Reimagining organizations by devising an innovative model that encourages productive, fulfilled, and engaged employees.
In the book, The Dawn of Everything, A New History of Humanity authors David Graeber and David Wengrow write, “ … since most people rarely think about the broad sweep of human history anyway. They don’t have much reason to. Insofar as the question comes up at all, it’s usually when reflecting on why the world seems to be in such a mess and why human beings so often treat each other badly — the reasons for war, greed, exploitation, systematic indifference to others’ suffering. Were we always like that, or did something, at some point, go terribly wrong?”
What Is New Paradigm Leadership?
In a new paradigm leadership approach, our aim is to create a culture of care in the workplace. When we create a culture of care, everyone values and practices:
Leading with compassion, empathy, and humility
Trusting (being trusted and extending trust)
Communicating with respect
Engaging directly in conflict with peace and dignity
Collaborating with everyone in mind
Therefore, we might take a moment to reflect on two questions posed by Graeber and Wengrow: “why (do) human beings so often treat each other badly” and “were we always like that, or did something, at some point, go terribly wrong?”
For the good of the group, we must care about each employee working at the company (and their families).
A step in the right direction will mean preparing to navigate tough conversations which will not only require a mindset shift, but a genuine shift in the heart. For the good of the group, we must care about each employee working at the company (and their families). We must care that Lillie’s elder mother who lives with her requires home care services; Kwame’s only child heads off to college in the fall making him and his husband empty nesters; Jack becomes a new dad soon and wants to spend time with his child and wife; as head of household, Erin wants to attend a leadership development program, but not earning enough to cover the expenses and not sure how to adjust her life schedule to make it happen; Martin needs more time off after the death of his dad, but is leading an important project at work; and recently, you discovered that Denise struggles with dyslexia and could use additional work support. There are real examples in your organization, and you may have a few of your own. Create a psychologically and physically safe space.
In Driving Fear Out of the Workplace, Kathleen D. Ryan and Daniel K. Oestreich explore the reasons employees are afraid to speak up. Employers should be concerned when they don’t hear from an employee or an employee hesitates to share a concern or idea about a task or project. You may be in a state of denial about fear in the workplace. “Denial is an instinctive retreat from something that is potentially threatening,” writes Ryan and Oestreich. Fear may be real or perceived — a loss of job or a promotion, embarrassment, etc. Think about it — “If this were an organization where people offered their ideas without hesitation, how would things be different? What kinds of things would we be doing?” How would we treat each other, our customers/clients, community? Honor that you may be afraid of losing control of your group if everyone leads.
A new paradigm leader creates space for genuine conversations.
A new paradigm leader creates space for genuine conversations. If you are not ready for this conversation, don’t schedule it. Give yourself time to consider what the above values mean to you. Are you ready to move from “I” to “we?”
If you decide to move forward, clear your calendar. Schedule at least two hours. The conversation may take 30 minutes, but open space for the employee to drive the time together. Invite the person to a follow-up conversation if needed. Turn off your phone and computer. Some leaders, schedule these sessions at a restaurant over lunch at a place conducive for conversation. Send the values list ahead. Ask them what they think it will take to create a culture of care. A new paradigm leadership requires we listen. Honor the silence. Be patient. Listen with your body, mind, and of course your heart. Don’t take notes.
New paradigm leadership means we must be aware of our role in sustaining status quo and ways we prevent our employees from bringing their best selves to their responsibilities in the organization. To be catalysts for change, new leadership skills and leadership competencies are necessary. Traditional approaches to leadership have not, historically, created workplace cultures that prioritize the good of the group. We need new paradigm leaders who embody mindfulness, who lead with trust and integrity, and who are highly proficient in creating inclusive workplaces where all people experience deep connection to one another.
We can create organizations where everyone genuinely cares for one another. We must first be willing to step off the path we have been on and create a new one. It will be an evolutionary journey with bumpy roads ahead. Carry the will and commitment to evolve. Stay the course for the good of the group.
Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy exists to support leaders in honoring basic human needs and dignity needs in the workplace, so they can actualize human potential in the workplace. The Academy optimizes competencies in human behavior, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to create highly engaged workplaces where basic human needs and dignity are consistently honored. All our courses are offered online and can be customized for in-person workshops and seminars.