Bringing heart and soul back into work
I was moved to write this because of the ripples that are still spreading from a meeting with the Next Stage Radicals.
This is a learning community of professionals who have heart and soul. They care and share; they don’t protect or hoard information for personal gain. They recognize that we need each other and we are better together. They have spent enough time in the world of work whether that is private sector, health, care, local government to realise the way of working and the outcomes are fundamentally broken. And the way we work and the outcomes are intimately connected.
At this heartfelt gathering, Andy had sent out an invitation asking— is there a role for moral outrage? It resonated enough for many community members to attend. He went on to share several stories that showed how people, whether customers, patients or workers, are dehumanised which can create inhuman treatment where all those involved seem somehow powerless or even somehow unaware of the inhuman treatment.
And this is where the question came back in — is there a role for moral outrage? This group of practitioners are aware of the ‘systemic’ problems that drive this and can intervene with a ‘technical’ response and to experiment with new ideas that address this systemic problem. I guess Andy’s question was — why are we not shouting and screaming about this? Why are we not getting emotional? How are we even able to not have a natural emotional response?
You can read about an example of someone who did get emotional resisting the rules in this twitter thread (thanks for sharing Sam).
And what is the cost of suppressing or denying that emotional response?
And the paradox is…
Emotions are our natural feedback system. They are telling us about resonance or dissonance. Dissonance where we are angry, frustrated, anxious or withdrawn.
Resonance where we feel energised, optimistic or excited.
They tell us that something matters for us. And it would be good if our team knew as well if it comes up in a work context. Teams and organisations are made up of people and can be viewed as organisms which need feedback in order to identify and solve problems or pursue opportunities. Feedback is one of nature’s most powerful mechanisms.
We use numbers and metrics and measures in organisation but do we use feelings? Do we even know how to use feedback that comes in the form of emotions? [there are plenty of ways of exploring emotions but they are not in common usage in the work place]
When individuals, teams or entire organisations don’t provide space and time to feel and consider those emotions and what information it is providing us it is like being blind, deaf and unable to feel and sense in the many ways that we can.
My gut can tell me something is important. My heart sings or can be sick.
Have you ever felt that an organisation doesn’t care about you? That it is blind to what you need? A human without feelings is psychopathic or sociopathic.
An organisation or a team that ignores sensations and feelings and operates purely on the numbers can appear much the same.
This is a call to action; an experiment in resonance; to see if this could ignite a movement.
To transform organisations faster. To tell stories. Build an ecosystem around a community to support those who want to bring heart and soul into their organisations. Who want to find their place; connect with their own emotions.
This movement must be a role model. This is place to understand, not to judge. But to act decisively, but with compassion. To understand and care for ourselves first and ask ourselves the hard questions before we ask the others. To connect with ourselves and with others; recognising our interdependence.
To adapt and evolve. Build resilience.
To bring heart and soul back into work. To make work a place where people thrive whether they are involved in doing the work or are a beneficiary of the work.
As I let the energy subside and am reflecting, I wonder whether this is what Next Stage Radicals is doing. Rather sheepishly I realise that many of the foundations are there. Perhaps this is just a case of opening the door and placing a clear sign on it (Bringing heart and soul back into work). And perhaps there needs to be a simple emergency cord or some simple instructions on what to do next if this resonates with you:
- Do you have a heart and soul problem at work you would like help with now? If so click here. (no link, for illustration only)
- Are you intrigued and would like to know more? If so click here. (no link, for illustration only)
- Would you like to talk to a human being who cares about this too? (no link, for illustration only)
I have now run out of steam. Please comment below or wherever it feels safe to do so.
Comments from everyone are welcome. Not just Next Stage Radicals :-)
Or contact me on LinkedIn
Last words. I like the words balance and harmony. They show that there is no perfect state, just about maintaining a harmonious balance. I feel this should be in the vision somewhere. Bringing harmony and balance into work with heart and soul?! I need help zzzz