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Thursday, December 7, 2017

What Managers can Learn from the Philosopher Nagel on Objective Performance Management

Managers have a responsibility of objectivity when it comes to management of employees and the daily functioning of their departments. Being emotionally wrapped into the the daily conversations of employees or taking wildly emotional stances not based in sound business logic does not help in growing a successful business. Learning to objective means stepping back from the daily bustle and learn to observe and see the big picture.

Erwin Schrodinger restates some of Nagel's beliefs in What is Life? (1944) stating "moderately satisfying picture of the world has only been reached at the high price of taking ourselves out the picture, stepping back into the role of the non-concerned observer." According to Erwin one comes to higher knowledge and general satisfaction by not being dipped head first into the daily bustle.

We learn from our senses but we interpret from our impressions and mental constructions. Knowing that one's immediate beliefs are not the truest interpretation opens up the possibility to see the world from a new perspective. Philosophy teaches us that by stepping back and taking a bigger view we gain performance perspectives.

Stepping Back: Stepping back means not engaging in the employee gripes, fights, and arguments. The daily politics should not come to sway the managers opinions and thoughts based on personal loyalties and self-seeking behaviors. The manager who can step out of the fray learns to see his/her department from a more objective standpoint which leads to better decisions.

The Big View: When one becomes an observer and pays attention to understanding versus judging they can eventually come to understand the mechanics of their department and the bigger picture with greater clarity. The big view will allow the manager to put the daily fires in perspective and work toward larger goals needed to advance the company.

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