Can you see the Goodness?
How does “man’s inhumanity to man” play out in our organisations?’
At February’s Waverley breakfast, Karen Stefanyszyn hosted a conversation around how “man’s inhumanity to man” [Robert Burns] can play out in our organisations and invites us to ‘see the goodness’ in others. In seeing, feeling and sensing the goodness in others, she proposes that we can relax, find release from scanning for danger, step back from agitation and engage less defensive behaviours.
Drawing on a recent experience of hers in a busy London train station, where she happened across the all too common frustration & harsh exterior that we find ourselves presenting to the world around us, Karen encouraged us to investigate how this appears in our work contexts & what it takes to see the goodness in those in our world. What it takes to see past the huge robotic exterior we create through our egos & self-preservation, to see the human being inside. Through this investigation, we can begin to release our fearful scanning of our colleagues & counterparts and start to scan for the human emotion that can hide behind the mask.
Often, the systems that we operate in do not help people to see past this robotic exterior. Have we created a pandemic of harsh environments that we accept as just how things are. Working inside these systems it takes self-belief & confidence to act outside of the norm, being deeply aware of the goodness in others and leading with love. Being an agent of change. Reflecting upon this, are the systems in play around us helping to create frustration & fear, or are they helping us to see & encourage the goodness in others? Is our culture creating fear & insecurity or is it creating joy?
There is a call for us to be the change agents inside the system, leading with love & freeing the goodness in others. If not us, then who? It only takes a few people to start a shift in the pandemic, so why not be the change in your organisation.
Wayne Dyer once said, “if we change the things we look at, the things we look at change” and it is a question to ask ourselves. Are we actively looking for things that can uplift us or are we looking for where people are falling short? How is our system shaping us and how are we shaping it? Those we lead look to us to set the example and we can choose the example we set, whether we show vulnerability & our goodness or our guarded, robotic exterior.
It is our belief that there are some fantastic leaders around, already paving a way for goodness to thrive in our worlds, and these people need our support.
Karen suggested a few practices to help us begin this change. Start journaling. List your own goodness each day this week. List the goodness you see in others. How can you remind them of that goodness?
Ask yourself, “do I really want to see the goodness in others? Do I really mean it?”
Can you choose to see the goodness in your world today.
If you want to take up the challenge of being an agent of change in your organisation, have a look at our change agents programme & start a conversation with us about how you can grow in your personal clarity & confidence as a leader and begin to influence the systems around you.
Thoughts by Karen Stefanyszyn
Michael Richardson January 2019