I've been watching the emergence of people-centred approaches to organisational culture with some interest these past few years and one thing that raised my curiosity are the terms we're using. Many people are talking about the slasher movement or wholeness as just two examples.
It seems everyone wants to be a slasher because it's suddenly very trendy to be lots of different things. It's sort of like 'coming out' four times because I'm a learning manager (gasp, that's a bit serious!) and a poet (gasp, that's a bit arty!), and an author (gasp, how do you manage?), and a sort of life coach that I can't even put a label on yet (gasp, what's that?). You'll get it when we talk. The truth is, it can be quite liberating to state these things about ourselves to the world, to declare that they are all part of us. I ask, however, do we really need more labels? Does it not keep compartmentalising what I doand ultimately who I am?
By calling myself a learning manager / poet / author / life coach am I not in some way slashing myself? Am I really that masochistic? Couldn't it get a bit schizophrenic? Which part would you like to talk to today?! The poet, sure, I'll just ask the others to take a hike for a moment and put out the do not disturb sign...
It seems everyone wants to be a slasher because it's suddenly very trendy to be lots of different things.
Instead of what we produce, we could alternatively say I'm a grouchy / courageous / sensitive / optimistic person. Why don't we put these things on our business cards? At least we'd know better how to build relationships together and after all it's no longer about what we know that's key but our emotional intelligence isn't it? Interdependency is here to stay after all.
Words are important, they are powerful representations of how we see and treat ourselves individually and collectively. Frankly today I don't feel like slashing myself or anyone else for that matter. No, I'd rather meet all of you and discover how all of these parts interact and show up in our conversation or what we are innovating.
And what of the other extreme, the wholeness movement? Bring the whole of you to work, what does that mean? Did I ever leave my brain at home? Possibly, but I don't think that's quite the point. Perhaps I lost an eye somewhere along the way in fierce negotiations? So the question is who took it and how do I get it back all these years later? Wow, that's pretty stressful to think that I may only have been half a person all of these years I was coming to work! I'll probably need to meditate on that for at least a week just to get my blood pressure back in line, never mind embarking on some journey to find it again if I can't even remember where I last saw it. And when I'm whole again I get to put a blank label on my LinkedIn profile for the honour. I'm just me, no title. Actually, I do like this principle very much but "Who is that then?" Err...do you have two hours free so I can explain where I'm at? Perhaps we should be making this time for one another. I guess if everyone had a blank profile then we could all start again, like a blank page, everyone on the same level, in blissful beingness. Let's meet up again next year to compare our blank pages over a detox juice. Just joking... but I can imagine it can become destabilising to be bombarded by expectations of having to be anything.
I guess there must be some midway where we can all just feel comfortable to show up with who we are and where we are at, as long as we're doing that benevolently. All whole, but with whatever parts of ourselves that we choose to (re)discover and share in this moment. (Bear in mind that perhaps I haven't met all of mine just yet so a little compassion please).
Giving ourselves the utter freedom to find our passions, create and recreate who we are without boxes or judgements, now that's not just a recipe for Wholefoods (sorry wholeness), no, it's discovering, respecting and celebrating our wholeness by experiencing ourselves through action and interaction. Living by our values and integrity. That's us coming together to co-create amazing things through who we are being and the parts of ourselves that we have the courage to explore and share in any given moment. Every time I allow myself that freedom I grow and remember those parts I'd forgotten in order to become an even greater version of Self. Far more important than my title, the environment that allows this experimentation and expression is key. So here's my tag line, "I'm a whole Nadia who just loves to write with a spot of humor and a genuine love of the principles that connect us and if you'd like to talk about that with the whole of you then that's great, maybe we can learn or inspire something new?" What do you think? I'd love to know who you are being today?