CULTIVATING A SINCERE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
«Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness»
– Kahlil Gibran
How important is it for a work environment to be based on principles of sincerity and reciprocal respect?
During these days I have been indulging myself on this subject, trying to see how I could be a better me, not only on a personal level, but with for colleagues as well. And I must say that it has been food for thought indeed!
How many of us are truly genuine at work?
It seems that it all starts with a journey within our inner selves. Only after we are in a position to be sincere with ourselves can we truly expect to have a holistic relationship with those people that form part of our daily lives.
It has been proved once and time again that leaders who adopt a sincere approach are far more effective at work due to the motivation, trust and admiration they instil through their actions and not just their words.
If we truly recognize the forceful impact that our actions and words have on other people we would definitely be more mindful in the way we express ourselves. All this whilst keeping in mind that our words and actions are a true reflection of our inner selves.
This is what separates the chaff from the wheat. Many leaders say that authenticity and sincerity are important to them, but genuine leaders walk their talk every day.
FINDING THE INNER YOU
Related scientific disciplines, including cognitive neuroscience and psychology experimented the effects of truth and being genuine.
Cultivating a genuine state and learning to express our own truth results in more positive health and well-being.
This particular aspect of being sincere and true to your own self is also a subject of interest in the social sciences, particularly in studies on vulnerability and belonging.
It goes without doubt that one of the innate needs for humans is a desire find connection and belonging. But with this desire also comes the need for this belonging to be real, without condition, that it is genuine and not up for constant negotiation.
Because this need is primal, we often compromise ourselves. In order to «belong» we try to «FIT IN» by seeking others’ approval. Paradoxically, this attempt to fit in creates an emotional barrier to belonging and promotes a state of dissonance.
The poet and civil rights activist Dr Maya Angelou says that:
«You are only free when you realize you belong to no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.»
The rewards are often hidden in the costs.
When we break through fear with courage and take ourselves into that place of uncertainty to present the world with our authentic – even if somewhat imperfect – selves it carries a social cost.
We might not «FIT IN» to particular groups, especially the more conventional ones, and we face exclusion and being socially marginalized.
The cost is also great psychologically and spiritually.
Psychologically we lose our authenticity, our freedom and our own self-worth. From a spiritual aspect, that loss of authenticity or «frequency» will reduce our effectiveness on the world around us. Indeed, a vast amount of data indicates that the greatest struggle for people finding true belonging is spiritual.
Because as humans most of us wish a life of continued purpose, we begin to lose ourselves because we do not «FIT» with our self.
The total sum cost of this is the sense of dissonance which, in turn, comes at a great cost to our own health.
True belonging happens when we are true to ourselves.
Our sense of belonging comes from our own self-acceptance at whichever point in our life and the rewards are high, especially since we liberate ourselves.
WE GAIN OUR FREEDOM; we feel at ease with ourselves; we engage with life from a place of openness and curiosity instead of fear; our health flourishes.
As Social scientists discovered, true belonging does not come from engaging, achieving or accomplishing with others but it is something we carry within our own hearts -it is our true essence.
Brene Brown, a well-established social scientist who has studied vulnerability and belonging for over two decades, suggests that in order to regain our resonance, we must be willing to «brave the wilderness».
By learning to be comfortable with uncertainty, vulnerability and criticism we achieve that comfort we need to stand true to our own selves.
«True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.» – Brene Brown
That state of inner peace, at knowing our true selves and representing that truth, is infectious and will TRANSMIT THE SAME ENERGY to those around us and our environment. The gentle words of truth by Jalal Rumi concludes this well:
«Do you know what the music is saying? Come follow me and you will find the way. Your mistakes can also lead you to the truth. When you ask, the answer will be given.» – Jalal Rumi