a painful or horrific experience, especially a protracted one.
You remember the old illustration/joke. A couple is talking, and the woman says: “It’s just… there’s all this pressure. My head just won’t start hurting.” The man finally says “You do have a nail in your head.” (Watch the short video, “It’s Not About the Nail”).
Here’s the idea. People don’t like to endure an ordeal. And if they can avoid it, they will in fact try to avoid it!
Ok, maybe the word choice is a little strong — “ordeal: a painful or horrific experience.” But, if you go into work, and you do not like working with the people at work, and they do not seem to like working with you, and every interaction turns into something unpleasant, and you feel heavy in your shoulders and de-energized and de-motivated, maybe it’s time to take the nail out of your head.
In other words, people do not like working in “ordeal” conditions instead of “ideal” conditions.
Whether it is a team meeting, a larger meeting, a one-on-one interaction, people do not like enduring an ordeal. And if that is what it feels like, seems like, well…
I think one job of a leader – a leader at the top, a team leader, a supervisor; any leader — is mainly about creating and nurturing and protecting working conditions where people can work together without hating, or dreading, or enduring the experience.
Create good working conditions. Never let your work place become an ordeal to endure. If you do, you’re in real, real trouble.