Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Uncharted Wilderness of a Love-Based Workplace

You really do have to have a savage beast inside of you to even have the desire to go out on a limb, rock the boat, follow your heart and any other cliche you can think of when it comes to bringing your whole self to the workplace.

It's crazy to think about being that vulnerable, human, transparent, authentic and real with co-workers and bosses whose job it is to chew you up and spit you out, right?

I hold out hope that we're all in desperate search for the workplace that will allow us to be ourselves and use the unique gifts and talents we've been given. Maybe that sounds like Pollyanna, or pie in the sky, or like I'm a hopeless optimist, but someone's got to hold up that end of the argument in order to come to something in the middle.

I started thinking about this topic again at the book club discussion I've been part of recently. The book we've been reading is called "Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right" by Joseph Badaracco, Jr.

At our last gathering we discussed love-based vs. fear-based organizations and whether it is "easier" to work in one or the other. One person actually said it was easier to work in a fear-based environment because she knew what to expect. In a love-based environment, she was expected to be more creative and bring more of herself to work, which caused a lot of trepidation and second-guessing. "How can this be? It seems too good to be true. When is the other shoe going to drop?" were the types of comments she suggested came up for her co-workers.

Our discussion group determined that even though the management or leadership would like to create a culture of love and support, the individuals involved in the organization still bring their wounds and baggage from other situations into the space, and end up remaining cynical and resigned even though that isn't the intention for the organization.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but it was a different response than I anticipated, given my desire to create love-based organizations. If we achieve that result, we still need to address the reality of the baggage some choose not to get rid of (or don't know how to get rid of).

This is a brave new world for people who are committed to stepping into the unknown. Our basic humanity would beg us to remain on familiar ground, even though it's no longer comfortable ground. We'll choose uncomfortable familiarity over the unknown, even if the unknown will give us more of what we so desperately seek, though we may not be able to successfully articulate what that is within in this new realm.

That's the beauty of taking the plunge, however. There are other brave souls who have made the venture before us and are forging the trail through uncharted territory of love and work. It won't be easy, surely, but what that's significant is easy?

"I wouldn't give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I'd give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." - Einstein

I'm with Albert. Anyone with me?


Post a Comment

<< Home