Love and The Compassionate Culture- How Kindness Plays a Role Part II

In this next discussion we explore how errors and mistakes at work impact our personal well-being and those we lead. Many companies understand and state that errors are a part of growing and learning and that it is ok when an error occurs. But, is it really ok.

Forgiving Myself and Others

Often corporate cultures will have very good intentions and logically understand the human condition and all of it’s intelligence and it’s flaws. They will state that errors are part of innovation and growth and that is ok when an error occurs. We believe these statements come from a well meaning place. However, the reality is often different than the intention.  People in a quiet and subtle way are made to feel bad when an error occurs. They are required to taketh mistake apart, examine it in detail, and relive the short falls. There is a long standing belief that we need to examine in great detail an error in order to ensure that it never happens again. However, there is no evidence to support this logic. We would suggest this is very flawed.

When an error occurs the person has usually already relived it over and over again and doesn’t need the manager to remind them. What they need is kindness and support in moving forward with positive energy.

No Sweeping Under the Rug

This does not mean that errors are ignored or swept under the carpet.  What it means is that the leader can explore in a compassionate way how the person is feeling and what they have already processed.  Leave the responsibility where it belongs and allow the employee to process in their own unique way. Make it safe for them to talk about it and to build a plan for recovery from a positive perspective.

 

Love and the Compassionate Culture- How does kindness play a role?

In our next discussion we explore the topic of kindness as a tool for leaders when working with those that are struggling.  Our ability to recognize that most people don’t need to be reminded when they are failing or falling short.

Pointing out errors and flaws does not equal improved behaviour. Ask yourself, are you hard on yourself when you make a mistake or fall short on a deliverable?  The answer is often yes, very much so.  Why do we think our employees and team members are any different from us. Although they may not show it on the outside in most cases the person is beating themselves up for their shortcomings.

Creating the Right Environment

Creating a safe space for the person to process, reflect and let go allows that person to get back to a coherent, aligned place. What do we mean?  When a person is being hard on themselves and worrying that they are not meeting expectations they often create chemistry (hormones) in the body that can hinder their ability to learn and process information effectively. This can have a cascading impact on future performance.

Leaders benefit when they remember that the person has already beat themselves up.  The person does not benefit from reminding, repeating and regurgitating the issue.

The old belief system that states, we must understand where we went wrong, in order to ensure we never do it again is flawed. The reason it is flawed is because this is where we focus the majority of our energy, on the failure. What we put our attention on is what creates emotions (negative or positive) and the emotions we have ignites chemistry (hormones) which can impact future performance (brain function).

We don’t want to ignore failures but we also need to approach them with compassion and kindness if we want to get the best results for the future. When leaders focus on creating a safe environment for individuals to process, reflect and let go quickly, everyone can move on much faster.

Part 3- Love and Compassion- The Difficult Conversation

Can we transform the difficult conversation into a conversation grounded in Love and Compassion?  The journey of shifting culture to one of compassion and love is just that, A Journey.  This transformation is very possible however, it requires some shift in our approach, especially when it comes to the more challenging conversations.

We know through research that giving someone feedback is flawed and not based in accurate science. In fact, giving feedback often does little or nothing at all to improve a persons behaviour or work performance.  So why do we do it?   For a long time we have taught managers that feedback is critical. Give feedback immediately, often and be prepared to address things right away. However, the science would not support this approach.  Highlighting errors and flaws is not equal to increasing performance. If the carrot and stick strategy doesn’t  work and cultures grounded in fear don’t work then why not consider a culture grounded in Love and Compassion. It is time to look at each and every practice we have in the corporate context and identify if it humanizes or dehumanizes the community.

So what should we do?

When we create a culture grounded in love and compassion the Difficult Conversation becomes so much easier and in fact is not difficult at all. Getting there takes time and a real adjustment in our approach.   Allowing the heart to lead the way makes everything easier.  If we can apply positive regard toward another person even in the most challenging of circumstances we can begin to create a safe space for these conversations. When we are curious and willing to explore with an open heart and an open mind everything becomes easier.

When seeking any transformation or change in another person’s behaviour we must provide a culture of safety first and foremost. Trust begins to build and we begin to humanize the workplace where authentic dialogue, even when difficult, can emerge with great success.

Once this series on Love and Compassion has been fully explored we will share the next series which outlines the tools and techniques that create this culture and allows for sustainable transformation to occur.

Love and Compassion – Strength or Weakness?

What a strange concept when thinking about leaders, culture and corporate performance.  However, if we want to create compassionate corporate culture where top performance can emerge, we need to consider, is love and compassion easy or hard, a weakness or a strength?

When a leader does something nice for an another person, like helping out on a project or providing the right resources this is doing. The leader might also provide information and advice on how the person might approach a task.

However, holding a safe space for the employee, during times of challenges and difficulties is very different. When a leader can step away from judgement and simply be there for the employee this can be described as being.Over time it can greatly enhance relationships especially when there is a failure. It is an intentional choice to show up in this way. The leader consciously chooses to hold a safe space for the employee to process, reflect and consider what has happened and what the next steps might be.

It takes courage to make this vulnerable choice to display love and compassion in the mist of failure.  It is not a weakness but an intentional choice to take the road less traveled.

In this weeks video we have a brief discussion about strength or weakness and how we perceive these concepts in the workplace.  

Cultures Grounded in Love and Compassion

For some this is a very difficult conversation to have in a corporate environment.  In fact, many would say that it does not belong.

As we evolve to meet the challenges of 2021 these two core values may be our best solutions. When an organization is grounded in Compassion and Love our experience shows, an increase in ownership, honesty, trust and most importantly individual accountability.

In an old energy organization this might seem very counter intuitive but in evolved organizational cultures (new energy) we see this in action all of the time. When contributors feel cared for and, dare I say, loved it is amazing the lengths they will go to to assist an organization to be successful.

In our upcoming love and compassion discussions we will explore the many attributes of these cultures.  At the heart of it is create amazing performance through each contributor where optimism, happiness and optimal brain function can occur.

We explore the innate goodness of the human being and what can happen when they are placed in a safe and loving environment. This is not for the faint of heart as these attributes take courage, strength and willingness to walk the road less traveled. The results however are profound.

We hope you will view our video series and provide your comments, feedback and personal experiences.  When we collaborate together we create amazing ideas and momentum.  Our first video will launch tomorrow.

Being True to Who You Are!

Is it difficult to be true to who you are, both personally and corporately sometimes? On occassion it means being judged harshly by others. Difficult questions arise that are not always easy to answer. What I know for sure is, it feels better to be true to who we are and what matters to us, as a team, than to stray in order to fit in.

As an avid reader I come across amazing quotes that seem to resonate to my core.  This one stood out for me, “If we are true to oneself we can never be false to another”.   Recently our team revisited the   Passion and Purpose of Change Innovators, that which drives everything we do.   I am so pleased with the results.

Corporations driven by a clear purpose, grounded in values and behaviours that align are emerging as frontrunners. Stay focused on the core of who you are and opportunity will abound.  One of our recent ventures is a mini series on Love and Compassion in the corporate context. Please follow the upcoming posts or join our corporate LinkedIn page to stay connected.

The Accidental Culture

Culture is a strange thing. We wonder how it builds, develops and manifests amongst our teams.  Most organizations are aware that culture is different from one department to another. This is usually in relationship to the present leadership. The real question is, are you creating Ian intentional culture that you want or are you experiencing the “accidental culture”. There is probably not one answer to this question.

Most organizations know what they want in the way of culture however few organizations know how to create it. If we are using old leadership methods, traditional performance management, and a focus on bottom line profits we often create the accidental culture.  If your organization has conflict, high stress, increasingly difficult deliverables that always seem unattainable then you are most likely going to create a culture reflective of this.

Human Behaviour is foundational to culture development. There is a simple flow that allows us to reflect on the process for creating a more intentional culture.  Values and Purpose create behaviours, collective behaviours create culture, culture dictates performance.  So understanding how to create the behaviours you are seeking is key. Behaviours of leaders is paramount. Behaviours are rarely addressed proactively and at best are often discussed only when there are bad behaviours present.

Have a clearly articulated culture roadmap that links Purpose, Values, and Behaviours.  Once this is complete you can link all of your programs, training and other initiatives back to these three critical items.  If you have purpose and values but do not have clearly articulated intentional behaviours, that guide everything, you are possibly missing a key ingredient.

Passion…Purpose…Process. A Relentless Commitment to Something Meaningful

Passion…Purpose…Process

When I come across a company who clearly knows who they are and why they are in business, I always take notice. After a little bit of research, I placed my first order with Farmdrop in order to experience their organic farm fresh offerings.

I was not disappointed by the quality and service. More importantly, as I unpacked my groceries (delivered right to my door when they said they would) I noticed a small newspaper in the bottom of one of the paper bags. It was the Spring 2020 edition of the Farmdrop news. This newspaper was full of great articles and recipes. I came across an article called, “The Books Behind our Mission”.  I was drawn into the story and the passion and purpose described by their founder; Ben Pugh.

After working for over 30 years to assist companies to find meaning, purpose, and passion and to develop their leaders within that alignment, I believe there is now reason to be optimistic.  Ben clearly knows why he does what he does and how it brings value to all of the stakeholders, including a larger community, touched by their work, even if they don’t know it.  This is only one example of a company doing good things.

From farmer to my home I could feel and see the commitment to biodiversity, reduction in plastic use, ethical farming, support to growers and the larger community in which they operate.  Many of you who know our work, have seen us use the water droplet symbol in our marketing. This is because our goal is to have a ripple effect of positive impact and meaning to everyone we come in contact with. Farmdrop is having a ripple effect for sure and I am pleased to say they now have a new and very happy customer.

Companies who find new footing,  as Covid-19 settles in, are going to be organizations with a clear passion, purpose and process. They look at everything they do and ensure it connects back and integrates. Everything from values, behaviours, practices, structure, and most importantly the human connection to all of their contributors. The company footprint will truly matter to them. They will be eager to understand the ripple effect that occurs when employees, customers and the larger community interact with them. They will be able to clearly articulate that ripple effect and will be optimistic that there are positive ripples they will never know about.

If you and your company are struggling to find your footing, as you re-enter the workplace, know that you are not alone and that transformation takes time, commitment and a willingness to embrace change wholeheartedly. Grace and ease should be words that resonate.

Start with Passion, look to Purpose and then define Process. Be clear, be concise and then link everything initiative back to your 3 P’s.

The Bounty of Life

As someone who has spent the last 30 years working with corporate leaders globally in understanding the broader spectrum of our world beyond the boundaries of turnover and ROI I was taken by the recent LinkedIn Article, posted by Serious Lynx entitled, “Harvesting Your Personal Network”. https://seriouslynx.com/a-different-kind-of-summer-trip/   Our goal has always been to stretch leaders thinking beyond what they could have imagined.

I have made many interesting choices over the years as I have searched, experimented and incorporated a unique balance of brain-science and heart-centered approach to our work. This often included trying new things and stepping way outside my comfort zone. One of those new things was becoming a vegetarian and then vegan for many years. With my continuous focus on being intentional and deliberate in all choices, thoughts and emotions, changing my diet was just one more thing to become very intentional about.

So, when I read the article, I was immediately drawn into a reflection on the continuous changes we are going to see over the coming years as a result of this global pandemic. Many of us have had the chance to reflect, slow down and consider what is really important in our lives. People reconnected with family and children in a way they had not done for some time. We all began to cook in our own kitchens again and mealtime became an important family ritual once more. The idea of not being able to get the amazing bounty of fruits and vegetables from the fields and into our homes felt very heavy. This is not just a UK problem but will be a concern in many developed countries where we have relied on foreign workers to do this task each season.  Each identified new change as a result of our present situation will need to be looked at with curiosity, creativity, compassion, love and ingenuity.

During the first week of the pandemic lock downs some said to me, “I don’t understand the craziness around buying toilet paper. Toilet paper will be the last of our concerns if we can’t get food, we need to focus on what really matters. In fact, we won’t need any toilet paper if the food chain is drastically impacted”. I laughed and yet at the same time felt a sense of realism and ground awareness of the truth.

I wondered how business could assist in filling our fields and orchards with young people who could have a completely new experience, doing something meaningful and important. Yes, this is a really big change and completely unexpected, but it is now upon us. This is just one of many changes we all will face as our world adjusts to each new opportunity that Covid-19 presents.

I would love to hear your ideas how business could support this initiative. Let’s make a long list and then see how we could support in solving this important challenge. With a looming global recession how could business support young people in getting the work experience they want and need while also keeping our food chain moving along smoothly.

The Rising Consciousness Level

 

We are an evolving species, so what does this mean for business?

It is hard to ignore the rising level of consciousness around the world. A focus on things that truly matter, a Z Generation that is vocal, committed and unwavering and a 2020 virus that slowed even the busiest people down.

We have had a unique opportunity to truly reflect, consider and make choice over the past 4 months. What I notice is that the rising consciousness that we have seen with the leaders we work with, was now more visible amongst a larger network. In other words, as people slowed downed, they connected more with themselves, and their direct family.  People also began to consider what really matters to them.

There is a renewed focus on the environment, inclusion, true diversity, balance, grace and ease. People are asking themselves some hard questions about what really matters to them and their families. As a result, corporations must take a hard look at their practices, culture, structure and the working ecosystem. The words that come to mind are, flexible, fluid, flatter, open, transparent, adaptable, less structured, humble, with a focus on connection.

At the core of the successful future business will be purpose, passion and values that are demonstrated clearly through behaviour.