit. If we don't, assume half the responsibility for making it better. Even though you're the boss, our relationship is a two-way street.

Remember that I'm human. Before you judge me or decide how you'll deal with me, walk awhile in my shoes."
While these pleas came from an "employee," they just as easily could have come from a colleague, a friend, a family member, from me ... or from YOU, yourself. They are, after all, universal needs that leaders at all levels - and all situations - need to remember and address.

Tip comes from Walk Awhile in My Shoes: Breaking Down Barriers Between Employees and Managers By Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

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