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Stop Using This Word To Refer to Talented Human Beings


By Jason Sherrill on Monday, November 9, 2015


People versus Resources

 

Too often business people use the term resource to describe a human being, especially in the software development and marketing agency worlds. Statements like "Do we have any resources available for this project?" or "I need a resource with SEO expertise" put people on the same level as electricity, CPU cycles and bandwidth. Using the word resource to describe a human being makes people feel like a commodity and diminishes their individuality.

Dale Carnegie said,

If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.

 

He also said,

A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

 

I appreciate the unique talents, personality and perspectives that each person I work with brings to the Inet team. Donovan's creative genius has much more value here than a CPU cycle, and Matt's gift for software design and his willingness to always step outside of his official job description to help anyone on the team with any challenge their facing is far more useful than a 1000Mbps of bandwidth.

If I have to choose between a blazing fast computer and Karen's ability to show her genuine care and willingness to help clients, I'll take Karen any day. I do dare to suggest that Erin's attention to detail cannot be replaced by even a billion watts of electricity.

Mac, Mr. Idea Man himself, somebody please tell me what piece of hardware can replace the enthusiasm he brings to championing an idea and helping a non-technical client understand complex software design?

Jordan's willingness to dig in and invest the time, learning, and plain old hard work to make good software great is true inspiration. I'm 100% certain that none of these people would feel nearly as valued if I just called them "resources."

Donovan's ability and willingness to constantly investigate and learn new ways to help everyone on the team accomplish better usability and more efficient use of technology motivates everyone on the team to keep improving.

Whenever Chad undertakes a project, he is constantly looking for ways to do the work smarter, save the team and our clients time, and figure out how what we're building can solve other problems or create new opportunities. You don't get that from a desk, chair, or other resource.

A sure fire way to damage relationships, both business and personal, is to make people feel unimportant. But if you want to build strong relationships and a strong business, then make people feel important. People who feel important almost always contribute more ideas, put more heart into their work, have more fun while working and take better care of customers.

Granted, just using someone's name isn't a silver bullet for building perfect relationships, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

P.S. If someone's mother named him Resource, then by all means call him Resource.

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