We live in a turbulent world, with busy lives and a lot of global and personal challenges because of the speed we are running at. People are searching for meaning and purpose more and more and I’m learning that a big part of the solution has to do with the inner life.
At the end of last year I joined an Exco team for a simple soulful leadership process. In our first conversion, we discussed the shift in organisational consciousness where the organisation is viewed as an organism. Frederic Laloux call these Teal Organisations. Characteristics of these organisations are a strong emphasis on purpose (not only profit), and attending to people as whole human beings. In the closing reflections of the team session I asked the team what their take away was from the morning and how they will respond to this personally and professionally.
One of the most profound and simple (usually this goes together) comments that came back were the one guy who quite passionately told his colleagues: “people need to human man”!
What a simple but profound statement – “people need to human”.
Finding humanity in life, work and leading might be one of the biggest challenges of our time.
The world is busy and turbulent and in such a time as this, part of the solution is to return to the inner life. Leaders need an intentional journey back to their own humanity. Part of this is a journey back to what they are part of (God & context), who they are (identity) and why they are part of this (purpose). The conversation on finding humanity in life and leadership is a crucial conversation to have – to rediscover simple steps towards humanity?
I was further reminded of this question by two invitations during the past 18 months, to the SA Organisational Development Network for a talk on “rediscovering humanity in the workplace” as well as the South African Care Hub on “finding humanity in the care industry”. I also remember a session with a group of bankers reconnecting them with their unique human spirit and how profound they’ve found this. Encouraging stuff indeed!
But, what does that look like? And how can we help each other to find and sustain simple steps towards humanity at work, at home and in relationships? I believe this is an intentional journey!
Take few moments wherever you are. Take a few deep breaths, slower and deeper than normal. Just stay with that for a while – one of the most human things you can do is to breathe properly.
Reflect for a moment
Think about a situation the past week where you experienced your own humanness. A vibrant conversation, a run outside, laughter with friends, meaningful work, an empathic response from a colleague or loved one, a hug or a moment of care…and stay with that experience for the moment. Don’t just think about it – re-experience it for a while.
How is this reminding you of what you need to cultivate and protect or be aware of? How do you want to bring back humanity to your life? Think simple and practical – a breathing exercise before a difficult task, asking somebody how they are, taking more time for you or noticing beauty and share it?
May you experience the gift of being human!