The Problem With Business Voyeurism

There is a lot of talk about spying these days which to me is a form of voyeurism.

Tech Espionage

(Photo credit: mirkuz)

Of course it has nothing to do with sex (well, who knows what the NSA is watching…) and a lot to do with privacy and engagement. Whether you take it in either the “spying” or “voyeurism” context, it’s basically watching something from the outside while the person or persons being watched have no clue.

You can argue that reality shows are a form of voyeurism.  After all, the shows are meant to be a window into the private lives of interesting people.  They’ve evolved from games like “Survivor” into documentaries or video diaries into staged shows that aren’t much different from scripted series.  At least with scripted shows they don’t pretend to be “real.”

What does this have to do with business?  A lot.  I think many people treat their businesses much as voyeurs treat their subjects.  They’re watching but they’re not involved.  Everyone observes, of course.  If you’re managing people, watching is a lot of what you need to be doing.  The difference is how you engage in that activity.  Never engaging with your team turns that observation into nothing more than spying.  Let’s call it “business voyeurism.” You’re there but you’re not.

You can’t be a “peeping Tom” about business.  Sneaking little looks into business activities while feigning indifference is silly.  Your team or your boss will pick up that you’re emotionally removed and if you’re not engaged how can you hope to motivate others?  Working relationships are partnerships.  Voyeurism is anything but that.

Stop peeping.  Get engaged.  You’ll be better and so will your team.  Voyeurism is a crime.  It’s a crime of a different sort when applied to business.  You agree?


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Filed under Reality checks, Thinking Aloud

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