Creating kinder and more compassionate spaces where we can nourish each other

I wrote most of this blog a couple of years ago, but I thought it might be useful to revisit it.

So often we get caught in the pace and demands of our work, focusing on the to do list over and above the relationships we have with the people around us. As a result our relationships become transactional.

As human beings we know what we want and need from each other, yet most of our workplaces and the system as a whole is intent on ignoring the human need for relationships and connection in favour of more measurable and tangible outputs associated with Key Performance Indicators and strategic targets. Intuitively we know that building relationships, growing trust and investing in human connection can be the foundation for change that leads to more innovation, yet we continue to ignore it!

Recently a friend shared how her managers had asked for ideas for the whole team away day. The team suggested that they wanted to spend time together and get to know each other better — invest in relationships, but this idea was rejected by the Manager as it was seen to be too woolly and not outcome focused. Many of us know we need to change how we work, but struggle to make a transition within the organisational constraints or perceptions of what is valuable.

It reminded me of a famous quote from Albert Einstein 'Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted'. Despite this we often measure the wrong things, which leads us feeling frustrated with ourselves that we are ignoring the things that really matter.

If our organisations can’t offer what we need, then perhaps we need to experiment with new ways of collaborating. If we can’t make change happen within our existing structures, then it’s our responsibility to discover what works outside of them. As Bucky Fuller wrote:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Bucky Fuller)

I would describe this change as a (r)evolution, as we respond to our changing conditions, like plants growing towards the light. It’s a natural change, but it is also not something that is controllable!

I invite you to think about what a (r)evolution might look like to you in your organisation and what small steps could you make towards creating kinder and more compassionate spaces where we can nourish each other; creating safety, so we can speak our truth and talk about what really matters, whilst finding new ways of co-creating solutions.