How To Work With People Who Don’t Care As Much As You Do

How To Work With People Who Don't Care As Much As You Do

Are you annoyed by co-workers who are not as passionate as you are about your job? Who, by your standards, don’t care as much as you do about their jobs? Oh yes! Those of use who are passionate about what we do have a different energy and vibe; it overflows from us. But there aren’t too many of us who come to work ready to make a dent in the universe.

How you do anything you do everything. This is a principle I live by. I won’t do something if I can’t do something up to my standards. I just won’t. I’ll feel like I’m cheating myself, and others, if I do. Which takes me to this: some of us take great pride in doing our job at a high standard. But most people don’t; they’re happy just going to work, getting the job done and getting paid.

Which creates a dilemma for those of us who are passionate about our work.

One of the biggest challenges for me, as a person, as an entrepreneur is dealing with people who don’t care as much as I do. I had to understand, and accept, that we’re not all motivated by the same thing.

I’m self-motivated. I need to be challenged. I need to be intellectually stimulated. I need to learn, a lot. I need to solve problems. I get excited by the unknown. I get fired up when situations look dire. I like to help others. I’m a giver.

But that’s me.

Can you make someone care as much as you do?

I’ve learned that you can’t force someone to care. But you can influence them to care on their terms. And that’s the key, on their terms. Not yours, or mine; on their terms. So, the right question is how might this person care more about the work they do?

Your job is to figure out those why’s. How does this look like? Well, you have to get to know people. Not just knowing their names, hobbies and interests; I mean knowing what makes them tick.

Below are two exercises I use to achieve this:

User Manual For Working With Me

I use the “User Manual For Working With Me” to get people talking about themselves, without fear of judgment. This exercise gets people talking about what they like, don’t like, how they like being talked to, how they like to work, what gets them fired up, what makes them tick, etc..

This exercise opens the door to ask more meaningful questions afterwards where you can dig deep into what makes them care about their work; such as:

  • What are you good at doing?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • What feels most useful?
  • What creates a sense of forward momentum?
  • How do you relate to others?

The answer to these questions will give you an idea of what they value.

People You Admire The Most

You can also use the “People You Admire The Most” exercise, which goes like this: Ask the person about 3 – 5 people they admire the most and why; pay attention to their why’s. Their why’s are the values, beliefs, attitudes they embody or want to embody.

Whom you choose to admire says a lot about you and your character. Think about it, if I ask you to list the 3 – 5 people you admire most and why, you won’t say you admire someone for some superficial reason. The reasons can be many, or a few, but there are reasons. And those reasons tell me something about you, because you probably want or have some of that in yourself.

We all have a list. I’ve been asked this question in interviews on TV, radio and podcasts and one person is always mentioned: my Grandfather from my Father’s side. He had a big influence on me when I was 5 years old because I had lost my dad in an accident, so he became my role model until my mother remarried.

Anyway, that’s it. These two exercises are very useful in helping to know people beyond their hobbies, likes and dislikes. Try them, let me know how it goes, and let me know if you have any questions.

Also, do you have any exercises you’ve used to get to know people on a deeper level? How about getting people to care more about their work?