Everyone has a special place in his mind, from which all that is good comes.
If you can find this place, you can use it as a spark to change your life.
It’s about challenging what has become normal .
A world ruled by bullies
Social media has undoubtedly become a highly politicized world, in which many of us scream out their ideas. The more time passes, the more it seems that every post we read is written by an extremist. Yet behind this verbal violence, ordinary people are hiding, our colleagues and our neighbors.
We are convinced of participating in political life, but what happens on social networks, in reality, does nothing but distract us from real politics, it keeps us engaged while politics takes place in the real world.
This detachment that is being created has the consequence of strengthening our ideas, as we are exposed to content selected by algorithms that serve us what interests us, and know our ideas. The result is that we are losing that sense of objectivity that allows us to evaluate other people’s points of view as well, and that is fundamental for acting in a civil society.
This phenomenon is also intensifying in the world of work, where we increasingly see leaders capable of achieving extraordinary goals, but who, by their own admission, do not have the so-called soft skills , those interpersonal skills that allow us to work with other people, discuss ideas, get feedback, etc.
These individuals often have behaviors that would be considered unacceptable to any other person, but given their status, they are considered as a particularity and nothing more.
We would never accept a leader who confesses that he does not have the slightest idea of how the business world works, or that he does not know his customers. So why are we willing to accept the lack of soft skills? In most cases, these are behavioral patterns that have been going on for years, and we have simply learned to accept them as normal.
One of the most visible consequences of this phenomenon is that we have lost track of the impact each of us has on the people we work with.
What it means to have a sense of purpose
Can we then draw on that place that exists in each of us, and use that positive force that resides there, to make the world around us a little more kind, fair and pleasant place?
If we want to reflect on how our life is going, many of us begin to list a series of achievements and objectives achieved, often focusing on the career.
But these are not the things that give meaning to our life. If we want to be satisfied with our life, we need a purpose , or a sort of internal voice that guides our choices, that gives us a reason.
Once we understand what our purpose is, our decisions, from small everyday actions, to the choice of the workplace, must be congruous with our purpose. Only in this way can we be truly satisfied.
Companies manage equality issues
It is certainly not new for companies to work towards implementing policies aimed at inclusion, equality and making the workplace more pleasant for everyone. In past years, the main focus was on D&I – Diversity and Inclusion policies. Many companies were faced with employee complaint cases for discrimination, and as a result there was a rush to implement internal measures that aimed to avoid possible legal repercussions.
This was a very difficult step especially for the leaders of some companies, who suddenly found themselves having to answer for their behavior.
Forced to attend individual seminars and sessions that dealt with topics such as bullying, sexual discrimination and the like, many did not understand what was wrong with their way of doing things. It was normal to behave like this, it always had been. What mattered in the company were the targets, everything else was in the background.
For decades, especially in the western world, companies have been run by what are commonly called alpha , wealthy white men.
This has meant that some behaviors typically attributable to this profile have become the foundation for the construction of the management class, creating a sort of barrier of access for anyone who is not part of the category.
If we stop to analyze the companies, however, we will notice a strong degree of diversity. Each individual in the workforce has a different history, a different culture. We have to start recognizing and accepting that alpha culture is toxic, and perpetuates certain behaviors that are unacceptable today.
The real obstacle to change is that this alpha group is not willing to give up its privileged position, and is doing everything possible to maintain the status quo.
The importance of people
It is becoming increasingly clear that, from small companies to multinational giants, it is necessary to give great importance to those who work there.
Several studies show that the greater the engagement – the involvement of employees in corporate life and their satisfaction – the greater the success of the company. Many leaders realize the correlation between happy employees and higher productivity.
It is important for each individual to have a sense of psychological security, or the tranquility of working within their team, of feeling comfortable in proposing ideas and solutions, of being able to use their skills and tools available to find the best way to handle a situation.
This is closely related to the sense of self – each of us should feel free to be ourselves at work, and not have to develop a different personality than we are in our private life.
Leaders tend to rate people based on their performance, based on numbers. If we want things to change for the better, companies must learn to give importance to these factors – which we can call soft stuff – soft things.
Everyone can contribute
Every person who shares a workplace is responsible for the environment that is created. If we don’t do something personally, the change won’t happen.
Many people who are leading a team recognize that something could be done to improve the morale of individuals, yet this always seems to fall into the background compared to real work, or the achievement of targets. There is a tendency to underestimate the positive impact that can result from a satisfied and satisfied team.
There are several techniques that each of us can adopt to bring a little positivity to our team. The most important thing to remember is always the individuality of each person. Each of our colleagues has their own character, culture, dreams and aspirations.
We need to find a way to establish a real bond, to make those around us feel that we are not only interested in their working income, but that we see them and appreciate them for what they are: people.
The importance of the present
Our minds often have a tendency to wander, both towards the past and towards the future. While it can certainly be useful in some situations, it is important to realize what this entails.
Spending too much time thinking about the past can be risky, because the way we remember events does not always reflect the reality of the facts. We often give too much weight to negative experiences, amplifying the sense of risk that surrounds certain situations.
In the same way, looking to the future can make us lose sight of what we are doing, especially when this gaze of ours takes on pessimistic and catastrophic tones. The obstacles begin to seem insurmountable, and we risk getting knocked down even before starting the challenge.
This is why it is important to know how to take root well in the present. Let’s plant our feet and take a good look at what’s going on around us right now, in this situation.
Often our mind filters what is happening, in 5 ways:
1. Catastrophization : the mind projects itself to the future, imagining the worst possible development of events.
2. Selective abstraction : given a series of elements, we focus only on some of them, such as a single mistake made during a presentation.
3. Personalization : when we are convinced that something happens because of us, rather than simply being an event that involves us.
4. Pervasiveness : the feeling that, as something is going wrong, everything else will go wrong.
5. Permanence : the feeling that an unpleasant event or a negative situation is permanent, which will never pass.
Knowing these (and other) mechanisms allows us to take a step back and analyze in a more objective way what we are experiencing, and therefore allows us to be more present.
The roles that each of us plays daily
Each day, each of us participates in a multitude of situations and events.
Depending on the situation, our role will be different. There are 3:
1. Actor : when we do something, we act in first person.
2. Observer : when we are aware of an event, we know that something has happened.
3. Receiver : when we are subjected (even indirectly) to a situation that makes us uncomfortable, which makes us lack psychological security.
When we are Actors, it is important to be fully aware of our role, and the consequences that what we say and do can have on others.
If we are Receivers, it is important to share our unease, and it is important that this happens with the certainty of being able to discuss it.
The role of the Observer, who traditionally leads us to put ourselves aside so as not to suffer the consequences of the situation, must change: it must become a supporting role for the Receptors, it must be the first promoter of the change, which highlights what it sees , but which also provides a behavioral model for solving the problem.
What it means to act with integrity
Each of us has our own idea of what acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are. Once we understand what our purpose is, what our values are, the time comes to act in a fair way. Obviously, acting according to the correctness criteria that we have established ourselves is the most important part of what we can define integrity.
To be a whole person, the first step is to not disappoint ourselves and our moral principles. If a person is unable to understand what integrity is, they will have to step back and reflect on their purpose. Once this is clear, integrity becomes a simple thing to understand.
Acting with integrity does not mean respecting the rules. There have been many examples of absolutely intact people who have broken laws and regulations (think of Nelson Mandela), as well as many striking examples of the contrary.
The most important thing we can do to make the world of work a better place is to get in touch with the good that is in each of us, understand what our purpose is in life, understand that what we do has an impact not only on those close to us, but on many people, in many different ways.