They, Them, We, Us
by Adam Zack — June 5, 2019
What were they thinking? Why are they doing this? Who talks to them? We don’t. It’s like it’s them against us. Those types of comments happen every single day when there’s a communication gap in an organization. Even though I am a store owner, plenty of times I’ve been in a conversation with employees and they say something like “What are they going to do?” And by They, they mean leadership, and that means that They is Me. I’ll often ask the employee “Who are they?” and they’ll respond with something like “You know, you guys.” Especially in times of difficulty and uncertainty, the ‘They-We’ gap widens. It’s great leaders (and great communicators) who in good times and bad have teams that ask questions and make statements in terms of ‘we’ and ‘us’. They is the impersonal entity that makes all the decisions for the business, and when things don’t go right, well, they get what they deserve, don’t they?
Back in the 50’s there was a horror movie called Them! about giant ants that ate people. Some of you old timers (Mr. Mayne??) may even have seen it in the theater hoping for a makeout session in the back row of the theater. You definitely didn’t want to mess with Them! and they certainly had no use for us other than as food. OK, that’s way off track, but the thing to ask your management team this week is “Are we ‘them’? Or are we ‘us’? And let’s end before we get to This is Us, because, well, they made a TV show I don’t particularly care for.
Filed Under: Company Blog